Two of Austin’s beloved Asian fusion trailers will battle it out at Food Trailer Austin’s first-ever Mobile Food Throwdown on Feb. 22. The Peached Tortilla, an Asian-Southern American mashup helmed by Eric Silverstein plans to take on on Jae Kim’s Mexican-Korean outfit, Chi’Lantro, famous for their kimchi fries.
By Kristen Hubby
What: Mobile Food Throwdown: Chi’Lantro v. The Peached Tortilla
Where: Draught House Pub & Brewery
When: 2 – 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22
Food Trailers Austin, a website dedicated to cultivating Austin’s food truck scene through information and events, will host the throw-down. Every month, they host Trailer Food Tuesdays — an exposition of eight to 10 trailers that congregate on the terrace of The Long Center — but this is the first event they will host where the trucks are in competition.
The event's producer, Tony Yamanka, started hosting these events because he loves food trucks and he sees it as an opportunity to highlight the thriving mobile food scene in Austin. “We thought it was time to put the great question to rest. Who has the best Asian Fusion in Austin?” Yamanka says. He paired The Peached Tortilla and Chi'Lantro up specifically because he felt they were equally balanced for competition. “On top of that, Jae and Eric are good friends. It's fun to see them give each other grief,” Yamanaka says.
On the day of the throwdown, each trailer will serve an existing menu item, as well as a new dish that represents their brand of street food. The event will also feature door prizes from Trailer Food Diaries, and, with the purchase of a ticket, attendees will receive a New Belgium pint glass. For an additional $8, each ticket comes with a t-shirt.
Earlier this week, ORANGE writer Kristen Hubby visited both Chi’Lantro and The Peached Tortilla to get an idea as to what to expect this Saturday.
The Peached Tortilla:
The smell of cilantro and French fries filled the air surrounding The Peached Tortilla truck, near N. Capitol of Texas Highway at Brazos Plaza. I tried the Bánh Mì taco, which burst with tangy flavor from the pickled daikon carrots and Sriracha mayo. The Vietnamese pork filling was juicy, but too fatty for my liking and the Pad Thai taco tasted bland, which was disappointing.
The Bacon Jam fries were loaded with a house-made bacon jam, a fried egg, more Sriracha mayo and topped off with green onions. Every bite continued delivering the unique flavor and the egg enhanced the sweet and saltiness of the bacon jam — definitely worth the twenty minute drive.
Chi’Lantro’s convenient 24th and Rio Grande Street location is a calm environment — when they’re not mad-house busy.
The Bulgogi tacos were simple and delicious, especially when paired with savory Kimchi Fries made with sweet and spicy pork and caramelized kimchi topped with grilled onions, cheese, cilantro, Sriracha, sesame seeds and a flavorful “magic sauce.”
Both Peached Tortilla and Chi’Lantro have their own unique take on Asian Fusion that is worth experiencing. Each of them have made a name for themselves in the trailer world for synthesizing food cultures, but only one will be crowned victorious at the Mobile Food Throwdown.