It seems like suddenly there are a lot of Thai trailers around. Maybe I just finally noticed them? Over the last few weeks I have tried a couple in South Austin and I have to say Coat and Thai on South Congress is my favorite.
The first thing to like about them is that they have a flashing “vegan friendly” gif on the very front page of their site, also they have a site with such wonderful features as showing when they are open, what the menu is, and even has their phone number, which seems increasingly rare for trailers. So far they have even been open when they said they’d be open so I am pretty excited about that. The menu has all the regular Thai dishes like pad see-ew and green curry but I am excited that they also have some dishes that are a little more rare like Pad Ka-Pao (below) and even Pad Peanut sauce. So far they have been able to veganize everything I have asked for too.The tofu is seasoned nicely, toothsome, and delicious and the vegetables were fresh and crisp which is pretty important in my opinion. I enjoyed the peanut sauce dish a lot, I was so hungry that I even neglected to take a photo, it was very curry tasting and not too fatty and probably the dish I will get most often. I also tried a couple of the noodle dishes that seemed standard but certainly good enough. I really want to get the pineapple fried rice or the green curry fried rice next. My only complaint is the Styrofoam containers, I don’t know why that is the standard for Asian takeout in Austin but it drives me nuts. They should be banned. It seems strange that Coat and Thai has a big “we recycle” button on their site but still uses these containers. Next time, I will try and remember to bring my own. But, there will be a next time.
Every year Austin host the ACL music festival which is like a typical festival in the park with multiple stages of large touring acts. One aspect that makes ACL a little bit different and a little better is that instead of the typical festival food (elephant ears, corn dogs, and cheese fries) ACL has local Austin restaurants set up stands and come up with items just for the festival. This usually means a lot more veg options than the corporate fair and better food. One breakout is “the chicken cone” and though it sounds like something you would get at any state fair, according to my friends it is worth going to the festival for the deep fried chicken surrounded in coleslaw with a spicy dressing all surrounded by a tortilla like cone. After years of huge lines at the festival the restaurant decided to open a trailer on South Congress and I checked the online menu and it seemed to have some possible veg options so we were on our way.For vegetarians they have a deep fried avocado cone, and I say vegetarians because the coleslaw is not vegan. I got mine without and found the fried avocado pretty lacking without any accompaniments. That’s not to say it wasn’t good; the batter was crisp and tasty and the avocado was in really big chunks, it was just lacking a flavor contrast. Some spinach and tomatoes would have made it worth returning. Sadly, I won’t be. One reason I thought the whole trip might be worth it is because the menu also mentioned chili-dusted fries. In reality, they were just somewhat soggy regular fries, served in a cone, and lightly sprinkled with chili which I could hardly taste.
The real slap in the face from the mighty cone was their descpription of their “Veggie Sliders”. Online it only mentions that they exist but at the store they sounded great, I don’t remember the details because I was shocked and appalled by the note that the sliders were “Almost vegan, just a little butter”. You F****** bastards. You could easily make these vegan, you know how to do it (a little oil or margarine instead) and instead you choose to say “Screw you” to any vegans who might fall in love with your trailer, write blog posts about it, and send recommendations to everyone in the vegan blogosphere. Instead, you have to get uppity and laugh at us with your stupid sign proclaiming your love of butter. Really, if the sign had said “Not Vegan” I would have respected them for being clear, but the taunting “Almost Vegan” sent me into a rage.