Hey You Gonna Eat or What and the Monte Cristo from Heaven
Well before Johnny Depp became pirate Keith Richards, there was something even more memorable about the Pirates of the Caribbean. It was a ride at Disneyland, although more than the ride it was the restaurant inside that I remember the most, where I experienced the greatest sandwich my twelve-year-old stomach had ever had. Over time I had forgotten what it was called but I remembered the basics, lots of meats, some cheese and finally deep-fried with some jelly on the side.
Fast-forward to November 2011, I am exploring around South Congress late on a Sunday night and I come across a fire-engine red food truck. This big guy with a strong personality comes out of the truck and tells me that he makes the best damn sandwich I will ever eat. I proceed to tell him about the sandwich at Disneyland, he tells me that what I had is called a Monte Cristo, and that it is his signature sandwich.
Opened last year by Eric & Liziane Regan, Hey You Gonna Eat or What is what you want out of a food truck in every sense of the word. After working over 25 years at several Four Diamond-rated restaurants in both Florida and Mississippi, they decided to move to Austin after the BP oil spill. Living in Biloxi at the time the entire city smelled like a toxic mix of the dispersants and oil. This was not a good place to have a young child, Eric told me, so they decided to move to Austin. Over the next year or so Eric started brainstorming ideas for his own restaurant. In October 2011 they opened the trailer on South Congress & Gibson. This red van catches the eyes of passers by because it doesn't look like other food trucks - it seems like the trailer itself has its own personality.
Watching Eric explain exactly what goes into each sandwich is as enjoyable as watching Anthony Bourdain detail his days working in Hell’s Kitchen. You can see that he has a passion for the food and the people who stop by. I have eaten here dozens of times and have never seen someone explain "tasty" so well.
With the future of the South Congress trailer yard looking more grim by the day, it is good to see what is building over on Gibson (on the west side of the block between Perla's and Hotel San Jose). A few months ago a chef from Chicago, using a similar formula of high quality ingredients and unique style opened Little Big Mike's right next to Eric and Liziane's van. His take on Chicago style pizza will soon give Home Slice a run for its money as best pie on South Congress. Eric and Lizane have started something special here in Austin and soon they won’t be a secret.