2.22.2013

Oh Lawd! The Caboose knocked my socks of. I'm officially a fried sea-food believer.


Let me start by saying this: I hate fried fish. Now that that's out of the way, I have fallen head-over-heals in love with a food trailer in San Marcos that specializes in, none other than, fried seafood. Weird, right? Confused the heck out of me. Well anyway, thanks to The Caboose, a fire engine red trailer parked at The Hitch on Hopkins St., I am a new believer in things fried.



So, let me start at the beginning. Every time I’d visited The Hitch, especially within the past few weeks, I would hear the cooks from The Caboose yell out orders that were ready to the hoards of posted up outside of their trailer, and I kept hearing something about some sauce, and everyone seemed like they HAD to have some. I know, it's a weird thing to think about, but I every single time I was there, I heard about this sauce...

Color me intrigued. While I would eat my pita sandwich or nibble on some kim chee noodles on the other side of the trailer food park, I would glance over at the fried seafood trailer, wondering about that sauce. I had to have some of that sauce!


Well, today when I decided to succumb to the grumbles in my tummy, I headed out to The Hitch. I was going to be bold. I was going to be daring. I was going to eat some fried seafood. Clearly, I wasn’t ready to be blown away, but I was literally THAT curious about the sauce.

The first thing I noticed when I walked up to The Caboose was the smell. It was heavenly, and not at all like fish. My mouth started to water before I even had a chance to glance over the menu. As I stood in line trying my hardest not to drool, I scanned the menu and was impressed with all the different offerings!



Oysters, shrimp, crab, calamari, catfish, and crawfish… yeah the list is huge. After some deliberation, I settled on the fried oyster plate, which comes with fries and hush puppies. But when I approached the service window, the cooks/owners, brothers Bruce and John, let me know that today was a very special day. Why? Because they were serving up their limited edition (aka they don’t do this often) Cajun (crawfish and jalapeño) chowder.

Sure, why not? I’d have some crawfish-jalapeño chowder. It honestly sounded amazing, especially with the frosty bite in the air.

After only a few minutes, my cup of chowder was handed to me to eat while I waited for the oysters to be ready. The chowder was a pale orange, and I could tell at first peek that this chowder was serious chowder. It was chock full of different, fresh ingredients like corn, peppers, big chunks of crawfish and other yummy bits.



Now, I wasn’t prepared for what was to come. My first bite gave way to niagra-mouth. I literally closed my eyes and uttered an incomprehensible word-string of joy. The flavors were complex, yet clean. There was beautiful spice from the jalapeños that complemented the buttery crawfish. The whole kernels of corn burst with juicy, sweetness and the potato chunks were tender and were a perfect counterpart to the other ingredients.  Wow. That was some slamming chowder. I almost felt compelled to walk up to the service window with my empty foam bowl like Oliver, “can I have some more, please?”



But before I totally embarrassed myself by doing so, my oyster plate was ready and instead of pathetically begging for more chowder, I picked up my box of fried goodies.



Here’s where I admit that I was nervous. Yep. Like I said before, I really try to stay away from any sort of fried seafood. I don’t totally have a reason, except for when I lived in Mississippi, I got super burned out on all things “fish fry.” So as my plate of fried oysters, French fries and fried hush puppies stared up at me, and me back at it, I decided to just put the past behind me and take a bite.



WOW. ZING. WHAM. BOOM! Those are my awesome sound effects for what went on in my mouth. The oysters were so fresh, and the briny taste of the sea cut through the delicate, crunchy batter. What surprised me more than the amazing flavor was that these delicious fried morals were not totally greasy.

I dipped my next bite into the sauce I’d heard so much about and yep, it is definitely a must try. It is FULL, spicy, sweet, tart and savory, but somehow it manages to not totally overwhelm the delicate seafood.



As I was licking some of that awesome sauce from my fingers, the cook/owner, Bruce, offered those of us sitting outside his trailer a sample of their funnel cake fries.  My ears perked up like a dog’s. FUNNEL CAKE FRIES? Yes, please.



Now, this wasn’t just any funnel cake. Nay. See, growing up in New Jersey, I’ve swatted my fair share of seagulls in an effort to protect my funnel cakes. This was something totally different. These pieces of delicately fried dough were drizzled with raspberry sauce, vanilla cream and dusted with powdered sugar. Yep, that’s right. Bruce also let those of us lucky enough to sample these light, crispy and so totally indulgent pieces heaven, that they also serve them up with chocolate and caramel drizzles. I can’t see how that would be better than this combination, but it’s there if that’s what you’re into. Wow. That’s all I have to say. Wow.  

Another confession: I actually have goose bumps on my arms right now thinking about this meal. Not only was I not prepared in any way for how awesomely delicious and fresh the food was going to be, but also I wasn’t prepared to have my socks blown off.



You know what my favorite thing about today’s experience was though? It wasn’t the delicious plate of fries, or the crunchy and juicy oysters. It wasn’t the out-out-bounds chowder or the unique and exciting funnel cake fries. It was being able to chat with brothers behind the trailer. Bruce and John came into the world of food trailers sort of on a whim, and I am so happy they decided to dive into the unknown. Their passion and hard work is apparent, and the love they have for providing their guests with the best dang meal they will have that day is tangible. I’m so happy I got over my fear of fried and enjoyed something stunning. 


Want to go?
The Hitch: 312 E. Hopkins, SMTX, 78666

When can you go? 
Tuesday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Want to call? 
(512) 754-3303

4 comments:

  1. I was shocked to read this I am from the southeast side of Texas known for its seafood so I was so happy to see this place so I stopped in and tried one night had the calamari it was bad pre-bought and frozen I had asked first if it was fresh the seafood and they told me no it was hard to do fresh in such a small trailer I almost said most trailers are smaller and they do fresh but I was in hunger mode. Maybe I just expected more. but now I want to try the chowder.

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    1. You really do need to get out and try the chowder next time they have it available. It's SO good. I'm sorry that you didn't have as stellar of an experience as I did at The Caboose, but I truly enjoyed the awesome plate that was handed to me! Maybe you should give it another go? Just a thought!!

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  2. I love this trailer. Their fried shrimp is amazing and their fried pickles are wonderful. I would suggest giving those a try next time :) And yes, the brothers are great too. Their personalities are funny and they are always smiling!

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    1. YUM... fried pickles... I love pickles so I can almost guarantee that I'll fall in love with fried ones :)

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