This guest blog post is by Kristin Sheppard.
Austin is inundated with so many fantastic food trucks that it’s easy to forget they weren’t always here. In the last couple years there’s been a sonic boom, with gourmet delights exploding from every vacated Airstream, bus, and trailer. Each day it seems that new ground is broken and we are testing the limits of what complicated concoctions can be produced in a tiny room on wheels. Mere street food is elevated to an art form, and isn’t that the way it should be?
The Mighty Cone is a pioneer of the fancy-food-out-of-a-trailer movement. The fancy food originated at Hudson’s on the Bend on Lake Travis. The restaurant is famous for its Hot and Crunchy Trout and I can attest to how awesome that dish is. But at $36 a pop, it falls into the special occasion dinner realm. It’s no surprise that when Hudson’s owner, Jeff Blank, put that hot and crunchy mixture on chicken and charged $5 during ACL, it was a raging success. What started as a way to feed the music festival masses in 2002 turned into a crunchy sensation.
So what’s in that magic mixture? A delicious blend of sesame seeds, almonds, arbol chili flakes, sea salt, sugar, and corn flakes. When chicken, shrimp or avocado is coated in this bliss and fried, it’s everything that’s right with the world. It’s served on a bed of mango-jalapeno slaw and topped with ancho sauce, wrapped in a tortilla and placed in a cone. The cone is there for ease of holding. What should be a huge mess can actually be eaten quite gracefully. I love that the picnic tables at the trailer have holes to place your cones in, much like cup holders. Genius!
The chili-dusted fries earn raves and are also served in cones. The milkshakes are some of Austin’s favorites, and I’ve seen people stand in the freezing rain for them. (True story. It actually was cold and rainy in Austin one day. Hard to believe, I know.) Also notable are the sliders, for those too uptight to eat from a cone.
If you haven’t been yet, I recommend stopping by and sampling some crunchy, delicious food served in a nontraditional vessel next time you are strolling down South Congress.
The Mighty Cone is located at 1600 South Congress, Austin, TX 78704. Open Tues-Sun, 11 am – 9pm.
Kristin Sheppard is a local writer and authors the blog Mad Betty, a collection of Austin adventures, reviews, pop culture and other junk.
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