Food Trailer Friday: Old School BBQ

Old School BBQ & Grill Bus

Old School BBQ & Grill School Bus

Recently a whole slew of Austinites turned out for a Trailer Tour organized by Jodie Bart of Tasty Touring and Addie Broyles of The Statesman’s Relish Austin. I joined a group of my friends and we visited five trailers that some or all of us hadn’t previously visited. It was an interesting day because we had to be ready to try food from several different places over the span of several hours, so while I feel like I got a great taste of each spot we visited, I promised myself I’d return to each before I wrote about them in Food Trailer Friday. Without having a full meal at a given trailer, it’s hard for me to really decide what I think about it. I’m happy to report that of the five spots we visited I truly enjoyed four of them, so I’ll be adding them to my Food Trailer Friday collection in the coming weeks.

The first spot we visited, and fittingly my first post in this series, was Old School BBQ. Unlike many trailers that are in more-or-less permanent installations on their various lots, Old School is run out of a fully functional school bus. The staff drives the bus two one of two standard locations and they can actually smoke meat as they drive along (but not heat oil for the fryer). Old School is collaborative adventure for Danny Parrott and his father. Both have extensive restaurant experience and wanted to open a spot together. After looking at other locations in Texas, they settled on Austin and eventually plan to open a more traditional restaurant in addition to their trailer enterprise. Their BBQ is inspired by experiences in the south, Texas, and California, and let me tell you, they make some really tasty meat.

Old School BBQ & Grill Brisket Sandwich

Old School BBQ & Grill Brisket Sandwich

On our trailer tour visit and on my subsequent visit I tried the chopped brisket sandwich. The brisket is fall-apart tender and full of rich, smoky flavor. While it is tasty with their slightly sweet sauce, the brisket stands along beautifully. To go along with the brisket I can recommend either the fresh-cut fries or the macaroni and cheese wedge. The fries are crisp and perfectly seasoned. They leave the skin on for a little extra flavor. We missed the macaroni and cheese wedge on our trailer tour trip but started to see all sorts of Twitter noise about it after we’d long left. When I visited them again I made a point of trying the wedge and it lived up to its Twitter hype. A combination of creamy and sharp cheeses leads to a creamy mac and cheese that stands up to the rich BBQ. I suppose you could share the wedge with a friend, but I’d recommend hoarding it for yourself.

In addition to BBQ, Old School serves burgers, ribs, sausage, an Italian sandwich and a chicken breast sandwich. They have a collection of “Family Feedings” packages on the menu like a brisket basket that includes 2 lb. of brisket, two sides, and four drinks, or a complete BBQ basket that includes 1 lb. of brisket, ½ slab of ribs, four links of sausage, four sides of fries, and four drinks. Whether you want to grab lunch with friends or dinner on the way home, Old School has something for just about any BBQ need.

Word on the Street

This trailer is new enough that there aren’t many posts or reviews of it up yet, but there are a few to consider:

  • Thrillist offers a fun and informative look at Old School
  • Fox News Austin has a fun video interview with Dan Parrot that gives you a look inside the bus.
  • The Yelp reviews are looking positive thus far.

As I see more out there, I’ll add them to the list.

Know Before You Go

  • Because Old School’s school bus is fully-functional, they move about. They have two main locations so double check their spot before you visit them:
    • Monday 11am – 3pm
      3001 E. Cesar Chavez (in the East Side Lumber & Decking parking lot)
    • Monday 4p – 7 pm, Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm
      MLK & Clifford Lane
  • Unlike many trailers Old school takes credit cards, but small merchants always appreciate not having to pay credit card processing fees, so cash is preferred.
  • As I mentioned earlier, they can’t drive around town with hot cooking oil, so it sometimes takes them a few minutes to get the fries up and going after they open. If you have your heart set on fries, visit them after 11:30 or so.
  • Danny and his dad don’t skimp on the portions. Bring a big appetite or a friend to share your meal with.
  • They don’t have a website yet, but you can become their friend on Facebook for updates on times and location.

1 Comment

  1. Cecilia /

    Enjoyed your post.

    The mac and cheese wedge sounds fantastic. Is it really shaped like a wedge? I’m sorry I missed Old School on the trailer tour. I stuck to South Austin, and wasn’t disappointed. But now it’s time for this young (at heart) woman to head east.