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East Side King

January 3, 2010

ESK trailer

This is one of those secret places that makes you feel happy to be an Austinite. East Side King is an awesome food trailer parked on the patio behind The Liberty bar on East 6th Street (1618 E. 6th Street). You actually have to go through the bar to get to the trailer, so for those of you who aren’t 21 or older, I’m so, so sorry that you have to miss out on this food! They’re currently open Thursday – Saturday from 7pm – 2am.

We’ve been there twice, and we have loved everything we’ve tasted. Last night, Justin and I stopped by to visit Paul, who’s one of the masterminds behind this little gem (can you believe this is just his side project? He’s also a full-time chef at Uchi). We ordered a few things for a late dinner.

One of our favorite things on the menu: Curry Buns ($4 for 2). These are deep-fried buns filled with peanut butter curry, basil, cilantro, mint, onion and jalapeno. We love that there is no shortage of spiciness in the food.

ESK curry buns

We also had Poor Qui’s Buns ($6 for 2), which are steamed buns filled with roasted kurobuta pork belly, hoisin sauce, cucumber kimchee and green onions. Holy moly, these are good.

ESK pork buns

Paul had a special of Tongue Buns ($5 for 2). I had no idea that I would EVER eat or like beef tongue, but after Paul made us a dish with it at Uchi, I was anxious to try it again. The steamed buns were filled with the tongue, cabbage, and hot mustard. Spicy and delicious.

ESK tongue buns

We also tried a Miso Ramen special ($7)… I am a HUGE ramen fan, so I’m always happy to taste a new version. This ramen is thick with noodles, chunks of pork, veggies and sticks of cha lua, a vietnamese sausage that’s kind of ham-like in flavor. My only wish is that I had an extra cup of broth to sip on… it was so deep and flavorful.

ESK ramen

On our previous visit, we also tried the Thai Chicken Karaage ($7), which is deep-fried chicken thigh with sweet & spicy sauce, basil, cilantro, mint, onion and jalapeno. The chicken is super tender and juicy. The Beet Home Fries ($5) are probably one of my favorite things on the menu. The beets are roasted, then deep-fried and served with kewpie mayo, schichimi tougarashi and green onion.

We’ve also tried the Fried Brussels Sprouts Salad ($5). The sprouts are tossed with sweet and spicy sauce, shredded cabbage, alfalfa sprouts, basil, cilantro, mint, onion and jalapeno. The salad was heavy on the cabbage, light on the sprouts… I would love just a plateful of the Brussels sprouts alone. :)

There are also dishes with ginger garlic jasmine rice, as well as home made cookies for dessert (the Root Beer Snickerdoodles are awesome). I think they’ll continue to have different specials based on what’s fresh at the market, and I’ll be happy to return and try them all.

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4 Discussion to this post
  1. Jodi says:

    I’m dying, dying to try East Side King especially after this review. Those curry buns sound amazing — as does everything else. Can’t wait!

  2. Crystal says:

    Let me know if you try it! :)

  3. Peter Tsai says:

    was the ramen REAL ramen… did it taste a lot different than the kind you buy at the grocery store? Had some disappointments here in Austin.

  4. Crystal says:

    Hmm… it definitely wasn’t like the ramen we had in the tiny ramen shop in Hawaii, but it was good. I have yet to find a perfect ramen spot in Austin.

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