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Vaquero Cocina: Cowboy Cuisine with Central American Flair

10 August 2009 2,972 views 8 Comments

While I mentioned Vaquero Cocina as a great place in Austin to pick up BBQ on KGSR a couple weeks ago, I wanted to share a little more with you and finally settled on giving this lovely trailer it’s own post.

Vaquero Cocina is among the trailers on the South Congress strip — in the middle of a block that boasts Mighty Cone on one end and Hey Cupcake on the other.

signI’d been hearing really good things about Mambo Berry, the natural frozen yogurt trailer directly north of Vaquero Cocina, and decided to give both trailers a try for lunch.

How cute is the sign on their silver airstream? I didn’t get the full story about the people who run this place because it was just too hot to chat long but I did learn that it’s owned by a couple and their grown daughter. The couple reportedly used to be cattle ranchers and the daughter spent time in Central America.

The menu now makes a LOT of sense. Basically, BBQ meat with a spicy kick that is more than just Tex-Mex. They serve traditional foods like smoked brisket and sausage and fried pies alongside of Latin dishes like fried plantains, sweet potato fries, and Cuban-style corn on the cob.

vaquero foodI ordered a smoked brisket taco with cole slaw, cotija cheese, salsa, roasted garlic, and a lime to spritz alongside as well as smoked corn slathered with butter, cotija cheese, and paprika (or it is a similar spice). It brought me back to the fantastic corn at Cafe Habana in New York City.

What would I get next time? Plaintain chips, a roasted pepper, and definitely one of Mary Jane’s Apricot Fried Pies a la mode (Mary Jane is one of the owners).

This is the real deal with a smoker out back churning out the sausage, corn, and brisket and the family in the kitchen of the trailer making dishes to order. While not inexpensive — a brisket plate with two sides is $9.25, the flavors and love that went into my first taste make me want to go back for more!

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  • marshall

    Now my mouth is watering. I love corn on the cob served that way. Looks like I know what I'm having for lunch now!

  • El Mundo De Mando

    Seriously, I can't buck up $10 for trailer food. I wish these places were more affordable.


  • maggie

    That corn looks amazing and I bet its cheaper than La Condesa's street corn.

  • kdub512

    I've been dying to try this place. Thanks for exploring!

  • KP

    Ooohhh… you're right: now their concept makes total sense! Without your write-up, I probably never would have checked it out, as there is nothing more offensive than half-hearted BBQ – and a trailer doesn't exactly evoke images of a carefully tended slow smoking pit – but now I feel safe checking it out. Thanks, Jodi!

  • James

    Brilliant! I can't wait to get back to Austin…

  • Anonymous

    The brisket taco is incredible! It isn't advertised, but the whole strip of trailers is also BYOB.

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