This was my first Christmas with my bf and I was invited to join him and his family at a lake house in Canyon Lake (an hour south of Austin). We had a ton of fun and food! I'm very glad and grateful that I spent the holidays with such a great group of people. :)
On Christmas Eve Eve, we went into Austin with his 2 sisters and brother in law. We had dinner reservations at Qui, Top Chef Winner Paul Qui's new restaurant. Our reservation wasn't until 8:30PM so we wandered around Austin and decided to get some snacks before dinner. My bf's brother in law recommended this bar called The Liberty. But more importantly, they had the food trailer, East Side King, in the back. I had heard of ESK and even bookmarked it on yelp, but I didn't know there were multiple types of cuisine from each trailer. This location was just a few yards down the street from the restaurant.
East Side King - at The Liberty
1618 1/2 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702
This one was the Asian fusion trailer. I also learned that it was a collaboration between Paul Qui and another guy. So we're going double Qui today! :P It was pretty cold outside but we were able to order and wait for our food inside the bar. I wanted to try everything on the menu, but gotta leave some room for dinner!
Poor Qui's Buns (2pcs. - Roasted pork belly in steamed bun, Hoisin sauce, cucumber kimchee, green onion) $7~
I can't resist pork belly. And I thought the name was so smart and playful. "Qui" is pronounced "key", so the name actually sounds like "Porky's buns. Teehee. :P The pork belly was totally tender and the buns were soft and steamed properly. Nommy!
Beet Home Fries (deep-fried roasted beets, Kewpie mayo, Shichimi togarashi, green onion) $7~
I've only had roasted beets one other time and it was pretty bland. This was the complete opposite! Fried to perfection, the outside was crisp and the inside tender. It had lots of flavor and paired so well with the mayo dip. I think this was my bf's favorite. It changed his life. hahaha.
Brussels Sprout Salad (fried Brussels sprouts, sweet and spicy sauce, shredded cabbage, basil, cilantro, mint, onion, jalapeno, deep-fried bun) $7~
I also lurrrrrv brussels sprouts, and these came highly recommended. It was fantastic. The sprouts with the fragrant herbs contrasted by the sweet and spicy sauce. Flavor explosion! I wished there was more brussels sprouts to herb ration though. I feel like there was some fish sauce in there, which added more complexity. The deep fried bun on top was great too. Lots of textures and flavors.
Chicken Buns (2pcs. - deep-fried chicken thigh in steamed buns, Thai flavored spicy mayo, basil, cilantro, mint, onion, jalapeno) $6~
This was delicious. I think it actually beat out the pork belly buns for me. The kicker... the Thai spicy mayo. That stuff was amazing!!
Everything was fantastic, but the restaurant actually texted me that they have a table for us earlier. We had checked in earlier so they said they would let us know if anything opened up. So we got in 30 minutes before our reservation! But that also means we scarfed down our snacks like a pack of hungry wolves. haha. Still tasty. I'd definitely go back next time in Austin. I still have 2/3rds of the menu to try!!! Great recommendation!
Quality of Food:
~~ CHOMP CHOMP ~~