Tag Archives: Food Trucks

Under the Same Shine Theory


Plenty of shine to go around, fellas and girls alike. And in the end, the shine you take is equal to the shine you make.


Michael O’Connor’s Cocinana is on the road. Rolling, rolling, rolling to you with fresh, hot tamales, kissing cousins to sandwiches. It’s a family affair after all, with Michael taking his inspiration, as well as at-the-knee cooking instruction, from many years in the kitchens of his grandmas and aunties. 

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Previous to the debut, Michael held a fabulous tamale fest at Clare and Don’s Beach Shack (sorry if you missed it) in Falls Church and the tamales were a shine-on-grandma smash hit! Wow, were they tasty. There will be more, so much more, than tamales from which to choose. Personally, I am praying for tortas. Michael, are you listening?


Sweet paint job and soon to include the names of those who gave to Cocinana’s GoFundMe, a lovely personal touch from an entrepreneur who is not short on gratitude or hard work.


Spanking clean and shiny. Makes a cook want to wrap on an apron and set to tamaleing. Out of my way, grandma!


The man strolls his empire. He’s got a truck of one’s own from which to sparkle and shine.



Hotfoot It!

The Best Wurst

Texans come by bratwurst honestly, as much as Midwesterners may believe this wurst to be theirs alone in the US.

There was, for many years, in Richmond, Virginia, the WisconsinTexas Border Cafe, now closed I am sad to report. Austin, Texas and Madison, Wisconsin share an aesthetic and emotional border, methinks, cafe or no cafe. If you are gonna hotfoot it between the two, you best do it in your kitchen or your imagination. The mileage is impressive.

Recently I had the privilege of speaking with Jon Notarthomas, proprietor deluxe of The Best Wurst in Austin, Texas. A charming follow-up email warmed my wurst-lovin’ heart,  signed by Jon thusly, till then, me’new friend. 

Jon’s words are as follows.

Best Wurst is the oldest food vendor in Austin and definitely the forerunner of the Food Cart Craze that has taken off here. I like to say we are the most efficient kitchen in Austin working from a 4 x 5 foot cart that kicks out over 80,000 sandwiches a year. I believe we’ll be hitting the magic  “one million served” mark this year!

I know Chicago Food Critic Heather Shouse recently featured Best Wurst in her book Food Trucks.

She did. Good book. Stash it in your glovebox, take off your kid gloves and get yourself to eating.

My heart is warm for the Texas form, so near is it, and so simultaneously remote from, Wisconsin. The two are bound by a heritage accessorized by a string of sausages.

The Border Cafe was conveniently located between The Great Peanut Tour and home. If you drove as the crow flies you hit the cafe at half past lunch. Those were the days.