One is new, corporate, industrious, and utterly without character. It is the new McMansions. The new chains of restaurants littering the suburbs. The cluster of highrise condos, with sleek trendy restaurants underneath.
The other is older, slower, anti-commercial, and wierd.
Guess which one I like?
The Mighty Cone trailer
Last Friday, my nephew walked me a mile down South Congress to a block of food trailers. Mighty Cone has set up in this "permanent" spot within the last year.
Despite the new location, Mighty Cone it is part of the Old Austin. The trailer is owned by Jeff Blank, the Chef/Owner of Hudson's on the Bend. Hudson's is one of Texas's best restaurants.
The trailer's origins are earlier, in 2002, when Blank took it to the Austin City Limits Music Festival. With each festival, the cones became so popular, that Blank decided to open the trailer permanently on South Congress -- one of the few areas that still feels like old Austin.
So what is a Mighty Cone?
The cone is a flour tortilla wrapped around fried chicken, fried avocado, mango-jalapeno cole slaw, and an ancho chil aioli. But that doesn't begin to give a hint of how good it tastes:
It is difficult to pinpoint what makes the Mighty Cone so great. Perhaps it is the texture of the unique breading made from nuts, seeds, corn flakes, sugar and spices. It creates a remarkable crunch, especially when you bite into a creamy slice of fried avocado.
Or perhaps it is the spicy, sweet sauce. It has a combination of peppers and sugar, which reminds me more of Thai peanut sauce than an ancho mayonaise.
The trailer also serves some other items -- sliders with "fois gras", a venison cone dog, and chili-dusted fries. They sound awfully good. But I was advised that I had to start by trying the Mighty Cone.
It was good advice. The Mighty Cone captures the feel of old Austin. Plus, I can't think of any better trailer food in Texas.