Bamn! automat, modern-day Manhattan; photo found here
Here in Austin, a city that loves to eat, we are experiencing a few food trends. First, the trailer eateries. From the banh mi trailer (Lulu B's) on South Lamar next to the office supply store, to the 'Hey Cupcake' trailer on happenin' South Congress, these places are springing up all over town. People are content to forego a seat and belly up to the window to order their sandwiches, cupcakes and even crepes.
No longer the demonized "roach coaches" of yesterday, which would make the rounds at many an office building and construction site to sell tacos and sandwiches, this new trailer fare is hip. I'm not sure when that conversion happened -- or how -- but it did.
Tonight my family and I ventured out for a cool summer treat at another trendy spot, the self-serve frozen yogurt joint. Do you guys have these where you live? I swear there are at least five that I know of in this town. You walk in, grab a container and serve yourself frozen yogurt from spigots in the wall; choose your toppings, then pay by the ounce.
Now, I'm obviously not a food writer. But all these places do have a certain retro vibe -- the trailers in a blatant way, and the yogurt places in more of a "retro futuristic" way. Specifically, the wall dispensers give a nod to the automats of the 1950s (and '60s, I believe). Remember those?
A quick Google search told me that automats are making a come-back. "Bamn!", in Manhattan, promises "comfort food that just makes you happy." Have any of our New York readers tried it? Were you happy after eating there? Give us a report.
We'll be eagerly awaiting this trend's arrival down here on the Third Coast. In five years or so...