Monthly Archives: March 2014

Summer Hault In The Food Truck Business

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Mimi's Trailer Park Abandoned During the Summer

Mimi’s Trailer Park Abandoned During the Summer

Those who have passed by Mimi’s Trailer Park Eatery on North Guadalupe Street during last summer might have noticed something unusual—there were no food trailers.

Some vendors had closed their mobile restaurants and others had relocated, but Mimi’s manager, Leanne Brawner, assured that the trailer park would be back in full swing by fall, and it was.

It comes as no surprise that so many food trucks had shut down or relocated, because it is the nature of the industry, especially during the slow summer season.

All the trailer parks see a huge drop in business that’s cyclical based on the Texas State University student population. When the students leave, all of the trailers suffer badly because that’s a huge percentage of the customer base.

However, during last summer, out of the seven spaces available for food vendors, Mimi’s already had two trailers getting set up as of July 8. Both were waiting until students returned to open their businesses.

In the heat of summer, the vendors know they’ll be miserable, and customers will be too. They don’t want to start their business at a time when it’s going to be really difficult. They wait for the upswing.

Owners Mark and Lori Jakobsen had operated their food trailer, The Big Kahuna, at Mimi’s since the trailer park eatery opened in September 2011, but they moved their business to San Marcos’ other popular food trailer park, The Hitch: A Mobile Eatery, during the summer months.

Due to The Hitch’s proximity to the San Marcos River, vendors know their business is more likely to thrive during the summer months at that location, than at Mimi’s.

But in the fall and winter when people aren’t floating the river, Mimi’s does better. Either way, both are great locations because San Marcos has a lot to offer.

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The Hitch: A Mobile Eatery

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On a concrete slab, not far from the refreshingly cool San Marcos River, a community of food trucks are stationed on East Hopkins Street.  On top of the concrete square, lavender picnic tables donned with umbrellas that provide some shade in the Texas heat, are set up inside the circle of food trucks.  Like other food truck set-ups, it’s nice because one is provided with multiple eatery options in one place.  I usually spend fifteen minutes or so walking around reading the menus before making the crucial decision.  There are a variety of food trucks to choose from at the site: St. Pita’s, Wat Zab Thai Food, Smoked Out Barbeque, Redbud Roasters, WANderLust, and soon to be Mambo Freeze.

Here are a few pictures from the food trucks that I have tried so far:

  • St.Pitas is a Turkish restaurant with gyros and hummus plates. 

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  • WANderLust serves gorment sandwhiches, Asian inspired noodles, and specialty drinks (non-alcholoic, there is no alcohol served at The Hitch).

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SM Food Trucks Mobile App

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My app would be used strictly for displaying information about The Hitch, Mimi’s, and Tanger Outlet Food Truck Plaza. On the home page, the user can choose to view either three of the food truck trailer parks.Once they choose a trailer park, it will take them to a page where they can view directions to the trailer park, its hours of operation, each food truck stationed there, plus each of the truck’s menus.This app would not only help people to figure out which park is closest to them, but it would also enable the user to pick out where they would like to eat without having to visit each individual truck or trailer park. People would use this app if they lived or are visiting San Marcos and they want to know more about the food trucks they see. The app has everything they need to know about the food trucks: name,location, and hours of operation of each food truck trailer park, a list of every food truck in each individual park, and each of their menus. The users could explore everything the food trucks have to offer, straight from home.

Mimi’s Trailer Park Eatery

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With Spring approaching and the warm Texas weather returning, Mimi’s Trailer Park Eatery in San Marcos, Texas is the perfect place to stop for lunch or dinner with your four legged friends.

Mimi’s Trailer Park Eatery is an outdoor community food court with several food trailers. Since September 2011, Mimi’s has been serving a variety of delicious and unique cuisines. The trailer park has various cuisine choices, ranging from tacos to waffles, sandwiches and more.  “Dreamland Waffle Company Food Court” serves dishes that are all made with gourmet waffles. For authentic Hawaiian food, including ceviche and pulled pork sandwiches, head to “The Big Kahuna”.  Another food truck parked here, “Nach Yo Taco”, has tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and other Tex Mex items. Be sure to save room for dessert from “Lovebaked Cupcakes”, where you can try tasty treats such as freshly baked cupcakes, cookies, and specialty drinks. Stop by Mimi’s and explore the delectable menus that these food trucks, as well as a few others, have to offer!

Mimi’s also hosts several events at the trailer park, including “Pre-gaming Thursdays”, where kids -and kids at heart- can come play a variety of games including a bean bag toss, Jumbo Jenga, washers, and many different board games.

There is no need to leave your dogs at home when dining at Mimi’s, as the trailer park is pet friendly. All of the trailers will have complimentary dog treats and “Lovebaked” will feature their own freshly baked treats. I’ve brought my Siberian husky, Knox, with me a few times and he absolutely loves the treats, as well as meeting new furry friends. It’s nice to have a place in town that allows dogs, because usually typically you have to go somewhere like Austin to find a place with good quality food that will let you bring your dog. Mimi’s is one of the few places in San Marcos where you can eat great food and bring your pets along with you.

Within walking distance of downtown San Marcos and the city park, Mimi’s is the perfect stop for a bite to eat after a day at the river or a walk around town.

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Bringing A Little Hawaii To San Marcos

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Big Kahuna

After getting back from Maui over the Christmas break, I could only think about one thing: “Where the heck can I get some of that delicious Hawaiian pulled pork?”  I thought I would never taste that delicious pork again, but then a friend took me to “The Big Kahuna” at Mimi’s Trailer Park Eatery, where I got my Hawaiian fix.

Between the three food trailer locations, Mimi’s, Tanger Outlet, and The Hitch, there are over a dozen of different types of cuisine offered.  The variety of cuisines, many of which can only be found at the trailers, are a main selling point for the food trailer parks.

The Big Kahuna, for instance, brings the flavors of Hawaii all the way to San Marcos.  It offers island style meals including Kalua pork and cabbage sliders, Hawaiian style chicken or beef Bulgogi, and even seared Ahi Tuna.  Owner Mark Jacobsen said his menu was inspired by meals he ate while living in Maui. “I really enjoy the Ahi Poki, it’s like Hawaiian ceviche,” said Big Kahuna regular Kerri Driver.  “It’s a large serving of tuna and it comes with a traditional side salad, a perfect meal before a game of sand volley ball.

San Marcos Residents Now Have A Cajun Option

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Native Louisianan chef, John White, opened San Marcos’ first Cajun restaurant in the form of a food truck.  “The Cajun Cruiser,” located at Mimi’s Trailer Park Eatery, brings Cajun and creole cuisines to local residents.

After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and helping with the start up of two Cajun restaurants in Austin, White recognized the need for one in San Marcos.  He felt he had plateaued were he was, so he decided to open the trailer.

Wasting no time, he started making a plan in December, purchased the trailer in February, and had the grand opening in March.

“The most difficult part about the process so far is working out all the kinks that I didn’t expect after opening,” said White. “There are a lot of details I had no idea about before I started this business.”

One factor he is not having trouble with: the food.  Included on the menu are traditional Cajun dishes such as gumbo, red beans and rice, and of course, Po Boys. Most of the recipes he already had, and he is still working on a few more.

“I’m working on a recipe for beignets that combines my mothers recipe with my own influences, so I can make them right here on site,” said White.

Also for dessert, Cajun Cruiser offers a unique twist on banana pudding using crescents instead of day old bread.  Whites personal favorite, another unique menu item, is the smoked salmon wrap.

“Now people don’t have to drive all the way to Austin to score some Cajun food,” said White.  “Plus I can provide the same quality food for a lesser price since I have less overhead.”

Although he has only been in business for a few weeks, White hopes to expand one day.

“I would love to open a full, sit down style restaurant in San Marcos,” said White.

As for now, the trailer is open for business and reeling in customers.  San Marcos is now offered traditional Cajun food right here locally at a fraction of the price you would pay elsewhere.