Ah, the Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL) is upon us!! The only thing that makes me as excited to see the incredible bands this year (I’m dying to see Belle & Sebastian and St. Vincent) is the food!! Forget boring festival food like lame “hot dogs” and nachos slathered in questionable fluorescent orange looking cheese, you’ll be able to fill up on mouth-watering food from chefs and restaurants that are not only loved and respected in Austin, a lot of them are lauded on a national level.
Make sure to tag any food photos that you take with the hashtag #HGAatACL, I’ll be reposting and re-gramming all your food photos on my Instagram account. Also, make sure to check out the blog after weekend two, I’m going to be covering the media area along with other talented bloggers/photographers/writers, etc. so I’m sure I’ll be able to get really fun behind-the-scenes content!
Ok, on to the food!! For the sake of simplicity and because I don’t have time to cover every single vendor, I’m going to fill you in on my favorites, make sure to check them out!
East Side King
One of Austin’s favorite food trucks is serving up three options that have basically put them on the U.S. food truck map. If Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern visit this place when they’re in town, you know it’s got to be good. The chicken kara-age is a glorious deep-fried chicken thigh, served with a sweet-spicy sauce, fragrant basil, fresh cilantro, mint, onion, and topped with jalapeno. They’re also serving up Poor Qui’s Buns, which is juicy roasted pork belly in fluffy steamed buns, with hoisin sauce, green onions, and cucumber kimchi for some kick. They will also be serving their Brussels sprout salad (in most cases can be made vegan/gluten-free), which will make you like Brussels sprouts if you don’t already. They fry the Brussels sprouts, and serve them with their sweet-spicy sauce, shredded cabbage, basil, cilantro, mint, onion, jalapeno, and a deep-fried bun. It’s basically an explosion of flavor in your mouth.
Chi’Lantro is serving up their famous kimchi fries, made with delicious caramelized kimchi, fresh Korean BBQ, chopped grilled onions, monterrey and cheddar cheese, their magic sauce, cilantro, spicy sriracha and crunchy sesame seeds. If that’s not enough, they’ll also be selling their fabulous Korean fried chicken or tofu tacos.
Austin may be known as much for its tacos as it is for its music (maybe, maybe not). The one place that is known for its tacos is Torchy’s Tacos. This year they’ll be satisfying our taco cravings with some of their most popular tacos: the scallywag and their green chile pork taco, and will also be complementing these delicacies with their street corn and mouth-watering green chile queso & chips!
Tino’s Greek Café
I don’t know about you, but I’m a HUGE fan of greek food, especially gyros, falafel, greek salads, etc. Tino’s Greek Café will be there to satisfy that craving by selling their delicious gyro wraps (spiced meat cooked on a spit), falafel wraps (deep-fried patties made with chickpeas), and for those health nuts out there, a yummy veggie plate.
Chef David Bull
Chef David Bull, owner of Congress and Second Bar+Kitchen, will be one of the featured chefs at the Chef Showcase on Saturday, October 11th. He will be there on behalf of the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival, and will be treating us to his delicious pork belly bahn mi served with chili mayo, carrot slaw, nam pla, cilantro and mint, a grilled portabella banh mi (a vegetarian option), and his phenomenal truffle pomme frites served with parmesan and a truffle aioli.
The Mighty Cone
Meat in a cone? Yes, and it’s mighty delicious. This is the only time you can get Hudson’s on the Bend food for a steal, and the quality is excellent. They’re going to be dishing out their Hot & Crunchy chicken, shrimp, or avocado cones, along with the combination of chicken & avocado or shrimp & avocado cones. What makes these cones “hot & crunchy” is an almond, sesame seed, chili flake, corn flake, and seasoning crust that gets fried into the ingredient of choice. They then wrap it in a tortilla cone and top it with a mango-jalapeno slaw, and then ancho sauce. Also make sure to check out their venison sausage wrap, and for dessert: death by chocolate!
What’s some great festival food without dessert? If you’re around for weekend 2, make sure to get in line to enjoy one of Coolhaus’ decadent ice cream sandwiches (there are gluten-free and vegan options), some yummy ice cream (gluten-free and vegan options apply), or just a delicious cookie.
The weather during both weekends should be pretty nice, however whether it’s hot or cold, it’s always a good time to enjoy one of GoodPop’s delicious popsicles. They started at the Austin Farmers Markets back in 2009, and they’ve been a hit ever since. The watermelon agave, hibiscus mint, and strawberry lemonade popsicles are gluten-free and vegan. Their coldbrew coffee popsicle is not vegan, but it is gluten-free.
Other notable mentions without pictures are Frank Sausage & Waffle Fries if you like both those things :), High Brew Coffee for some delicious all natural cold brewed coffee, Juiceland for fresh pressed juices, Lambas Royal Indian Foods for some phenomenal indian food treats, and The Peached Tortilla for their banh mi tacos.
Make sure to download the free ACL Music Festival Official App by C3 Presents to stay up to date on any news and updates related to the festival. You’ll also be able to go to the “Austin Eats” section of the app to check out the entire list of food vendors and their menus. Lastly, don’t forget to tag your food photos with #HGAatACL so I can re-gram them on Instagram, along with the official #ACLfest for the two weekends. Let me know what food ends up being your favorite!!
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