Tuesday, October 1, 2013
East Side King
Being in Austin for only a short time I wanted to eat as much of Chef Paul Qui's food as possible. I went on an adventure to find his food truck, East Side King. My hotel didn't seem too far away from where this food truck camps out at Liberty Bar, so I decided to take a walk on over. The walk was a bit more adventurous than I expected. Dodged a few vagrants and navigated a highway underpass on the way from downtown to the east side. Doesn't seem the two areas of development have quite connected yet, but I managed to find the Liberty Bar without too much issue.
I was expecting to see the truck parked out front of the bar but it seems that these things work a bit different in Austin. The trucks all have a designated location and rarely move around like you see here in DC. This has its benefits and down sides I guess. To get to the East Side King truck you have to actually enter the Liberty Bar and head out back to the patio/picnic table area (don't forget to grab a beer first!).
Walk on up to the truck and order from the hipster girls inside. I got the kara'age chicken and the pork buns. They'll give you a number and bring your food to you in a few minutes. This was quite possibly the best truck food I have ever had. The chicken had awesome Thai flavors with the addition of basil and jalepenos that gave this dish a nice spin on the traditional fried chicken. It was fried really nicely, but the sauce did make some of the pieces a little soggy, which was the only minor draw back. The pork buns were also exceptional. Rather than the typical chopped pork, these buns had a large piece of pork belly folded inside. The flavors were almost indescribably good, I could probably eat 10 of these.
Which brings me to the only other downside of this truck I would say the portions are a little on the small side for this price, but that is only compared to other trucks. This is truly restaurant quality food. Expect something similar to a tapas portion and order multiple options to share.
Total Rating: 4.08
Food: 4.5, Price: 3, Service: 4, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 4