The acronym for Fried and True is FAT, something that’s not lost on owners Arielle and Jesse Henson. “We don’t count calories here. We NEVER use the word diet!” And why should they? Despite being one the healthiest cities in the country, Austin is lining up for battered, fried, carnival nostalgia. This is pure guilty pleasure.
The original concept was fritters and it didn’t really take off. Austin just doesn’t get fritters. You know what we get? Fried Oreo’s. Corndogs. Pickles. Funnel cake piled high with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. There’s no subtlety hidden within the context of each bite. The flagrant indulgence flies in the face of everything we know to be good for us.
In the age of small plates, micro bites, and farm-to-table organic everything, it’s refreshing to see a bit of old fashioned hedonism. Located in the funky trailer park on East 6th and Waller, hungry patrons line up before, after, and halfway through barhopping to enjoy their favorite fried treats. Arielle wanted to explore the notion that Texans really do love their fried food. She leans in with a stage whisper, “They do!”
This exploration has taken on a life of its own. On any given night you can find her battering and frying up the tasty eats of her fellow food trucks, on demand. Just for the hell of it. That means battered fried pizza, ice cream sandwiches, Cadbury Eggs, and pretty much anything that’ll fit in a fryer. This open-minded enthusiasm is contagious and I found myself shouting things like, “You should fry Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!”
Aside from the novelty of finding the weirdest things to fry, it’s the signature dishes at Fried and True that keep people coming back. They only use quality ingredients, which means the hot dogs are Nathan’s and the pickle spears are homemade. The batters are formulated to adhere to their subjects, ensuring every item is cooked evenly. Each dish is fried perfection, making it light and airy, not at all greasy. A remarkable standout is the candied bacon, which satisfies all the late night cravings: sweet, salty, smoky, and crunchy. The bacon has such a cult following that people call to make sure it’s available before driving from far distances. Yes, it IS that good.
They may be newcomers, joining the food court in February 2012 after a brief stint on Rainey, but they are a crucial piece of the eclectic weirdness that dominates East Sixth. The truck’s vintage décor and the wild items being served up all contribute to their popularity. This unique truck is cranking out whimsical dishes that please the taste buds and just maybe, make you feel like a kid again.
1104 E. 6th Street, Austin, TX 78702
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11:00 am- 2:00 pm, 7 pm-Midnight, (till 3 am Friday and Saturday)
This article originally appeared in Austin Food Magazine.