Rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture.
Monday, March 28, 2016
Austin City Limits: Wagon Train
photograph of Austin Food Trailer by Hallie Cohen
Every city has its indigenous style of food. In Philadelphia
you have the cheesesteak. Chicago is famous for deep dish pizza. In Austin
it’s not the what is served (although Austin boasts establishments like
Torchy's Tacos where President Obama recently made a pit stop), so much as how
it’s served which is in trailer courts—that will probably remind you
of the way covered wagons used to huddle together around the campfire on westerns like Wagon Train.
Picnic benches are set up in dirt and gravel lots that lie in the shadow of rentals, like The Coldwater, obviously named for another Austin institution, the spring fed Barton Springs Pool. The independent spirit of Texans and
particularly Austin dwellers is often reflected on the advertising. Here are some sample inscriptions from one trailer: “It’s been our pleasure to insult you,” “Gluten
allergies? Really? Cowboy up, you wussy.” “We got the goods, we don’t need to
be nice.” Andhere are some specialties
from that self same traveling kitchen. The Shiner, the Lone Star BLT, the
Spicy Southwest Reuben, the Texas Mesquite Turkey. The atmosphere is
definitely put up or shut up, but you won’t be disappointed. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues might or might not be the mantra for these hard working chefs.
Francis Levy's debut novel, Erotomania: A Romance, was released in August 2008 by Two Dollar Radio.
His short stories, criticism, humor, and poetry have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Village Voice, The East Hampton Star, The Quarterly, Penthouse, Architectural Digest, TV Guide, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, and other publications. One of his Voice humor pieces was anthologized in The Big Book of New American Humor (HarperCollins). He is presently the Co-Director of The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination (philoctetes.org), where he supervises roundtable discussions on topics as varied as “The Psychology of the Modern Nation State” and “Modern Traffic Theory, Behavior, and Imagination”.