Pleasant Surprises and Shocking Upsets at Gypsy Picnic

In Breakfast, Dessert, Dinner, Dish Review, Festival, Food Cart, Jasmin Sun, Lunch, Vegetarian on November 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Chimichurri Seitan Wrap at Conscious Cravings. Photo by Jessie Wang, Editing by Jasmin Sun

As you might have garnered from my comrades’ previous posts, the Gypsy Picnic food trailer festival took place this past Saturday (Nov. 6) from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.  It goes without saying that there were plenty of delicious eats to be had at the event–which was, for the record, like Austin City Limits for food–so I’ll be concentrating on what I found to be the most unexpectedly tasty dish as well as a cart that wasn’t all it was hyped up to be.

Entrance "Trailer" at Gypsy Picnic 2010. Photo by Jessie Wang, Editing by Jasmin Sun

I entered Gypsy Picnic with a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into.  I had taken a look at the list of participating carts beforehand, deciding that the festival was a mix of fairly established heavy hitters and nearly complete unknowns–i.e. unless you live/work in the area, you probably wouldn’t have known the restaurants existed.

So let’s start with the bad news.

Crawfish Pie at Kate's Southern Comfort. Photo by Jessie Wang, Editing by Jasmin Sun

Kate’s Southern Comfort.  I’m quite torn about writing a negative view for this trailer, especially since I feel that my low personal rating of them comes partially from my high expectations of their food.  After waiting a good 30 minutes in line, a friend and I purchased two of their three offerings: the Bleudin Pie, a creative take on the boudin sausage, and the Crawfish Pie, a similar fried pastry filled with crawfish étoufée.  Both of these pastries were purported to have flaky fried crusts, but they were simply fried.  And I mean really fried.  To quote Texas Monthly’s Megan Giller, “beyond recognition.”  Things got a little bit better once you got through to the fillings, however.  While I found far more molten bleu cheese than the rather vital porky component of the traditional boudin ball in the Bleudin, the étoufée came to me piping hot and crowded with crawfish (this is a great thing).

While Kate’s wasn’t a failure by any means, I had prepared myself to be blown away by her food, and that wasn’t what happened at Gypsy Picnic.

Kate’s Southern Comfort
1900 Barton Springs Road
Austin, TX 78704

W-M, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Closed Tuesdays

Conscious Cravings trailer at Gypsy Picnic. Photo by Jessie Wang, Editing by Jasmin Sun

Now for the good: the Chimichurri Seitan Wrap at Conscious Cravings.  Now, I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t expect much from this wrap when I first tore apart the foil.  As you can see, it’s not the most photogenic of foods.  But remember that thing they taught you in grade school about not judging a book (it’s a wrap in this case, but stay with me here) by its cover?  This, my friends is the ugly ducking of vegetarian wraps, because once you take a bite of its ugly mug, you will want to finish the whole thing soon after.  Let’s take a look at what’s inside: Seitan (grilled wheat protein), lettuce, tomatoes, onions, chimichurri sauce, and what I believe to be Daiya vegan cheese–please do correct me if i’m wrong!  As far as my own personal eating habits, I’m no vegetarian, but I do love my veggies.  When I inquired about the taste of wheat protein (twas my first time eating the stuff), “tastes like chicken” was the response I got.  Sounded good enough to me at the time.  Mr. Conscious Cravings’ description was actually quite wrong in the end–to me, it tasted more like a chewier tofu.  In any case, it was quite delicious.  So delicious, in fact, that I think I might wander over to the Longhorn Food Court sometime next week to grab a couple of those wraps for lunch!

Conscious Cravings
1901 Rio Grande (Rio Grande @ MLK Boulevard)
Austin, TX 78705

M-Sat, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Closed Sunday

Posted by Jasmin Sun

  1. I kinda waited for this post, because all my friends who went to the picnic either loved it or hated it. I love your detailed review about what was good and what was a disappointment. If possible, I’d love to see more reviews like this–I’m so curious about the whole Gypsy Picnic!

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