Looking for a delicious food cart experience to kick off 2012 right? Look no further than south Austin's Ah La Cart! Austin is Delicious blogger and friend of the show Alexandra Richmond recently had a chance to sample the offerings from this unique cart.
FINALLY. Though I have been salivating since first sight, I have now had the chance to grab a bite at Ah La Cart, Austin's glossiest new mobile food vendor in a shiny orange truck, and I can confirm it is delicious.
Like Odd Duck Farm To Trailer but with less eggs, Ah La Cart focuses on great local produce, and then makes it rich with smoky bacon, pork belly, and cheese.
At first glance, the menu seems simple. Roasted veggies, an egg on toast, or a toasted Brie and tomato sandwich are no-brainers for home chefs. But there are layers and complexity in flavors at play, combined with the top-shelf fresh produce from Johnson's Backyard Garden, Riverbottom Farms, and Richardson Farms.
On my first visit I scored the BLTA, a simple sandwich with thick bacon, tender yet crisp spring mix, lovingly mashed avocado, and a tasty tomato on grilled bread with garlic aioli. I doubled down and got a cup of smoked mac and cheese, made so with smokey Gouda. To kick this dish up to 11 I opted to top the mac and cheese with pork belly. The mac and cheese was creamy, rich, and decadent. Topping it with the belly was really too much. Next time I'll get it plain - or maybe top it with bacon.
I really loved the BLTA. Mashing the avocado helped fuse the ingredients together and the grilled bread was hearty.
My husband got the Zilker Park sandwich with grilled flank steak, a pungent blue cheese ailoi and pickled onions. I insisted on having a taste and found each bite to be rich and complex.
Waiting for your food is enjoyable. Peek in Two Bits window (they repair vintage pinball machines and video game consoles), or lounge in the shade of Ah La Cart's awning, which has been strung with lights. The awning's ten poles are staked in buckets that are home to fragrant herbs. Or just watch Ah La Cart owner Ron work his culinary magic.
One of my favorite episodes of King of the Hill is "Raise the Steaks," in which Hank joins a food co-op because the food at Mega-Lo-Mart has no flavor. After the Hill's first co-op-sourced meal, Bobby asks, "if this is food, what have we been eating?" Hank suggests the family say grace again.
At Ah La Cart, you may want to say grace again, too. It is that simple and that good.
Ah La Cart is located at 4418 Pack Saddle Pass in south Austin. Visit their Facebook page for hours and specials!
Also check out my BLOG where you can follow my food adventures.