Nomadic late-night food truck finds its groove and a permanent home in east Austin.
Words by Ben Haguewood Photos by Ashley Haguewood
Austin Daily Press began serving late-night sandwiches and bar food to hungry revelers leaving east Austin bars. Owners Dustin Knef and Chase Rushing, hailing from the Florida panhandle, were drawn to Austin for its reputation as a city where food is taken seriously and trying something new can pay off. Soon after taking over the food truck they bought upon arrival, the pair came to a realization: “You can’t just make paninis with store-bought deli meat and bread.” They were ready for better hours and better food and figured east Austinites would be too. Enter neighbor and chef Reed Faitak. Chef Reed’s extensive kitchen experience paired well with Knef’s front of the house background and the trio’s shared vision for “elevated flavors at an approachable price,” noted Rushing. Looking for a location proved to be one of the most difficult growing pains, but months of searching and menu testing paid off when they took a chance renovating a vacant low-slung block building at the corner of MLK and Chicon.
The full kitchen gave them freedom to experiment, making their own meats, charcuterie, and condiments, and their collective work turns out to be a diner’s gain. The brick and mortar location consistently turns out flavor-bursting sandwiches dressed with meats like house-cured bacon and lemongrass braised pork, house-pickled vegetables, and their own zesty aiolis and chutneys, served on baked-daily bread. In Chef Reed’s mind, “It was important to create flavorful combinations good enough to be presented as a plate at a restaurant.” Indeed, each sandwich (all available as a salad or prepared as tacos) is a meal unto itself with the balance you expect from a seasoned chef with an adventurous streak. “We made the menu we would want to eat,” says Knef, “but at a reasonable price point.” The menu is filled with playful sides like jalapeño hush puppies and waffle-cut chips and a daily rotation of house-made soups, juices, and a featured sandwich. Their offerings have evolved as they have listened to feedback from repeat customers and responded, including ample options for vegetarians. One favorite combination is The Edward, dressed with edamame fritters, ginger peanut sauce, avocado, pickled peppers, cilantro, and mint. The small, brightly colored building on the corner lot is emblematic of ADP’s food and its attitude – bigger flavors than you’d ever expect from the small space or from a sandwich.
Native Knowledge: ADP offers Free Beer Friday. Get a free 12 oz. Hops and Grain beer or a Lone Star with any order.
1900 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.