It's full on summer now in Austin. Triple digits day after day. We get up painfully early every morning to take our dog for a walk as the sun comes up. He's a Golden Retriever, and even with his summer haircut, he still can't stand to be out in the heat in the later parts of the day. That means he's cooped up inside a lot during the week, so we try to get him out on the weekends for a little adventure. This weekend, we took him to "dog springs," next to Barton Springs pool. This is where folks on the hike and bike trail bring their dogs for a little cooling off and some splashing around. It's a great spot for dog and people-watching, whether you have a dog or not.
I've been going to Barton Springs since I was in college. Maybe it's the smell of Chuy's restaurant occasionally blowing in the breeze, but I always end up craving Mexican food after a good swim and some lounging in the shade at the springs. This weekend wasn't any different. But we didn't really want to load up on a greasy bowl of queso. A friend had sent me some info from the Alamo Celiac group's site with a story about Bufalo Bob's Chalupas. It's just a few blocks away from the springs on South Lamar, across the street from the Bicycle Sport Shop.
Bufalo Bob's (spelled with one f) is a food trailer serving chalupas made with certified hormone- and antiobiotic-free chicken and bison, and local and organic produce whenever possible. It's not the grease- and salt-fest you're used to. It's low-fat and low-sodium, but full of flavor. These chalupas are fresh and satisfying but with healthier ingredients including hummus, flax seeds, and spinach. I tried the Athenian — a tostada with hummus, flax seeds, green olives, shredded chicken, spinach, onion, tomato, a sprinkle of Parmesan and a spicy salsa. My husband had the Cretian, which was the same tostada with ground bison instead of chicken.
The best part — the owner's wife is gluten-intolerant so two-thirds of the menu is gluten-free (and clearly marked) and he's very careful to avoid any potential cross-contamination. The primary ingredient that makes the other items on the menu not gluten-free is a special version of his hummus, the Texas hummus, which he makes with Lone Star beer. (His regular hummus contains no beer and no gluten.) One section of the menu is vegetarian, one section is made with chicken and the other section with bison. The chalupas were fresh and tasty and very satisfying, but without leaving you feeling weighed down. One warning, once you bite into your chalupa, there is the inevitable crumble and cascade of toppings, so it's not dainty eating. Just grab some extra napkins.
After a morning out playing in the springs and the sun, we were ready for some shade. Bufalo Bob's is a trailer, but it has a very nice covered and raised deck with picnic tables for diners, which I wish was more common around the food trailers in town. And it's conveniently located next to Bananarchy, so you can grab a frozen chocolate-covered banana for dessert. (Ask for the vegan version if you're gluten-free). It's the perfect follow-up to Bufalo Bob's spicy salsa.
Bufalo Bob's is open Wednesday through Saturday 11am-9pm and Sundays from 11am-7pm. I'll be heading back there for lunch during the work week too.
600 South Lamar (across the street from Bicycle Sports Shop)