When most people think of Austin food, they think of barbecue and Tex-Mex, but Austin is also becoming known for its food trailers. Several new ones have opened up in the past year, offering everything from upscale fare using local ingredients, sushi and Cuban sandwiches to Asian fusion, Indian and even disgusting sounding full-meal donuts that are supposedly delicious. And of course there are taco and barbecue trailers too.
Today my mom, sister Jo, brother-in-law Gabe and I sampled La Boîte. Not technically a trailer but a shipping container, this café offers pastries, coffee and sandwiches, using local ingredients when possible. I had been reluctant to try it since a place that bills itself as “true euro” is bound to turn me off. But La Boîte seemed like the perfect compromise on this sunny early spring day – vegetarian friendly and close to home (though not within walking distance). More importantly, most of the other trailers I’ve been meaning to try are closed on Sundays and/or during the day.
First the container. It’s a pretty cute setup. Just a plain gray container with a display case and not much else. You design nerds would probably like it. The whole front and one of the sides open all the way up, and there are plenty of little stools scattered around outside.
The food was ok, and according to Mom, the coffee was great. Which is pretty much what I expected. I would probably come here often if it were within walking distance and I drank coffee. The baked goods looked cute and homemade (I think they are homemade – they’re definitely not made on site). There was a good mix of sweet and savory as well as three different sandwiches. You have to get there early though for the croissants.
Jo and Gabe had the veggie sandwich, which was spinach and feta spread with pesto and roasted red pepper. It was a veggie sandwich for non-vegetarians. In other words, it didn’t really have enough substance if you need to be careful about eating enough protein. I had a ham and gruyère sandwich with “caramelized” onions and mustard. The flavors were nice, but the onions were sweated, not caramelized. The bread used for both sandwiches was not really baguette-like but soft, like Mom’s home-baked French bread (but better – sorry, Mom!). It was tasty and didn’t cut up your mouth, but the bread-to-filling ratio was a little too high. I suppose you can’t have too much filling though if you’re “true euro.” Mom’s ham croissant looked pretty good, but I didn’t taste it.
In all, it’s a cute place, and though I probably won’t make an extra trip just to come here, I might swing by if I’m in the neighborhood. I hope it does well – the more little places like this, the better!
More trailer reports sure to follow, perhaps when Tiffany comes to visit in March.