Food Issue Extra Helpings: A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You

Take your love and your love for food on a journey this V-Day

Gourrrrrrdough's... (photo by John Anderson)

Few other secular holidays are as polarizing as Valentine’s Day. Whether you subscribe to the commercial-driven expectations for an evening of epic romance or plan to go about your day as if there were nothing to set it apart from any other Friday, the fact remains:

You, dear Austinite like to “wine and dine.” As you prepare yourself for the impending flood of best! partner! everrr! social media posts, you may also be scrambling to prepare for your own evening of romance. Here’s a word of advice: Show off that creative side and consider a variation on the traditional date: a traveling dinner. This play on the traditional three-course meal means more food, more diversity, and more fun.

Begin your dinner adventure at one spot for appetizers, then pick up and settle in somewhere new for the main course before ending the night at a final location for a dessert. Too much food? On a budget? Easy. Split the main course to make for a cheaper night and more indulgence in your other courses and to get closer to your lover.

Here are a few themed traveling dinners with all three dining locations within the same general area. Feel free to mix and match from within the categories or get inspired to create your own three-course adventure.

South First Food Trailer Traveling Dinner

Appetizers: Torchy’s Tacos
1311 S. First
Whet your appetite with Torchy’s queso and chips at this food trailer location. Try your best to resist the tacos before moving on to your main course…

Main Course: Dock & Roll Diner
1503 S. First
If it’s before 8pm, walk two minutes south to Dock & Roll Diner. Let those lobster rolls melt in your mouth. If it’s after 8pm, try the nearby Mellizoz Tacos for a delicious taco main dish. The fried avocado taco is a personal favorite.

Dessert: Gourdough’s Doughnuts
1503 S. First
If you’ve experienced Gordough’s before, you know what you're in for. Go ahead and wrap up your night with your favorite doughnut-shaped heart attack. If you’re new to Gordough’s, a word of caution: Taking on one of these enormous pastries alone could leave you down for the count for the rest of the evening.

South Congress Food Trailer Traveling Dinner

Appetizers: Fat Cactus
1318 S. Congress
Now that the dust of the food trailer migration from SoCo Avenue has settled, this is one of the gems of a trailer left behind. Kick off your night with Fat Cactus’ green chili hummus and tortilla chips.

Main Course: Ms. P’s Electric Cock
1101 S. Congress
Take a moment to let your inner teenager giggle at this chicken trailer’s innuendo of a name, and then get down to businesses with their crispy fried chicken and coleslaw.

Dessert: Hey Cupcake
1511 S. Congress
Claim a picnic table for dessert or get your cupcake to go at this trailer solely dedicated to huge, salivation-inducing cupcakes. Their tagline speaks for itself: “100% Non-Fat Free Goodness”.

The Asian Invasion (In My Mouth) Traveling Dinner

Appetizers: Hai’s Food and Lemonade Stand
2100 21st
You’ll have to strike early to take advantage of Hai’s Food and Lemonade Stand – it closes at 6pm – but you won’t regret biting into the cheap and delicious egg rolls that have been a godsend to students on a budget since 1976.

Main Course: Piranha Killer Sushi
207 San Jacinto
Enjoy the Downtown Austin vibe and a sushi boat-for-two with your date at Piranha Killer Sushi. Consider the exertion of finding parking just another stop along the adventure, even though we all know what a nightmare it can be Downtown.

Dessert: Imperia
310 Colorado
Slip into this Asian fusion sushi bar to finish your night with drinks and dessert. Two favorites are the banana cake with caramel and the giant fortune cookie.

Texas Knows Tex-Mex Traveling Dinner

Appetizers: Casa Colombia
1614 E. Seventh
Get a feel for the homemade South American style food that Casa Colombia prides themselves on with an appetizer order of empanadas or aborrajados (sweet fried plantain stuffed with mozzarella cheese).

Main Course: Vivo
2015 Manor Rd.
The trendy, low-lit atmosphere of Vivo is one reason to check it out. The steak jalisco is an even better reason. Try not to K.O. on their delicious menu before moving on to sweets for your sweet…

Dessert: MiJo’s Tex-Mex & Cantina
1000 E. 11th #150
For your last stop of the night, enjoy the sopapillas or trés léches cake with a margarita in hand. Relax and allow yourself a congratulations for filling your stomach with so much goodness.

Take your sweetie for a twirl around all this Austin culinary goodness and create your own take on the traveling dinner.

Happy traveling, lovers!

Read more Extra Helpings stories at The Austin Chronicle’s First Plates Awards & Food Issue hit stands Thursday, February 13.

Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

If you want to submit a recipe, send it to

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Food Issue
Food Issue Extra Helpings: My First Paycheck Was -$2.95
Food Issue Extra Helpings: My First Paycheck Was -$2.95
On being a terrible waiter

Andy Campbell, Feb. 19, 2014

Food Issue Extra Helpings: Picking
Food Issue Extra Helpings: Picking
What could possibly be the reason for the way I eat?

Jordan Gass-Pooré, Feb. 19, 2014

More by Lizzie Jespersen
More to the Story
More to the Story
Advocates work to change the conversation around human trafficking

April 22, 2016

Breaking the Chains
Breaking the Chains
The practice of slavery takes new forms – and those who fight it shape new strategies

June 19, 2015


Traveling dinner, progressive dinner, food issue, food trailers, food trucks, Gourdough's, Torchy’s Tacos, Dock & Roll Diner, Fat Cactus, Ms. P’s

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle