By Bailey Brammer | Editor-in-Chief
Although Austin City Limits music festival is full of a variety of sounds and styles of music, festival-goers can also enjoy locally famous food vendors who serve everything from frozen cookie dough to classic Texas barbecue.
Day one of our ACL adventure was loaded with delicious eats, which included macaroni and cheese-filled grilled cheese sandwiches and frozen bananas decorated with all things sweet. With more than 33 unique dining options, days two and three were bound to be just as good, if not better.
After waiting in line at security for what seemed like hours, I knew I needed something filling that still embodied the “ACL experience.” The aromas of pizza fresh out of the oven and burgers hot off the grill were tempting, but I decided to try my luck with brisket-covered nachos from Trudy’s Tex-Mex booth, and was incredibly satisfied with my choice.
The nachos were brimming with smoky brisket and spicy cheese sauce, along with sour cream, guacamole and salsa. Even though the chips were a little soggy and the toppings a bit cold, every bite had enough flavor to make up for the nacho’s slight shortcomings. The cheese/barbecue combination gave the nachos a nice kick, which was just enough to handle without being overwhelmed by heat.
Tino’s Greek Cafe
Following a day of sun and songs, I welcomed anything that promised a memorable bite and would give me the energy I needed to continue for a few more hours. For dinner, I was torn between a chicken tikka masala wrap from Lambda’s Indian Kitchen and a gyro wrap from Tino’s Greek Cafe. After five minutes of deliberation, I selected the latter and was rewarded with my favorite ACL meal thus far.
The gyro meat was hot and tender, and was cradled by a soft, warm pita. The wrap was topped with tomatoes, onions, lettuce and Tzadziki sauce, and customers also have the opportunity to drizzle cayenne pepper sauce on their already loaded wraps, which I, of course, took advantage of. Each taste of the wrap brought a new flavor: the creaminess of the Tzadziki, the crispness of the fresh vegetables, the smoke from the pepper sauce and the sweet doughiness of the pita. I was reminded of how much I enjoy Greek cuisine and scolded myself for forgetting how delicious gyros can be.
Skull and Cakeboxes
As music dwindled, lights dimmed and crowds dispersed, it was time for dessert. ACL offers few choices for a sweet bite amid savory snacks, and Austin’s Skull and Cakebones’ ice cream “cakewich” seemed to be one of the better options. Described on the menu as “chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream rolled in chocolate chips, toasted coconut and almonds,” this morsel promised tastiness but came up short.
The cakewich was small and did not seem worth $7, and the cake itself was slightly dry and seemed as though it had been frozen just a tad too long. The ice cream was velvety but did not have much going for it flavor-wise that would have made it stand out. A bite that included toppings helped, but the chocolate chips and almonds were almost lost in an overwhelming taste coconut.
I understand it can sometimes be difficult to deliver gourmet snacks under harsh conditions such as a music festival; however, other vendors certainly lived up to their word, which makes me question why Skull and Cakebones cannot.
ACL boasts many options for festival-goers when it comes to food. While day two served up my favorite bite of the day with Tino’s Greek Cafe, I was less than impressed with my frosted ice cream sandwich. Of the more than 33 dining choices, though, everyone is sure to find their perfect bite.