Saturday, March 31, 2012

Working with Other Trailer Rats

And I mean that in the most endearing way possible. It's been just barely over a month since I started working in a food trailer and already I feel an amazing connection to the culture and the people who have really built it here in Austin. I, of course, was fortunate enough to begin my industry hike in a park with 5 other trailers, the owners and workers of which have just barely started to show me the way. Whether they know it or not, I have already gleaned an incredible amount of knowledge and wisdom about the industry from them, and I can only hope to continue to do so.

Unfortunately, we at the East Side Drive-In have been suffering some significant losses over the last couple of weeks and will continue to endure them in the coming months. First we lost a trailer that made the only fish and chips I have ever tasted and, from what I understand, the only ones I will ever need to. The satisfaction derived from the light and crispy beer batter encapsulating a perfectly cooked Bits and Druthers fish cannot be described in words alone. And the malt vinegar used for dipping nearly makes me lose my capacity for speech altogether. Little did I know that about a week after my first addicting bite, the endearing little English trailer would be hitting the road, gone from my life forever. 

 Mmmmm. Mmmmm. Mmmmm.

Tonight marked an even more personal loss for all of us I believe. Pigvicious, the bacon-wrapped, grease-soaked wonder child served its last plate of bacon-wrapped, deep-fried pickles, to the dismay of every savvy Austinite. Even more disappointing than the loss of all things bacon will be the absence of those who slung it. I am nothing short of remorseful to have missed the opportunity to really know these vicious lovers, and I hope with all my heart that they will continue to be a part of my life in any capacity possible. They are truly some of the most genuine souls I have yet to encounter.

How can you not love that?

Over the course of conversation this dismal evening, I was warned a number of times not to aspire to own a trailer. My endless questions led me to the understanding that for many, this was not a lucrative business, which inspired an understandable resentment. And yet each of the trailer lackeys mentioned at some point that there was something they loved, something that drew them to the business. I get the feeling that these people are looking out for me and don't want me to undergo the stresses that owning a trailer entails, but the minute I reminded them that food is my passion, their worries immediately melted away. "Oh," they sighed in relief, "then there you go. You'll be fine." I couldn't help but allow an enormous smile to come over my face with the understanding that I was getting into something that would drive me into the ground. And yet I would delight in every second of it. 

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