In my previous post, Q: Why Austin A: Why not?, I moved to Austin in August 2014, without knowing much about the city. Like many people that are foreign to an area, I used Yelp and Google Reviews as an easy resource to find local places to spend my hard earned cash. After having some great experiences at local spots - and some quite disappointing despite the "stellar reviews” - these user review sites lacked telling the story behind the business and most importantly, the owner.
#GOLOCALATX is an ongoing YouTube mini series that explores new and/or popular local businesses in Austin. Besides live music (literally, after you land in the Austin Bergstrom Airport there is a band playing) food trucks are popular attractions in Austin. To start off the series, I chose five, diverse food trucks around the city: T'loc's Sonora Hot Dog, Hot Rod Coffee Trailer, Chaat Shop, Way South Philly and Luke’s Inside Out. All of the food trucks featured boasted, on average, four-star reviews on Yelp and Google. To verify these reviews, I visited each place, enjoyed the food and asked the owner if they wanted participate in a mini series I was producing and they happily accepted.
|Luke Bibby - Owner of Luke's Inside Out.|
“Keep Austin Weird” is a popular slogan that I thought explained the weird characters you see wandering around the city. Apparently, it is a slogan adopted by the Austin Independent Business that promotes small businesses in Austin. The goal of #GOLOCALATX is to bring a new and innovative way to experience Austin’s local culture and the people that maintain ‘the weird’. All of the owners explain his or her journey that lead them to the food truck they created, along with tasty images of their highly reviewed craft. For one owner, it was the recession of 2008 that lead him to start his own business based on the Popular Rocky series. For a couple, originally from Tucson, Arizona and Honduras, it was their combined love for food and Latin American background that lead them to run a very successful Sonoran inspired food truck. At the end of each episode, there is an interactive map, guided with annotations (unfortunately only available on desktop), that link one food truck to another, so viewers can experience the food truck capital of the world, from anywhere in the world.
At the end of May 2015, #GOLOCALATX will finish its first season of food trucks and start on season two - local boutique fashion. After moving to this city, almost a year ago, this project has connected me with unique, interesting, determined people that make Austin a popular destination for foodies from around the world.