My daughter and I visited Austin, Texas last week and didn’t stop until we landed at Chi’lantros, our favorite food truck haunt and home of the original Kimchi Fries. Now they have four brick and mortar locations throughout Austin. Although they changed their menu from a year ago, I knew exactly what I wanted, Pork Kimchi Fries, I missed them so much! Miss B was more adventurous and tried their chicken tacos with avocado. Hers looked delicious and mine was sublime. So if you are up for a Korean-TexMex culinary adventure, Chi’lantros is your place.
1509 S Lamar
5222 Burnet Rd
823 Congress Ave
11005 Burnet Rd
Other Restaurant Recommendations:
Mighty Fine Burgers
Monkeys Nest Coffee Shop
Amy’s Ice Cream
Hat Creek Burger
Lucys Fried Chicken
Magnolia Market at The Silos
For more Texas fun, 90 minutes north of Austin is Waco, Texas, home of Magnolia Market. This family friendly venue hosts a home decor store, food trucks, playscapes for children, a stage and vegetable gardens. It’s a great place to hang out, get ideas for home and garden decor, eat lunch and people watch. Any fans of the HGTV show Fixer Upper will recognize Magnolia Market, Chip and JoJo have poured their hearts into this place and created many jobs for the citizens of Waco. We really enjoyed loitering about, sipping refreshing drinks and getting inspired by the design of the outdoor and indoor spaces. Maybe I will paint the kitchen and make a shiplap backsplash for my stove. My kitchen could use a little love.
The first thing Miss B wanted to hit was the food trucks. Miss B tried some fresh coconut water straight from the coconut. It was much better than canned coconut water, slightly nutty, very interesting and refreshing. Luna Juice Bar offers fresh, cold-pressed juices, whole food smoothies and all natural, raw treats. Thanks Luna Juice Bar and super thanks Aprille!
601 Webster Ave
Miss B and I are HUGE fans of AirBNB, more to come of our amazing experiences later.
For our Waco adventure we decided on an AirBNB experience and WOW, we were not disappointed. For us, we always rent an entire apartment. The apartments take many shapes. A bungalow in a backyard in a central Texas small town, a bottom flat in the ‘cul-de-sac’ of a 1000 year medieval hill town in Tuscany, a flat below the owner of a 100 year old Parisienne condo, a flat next door to an Italian matriarch/landlord in Florence, Italy, a seaside flat overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The most wonderful, amazing, inspiring, crazy–thing is that these rentals are the same price as a hotel room, sometimes cheaper and you get so-much-more! A kitchen, bedroom, full amenities, sometimes a patio, balcony, washer/dryer and you live like a local. Shop like a local. Experience like a local. There is NO comparison to a hotel/motel. It’s just different. Try it once, and you will understand. In Waco we rented a backyard bungalow from Kelsey and Tripp.
Texas should be famous for their breakfast tacos, they are served almost everywhere. When we first moved to Utah I scoped out the area for breakfast tacos. I didn’t see any signs, asked a bunch of people “Where can I find breakfast tacos?”, searched the world wide of web. No luck.
Utah Valley has two fast food chains that serve a decent but artery clogging breakfast burrito and a pretty bad breakfast taco. A third fast food chain had a decent breakfast burrito with bacon, egg and cheese on the first try but subsequent tastings yielded the scraps of what was left and thrown into a raw, not handmade tortilla.
Texans are very competitive and each restaurant and food truck try to out-perform their rivals by developing that special touch. Most use handmade tortillas, in fact it’s a profession to be a tortilla maker. Note to self, “Self, you owe it to the Beehive State to start a food truck, with breakfast tacos and queso (more on queso later)”.
In Waco my mission was to get a breakfast taco at all costs! I ordered The Elephante from Lolitas Restaurant in Waco on a recommendation from Kelsey and Tripp. It is the perfect taco for somebody who can’t decide what kind of taco to get and has a healthy appetite. It has bacon, eggs, sausage, beans, potato and cheese with salsa on the side. It was hearty and delicious. I am more of a potato, egg and cheese kind of girl but I am glad I tried this one.
1911 Franklin Ave
I really like Waco, it has a small Texan town atmosphere but with all of the amenities to keep city slickers comfy.
100 miles north of Waco is Dallas which is where we actually started this trip. I helped Miss B move and we had the chance to finally visit the Perot Museum and partake of Torchy Tacos. I missed you queso!
When attempting to describe queso to a non-Texan, I always get that look, the confused, head slightly tilted followed by the question, “You mean Velveeta?”. Yep, it never fails. Queso actually is a Tex-Mex dip originally from Chihuahua, Mexico. It is a melted cheese dish with other ingredients that may include RoTel, salsa, beans, ground beef, cream, onions and spices. Tex-Mex restaurants are protective of their queso and usually the recipe is Top Secret, mandating that employees sign a non-disclosure agreement, yikes, super high pressure culinary manifesto stuff! That is how important queso is to Texans.
Locations Dallas area:
300 W. Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX
1855 Dallas Pkwy, Plano, TX
5921 Forrest Lane, Dallas, TX
1008 W McDermott Dr, Allen, TX
4000 Five Points Blvd, Arlington, TX
9440 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX
14760 Preston Rd, Dallas, TX
5600 SMU Blvd, Dallas, TX
2175 E Southlake Blvd, Southlake, TX
We LOVE science museums and this one takes the cake! I’ve heard many times, “Oh you HAVE to go to the Perot!” We were not disappointed. The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a gift to the public from many donors including the five children of Ross and Margot Perot, with a mission to foster the minds of little children and big.
Well that was the end of your four day fast & furious trip through Central Texas. If you have more time check out other great towns, the small ones are the best! Near Austin are Bastrop, Lockhart, Wimberly, Elgin, Shiner and Fredericksburg. Have fun y’all!!