7/10/2013 01:58:00 PM

Ask the Austin Zagat Blog: How Can I Find Out When a Trailer Is Open?

Eating out in our fair city raises all sorts of burning questions. Is it okay to take a date to a food trailer? Yay or nay on cargo shorts at Uchiko? Then there are the more general questions we’ve always wondered but been too afraid to ask. Are you allowed to eat garnish? Who pays for that extra appetizer? 

That’s where the Austin Zagat blog comes in. Ask us anything your heart desires in the comments section below, and we'll give you our honest opinion.  

This week a reader asked us, What’s the best way to find out when a trailer is open? 

Ah, yes. The age-old Austin dilemma. You make plans to meet a friend at a popular trailer for lunch or dinner, doing your due diligence and checking their Facebook page to confirm hours. Then, after circling for parking for about 20 minutes, you get there, but there’s no there there. The trailer is shut tight, with a nifty homemade paper sign saying, “Closed for the day,” or “Be back soon.”

Why? Maybe it’s too hot and business has been slow, maybe they ran out of food, or maybe it’s a side project for a busy chef or entrepreneur who has other business to attend. Many trailers depend on foot traffic and happenstance customers rather than being an eating destination, which makes for inconsistent hours too.

We recommend calling before you go. Sounds simple but can be tricky, since trailer phone numbers are often hard to find. Check Facebook or Austin Food Carts, which provides the important info and listed hours. And once you get that number in hand, give it a ring. We know we’ve woken up many a trailer owner at 11:30 AM asking if lunch was on the way. (Photo courtesy Flickr user TheSeafarer)

Have a restaurant query you need answered? Ask us below in the comments section.


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