There's no denying it: I'm obsessed with food. I think about it constantly. During the day, I am pretty much just counting the minutes until I get to eat again. That doesn't mean that all of my meals are especially unique or delicious, as I am also a creature of (extreme) habit and stick to a lot of the same foods for my day-to-day eating.
However, as a result of my food-obsession, I do occasionally get inspired to break the mold and do something a little bit crazy. This can manifest itself in a variety of ways, often involving making outrageous buttermilk biscuits sandwiches or seeing what I can stack on a pizza to put a unique twist on one of my favorite foods. Upon hearing that two of my favorite food trucks in Austin, La Barbecue and Garbo's Fresh Maine Lobster, would be moving next to each other in the new and growing GoodLife Food Park on East Cesar Chavez, an idea for a new and ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS food truck combo meal was born.
My love of La Barbecue is fairly well-known already, and visitors to JeffAmador.com are sure to be bombarded with photos from my past, present, and future visits to this member of the BBQ elite in Austin/Central Texas/Texas/America. La Barbecue's popularity has grown exponentially over the past couple of years, deservedly so. They are, without a doubt, serving some of the best BBQ around. There's a time and a place for more "straight up BBQ" discussion, but this story is about the combined culinary talents of the fine folks behind La Barbecue and Garbo's Fresh Maine Lobster.
Much like La Barbecue, Garbo's Fresh Maine Lobster has seen incredible growth in recent times. Owner/operator, Heidi Garbo, now has two trucks: one that roams the city during the week and sets up shop at farmers markets on the weekends, and one that will now sit permanently at the Good Life park. In addition, the Garbo's family grew by its largest member just a few weeks ago, with the opening of the Garbo's brick and mortar restaurant in the Wells Branch area of far north Austin. All three of these Garbo's outlets will continue to serve the freshest lobster in town, with new shipments arriving daily, direct from Maine.
So, now that La Barbecue and Garbo's Fresh Maine Lobster are next door neighbors, I set out on opening day to construct one of the most ridiculous and outlandish food truck combos yet. What do you get when you combine BBQ and lobster into one absurd sandwich? You get the "EL GARBO LOCO!!"*
Brisket: meet lobster!!
In one of my most proudest/shameful moments in my 31 years of life on this planet, I went from the La Barbecue line, where I ordered a simple chopped beef sandwich (okay, and also a slice of moist brisket and a pork rib...because I'm healthy), over to the Garbo's window, where I asked for my go-to lobster roll order: "just the roll...Connecticut-style." For the unitiated...first of all, get over to Garbo's and order a lobster roll...but, Connecticut-style is the simpler version of the two rolls that Garbo's offers. Large chunks of lobster meat are poached in a "healthy" portion of lemon butter and topped with a smattering of fresh chives. Despite my absolute LOVE of the Sweetish Hill Bakery rolls that Garbo's uses for their lobster rolls, I opted to make this monster of a sandwich an homage to La Barbecue's famous "El Sancho Loco" sandwich, which is stacked FULL of chopped beef, pulled pork, AND La Barbecue's "hot guts" sausage.
I wanted to be careful not to overload the sandwich (and my tastebuds), so, after consulting with my friend, Mike (*creator of the "El Garbo Loco" name, in fact), we decided that it would be best to nix the pork and sausage, thinking that the buttery lobster meat would play nicely with the juicy La Barbecue beef. These moments of online consultation are where the magic happens...brainstorming and meal-planning to such levels that must make our mothers proud!
Well, after donning my surgical glove, so as to not get delicious lemon butter all over my camera, I removed the crown from my BBQ sandwich, extracted the Garbo's lobster meat, and meticulously created my very own surf-and-turf sandwich. I was not disappointed, folks. As expected, the richness of both meats provided a fantastic rush of flavor with every bite. Having the beef chopped allowed for the meats to settle in together, and the sandwich held together surprisingly well. While certainly not the most *affordable* sandwich ever created, I will say that the El Garbo Loco was a pretty incredible way to celebrate two of my favorite food trucks becoming new neighbors. I wonder who else we can get together for future food truck combos? Let the brainstorming begin!!
900 E. Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78702