In a field on the outskirts of Buda, among a collection of cornhole boards and horseshoe pits, two restaurants-on-wheels at 967 Food Truck Park serve authentic Thai and Mexican cuisine.
Taqueria Los Chilangos
Taqueria Los Chilangos owner Cristina Mendez is from Mexico City and serves up the same foods she grew up eating, she said.
“The food is 100 percent authentic Mexican. It’s not Tex-Mex,” Mendez said.
Taqueria Los Chilangos serves most of its customers during lunchtime, and its most popular dishes are the mini taco plates ($6.99) and the Torta Chilanga ($6.50), she said. The mini taco plate comes with five mini tacos with either al pastor—a slow-roasted pork—or steak, all for $6.99. The Torta Chilanga comes with beans, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, avocados, mayo milanesa, chorizo, ham and cheese.
Mendez looked into food truck parks in Austin but ultimately decided to bring her truck to Buda.
“There’s no other Mexican food trucks around in this area. I really like the area. It’s a calm and simple place,” Mendez said.
Mendez decided to start her own food truck after gaining experience working in other Mexican restaurants.
“Working for other people is good but doesn’t give me the same satisfaction and doesn’t bring me the same happiness,” Mendez said. “I’m happy in my business.”
Thai 2 U
Ivori Bunthanom, owner of Thai 2 U, said it was her niece Ruth Musbach’s idea to open a food truck. Musbach wanted to spend more time with her baby son, and a food truck allowed more flexibility than a 9-to-5 job.
Thai 2 U is a family effort; relatives will often give their advice for new ways to cook the food the truck offers, Bunthanom said.
“The whole family incorporates ideas together and supports us,” she said.
Before opening Thai 2 U in April 2015, Bunthanom had never worked at a food truck, though she had experience in restaurants in New York City and Portland, Oregon cooking Cambodian, Laotian and some Chinese food.
“But my main passion is Thai food, because of all the flavors,” Bunthanom said. “It’s just layers and layers and layers of flavors.”
Everything on the Thai 2 U menu is popular with customers, Bunthanom said, but Thai fried rice and the pad thai, a stir-fried noodle dish, are classics. All entrees cost $10, tax included.
“We just love to cook,” she said. “We want to share our healthy food with everyone.”
The community’s encouragement allowed Thai 2 U to celebrate its one-year anniversary in April, she said.
“The neighborhood is very, very friendly and supportive,” Bunthanom said. “They actually appreciate [us] being here and try to give us the support we need to keep us here.”