Austin has many food trucks through its hip and musical streets. Each one successfully exhibiting a tremendous amount of cultural influences. I’ve tried many different food trucks over the course of ten years and I am always surprised by the quality that can be delivered from the inside of an old airstream. Last week, I noticed a food truck I hadn’t seen before next to my frequent coffee stop on east 7th street. The truck is called Boteco, and the owner is a native Brazilian with a mission to bring the “laid-back Brazilian vibe to Austin!” This is exactly what is written on their website and what a Boteco truly is. Boteco, meaning warehouse, is a night life hang out spot created for lovers and friends that are looking for cold beers, tasty appetizers, and a casual atmosphere. They are infamous in Brazil and located all over just as Starbucks is in the United States. Being half Brazilian myself, I knew I had to try it out.
Days later, I rode my bike over on my lunch break with two friends and we stood at the trailer window ready to order. Brazilian tunes were playing, my foot was tapping along with the beat, and the server was friendly and personable just as Brazilians typically are. I was already feeling the laid back vibes. I ordered the coxinhas and a glass of freshly squeezed mango juice. To provide some background, coxinhas are a traditional and classic pastry snack of Brazil. They are shaped like a tear drop about the size of a tennis ball, filled with shredded spiced chicken, covered in a sort of potato flour, and then fried until crispy on the outside and extra savory on the inside. The mango juice was perfect too. There is nothing more Brazilian than a freshly squeezed juice made with tropical fruit. It was such a reward after the Texas sun left me parched on my bike ride over. My two friends and I ordered different dishes. Jason ordered the Picanha Grelhada plate with traditional Brazilian rice, beans, topped with farofa, with sliced grilled picanha beef, and assorted green vegetables. Kelsey, vegetarian, ordered the cheese pastel (like a fried cheese empanada) and the yucca fries. As we ate, laughed, and chatted there were small pauses of “Mmms” and “Wows” at the amazing food that we slowly enjoyed over a brief lunch break. It was as if we were just passing through the heart of Brazil for lunch. The sun shining in January as it does, it might as well be Brazil! If you’re looking for an Austin meets Brazil type cuisine, be sure to check out the Boteco on E7th for a unique street food treat.
1403 East 7nth Street Austin, Texas