“Ready to Nosh” Food Tour Not So Ready

For Christmas, my cousin and his wife gave me a Groupon voucher for a Ready to Nosh Food Tour.  It was for the Austin Food Cart Tour.  It sounded like a really cool idea: a guide takes a small group of no more than 10 people to various food trucks to sample the food.

Anyway, around early March, I finally got around to booking the tour.  I followed the directions on the Groupon voucher and went to Ready to Nosh’s website.  The only available day was May 11th.  It was a little annoying that they only offered tours on weekdays, but it must be well-worth it if there was a 2-month long wait, right? So, I went ahead and requested that day off from work.

Right after I registered, I got a confirmation e-mail with details on where to meet.  Here’s a snippet of the e-mail:

Thank you for your purchase. We look forward in providing you a memorable experience…Please arrive on time.  Our tours are time sensitive as we coordinate with our vendors as to when we arrive.  Please have respect for the other participates and vendors by arriving at least 10 minutes before the start of your tour.  Our tour guides have been instructed to start on time.

Meeting location:

1503 South First Street
Austin, TX 78704
Neighborhoods: 78704 (South Austin), So-Fi (S. 1st St. District), Bouldin Creek

THIRD FOOD TRAILER LOT ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE ROAD
AS YOU ARE HEADING DOWN SOUTH FIRST STREET
GOING SOUTH – THIS FOOD TRAILER LOT HAS PLENTY OF PARKING!

Anyway, on the day of the tour, we went to the address listed.  We were right on time, but nobody was there yet.  There was no “Ready to Nosh” sign or anything.  I asked one of the food truck employees about it, and he said he never heard of the company.  My husband and I waited 45 minutes, but nobody ever showed up! They never gave us a name, e-mail address, or direct phone number.  The only number I had was a toll free 877 number.  My husband I called that, and it went straight to voicemail each time.  After reading reviews about it online, I found out that many other people had similar experiences.

Funny thing is I got an e-mail from Ready to Nosh at 12:30 pm, right when the tour should’ve ended.  It thanked me for my business and provided a link for me to leave a review.  I clicked on the link, but it only took me to their website.  There was nowhere on there to leave a comment or anything.

I guess this is some elaborate scam.  I wish I had known because it was a waste of our time and energy, and my cousin’s money.

Hopefully, Groupon, LivingSocial, and all those other coupon sites stop offering this deal.  This is not legit at all.

In conclusion, READY TO NOSH IS A SCAM.

 

CoCo’s Cafe

Green Onion Pie 蔥油餅

My husband and I went to CoCo’s Cafe about a month ago, and again a few days ago.  I decided to combine pictures from both trips into one entry.

Anyway, I used to go to CoCo’s all the time back in college.  I always went to the Guadalupe location, but this time I took my husband to the one up north (near what used to be the Hong Kong Supermarket).  I wasn’t expecting much since most Chinese food here has been disappointing since coming back from Taiwan.  My husband was pleasantly surprised though.  The first time we went, we ordered the Green Onion Pie, Rice Ball, and Fried Chicken with Rice.  I suggested we get only the half order of Green Onion Pie.  As you can see in the picture above, the half order is still a lot of food.

Rice Ball 肉圓

The Rice Ball looked really good, but it didn’t taste as good when we finally got around to eating it.  I honestly think it’s because we didn’t eat it when it was still steaming hot.  We were too busy filling up on the Green Onion Pie and Fried Chicken with Rice.  Now, we know better.  The fried chicken dish was just all right, so I think we’ll skip that in the future.

The more recent time that we went, we were really looking forward to trying the Fried Squid appetizer.  We couldn’t find it on the menu, so I asked the cashier about it.  He told me that and the Eel Steak with Rice are no longer served.  How disappointing!

We were pretty hungry by then and ended up ordering more than we should have: Sa Cha Beef Lo Mein, Bamboo Leaves Sticky Rice, Fried Tofu, Spiced Kelp, and a Taro Milk Tea with Tapioca Pearls.

Sa Cha Beef Lo Mein 沙茶牛肉炒麵

The lo mein was a bit bland, so we added the sauce that came with the sticky rice.  It tasted much better after that.  Maybe I had my expectations raised after the first visit to CoCo’s, but I left a little disappointed.  The sticky rice was good, but nothing like what my grandma used to make.  Of course I’m biased because nothing will ever taste as good as Grandma’s cooking.

As for the fried tofu, I’m not a big fan of it to begin with.  I don’t get what’s so great about it.  Maybe it’s the dipping sauce that comes with it, or the crunchy exterior.  I don’t know.  My husband liked it though.

Spiced Kelp 海帶

The Spiced Kelp was decent.  It’s kind of hard to mess this up, though.  I don’t eat this for the taste, but more out of vanity.  I heard that eating lots of kelp will make your hair darker, and I’ve recently found a few white hairs.  I know it’s silly to think a side order of kelp will fix that, but hey…I’m desperate.

As for the Taro Milk Tea, it was decent for what I’ve had in America, but nothing compared to the stuff in Taiwan.  In Taiwan, you have the option of lots of ice/sugar, some ice/sugar, little ice/sugar, no ice/sugar.  Maybe I should’ve asked, but I didn’t think to.  The drink was too sweet in my opinion.  Plus, CoCo’s uses taro powder as opposed to real taro (most places use the powder, so I wasn’t surprised).  Again, the pearls were all right.

I realize I’m making this place sound mediocre.  It really wasn’t that bad, but I guess I just had higher hopes.  The service has been great both times, and it’s the closest thing to authentic Taiwanese food that I can find.  I would go back.

I leave you with some silly Chinglish.  I thought it was pretty cool that these drink tops now have cautionary labels.  I wonder if they have these because more non-Taiwanese people are jumping on the tapioca pearl bandwagon.  I feel like Taiwanese kids innately know how to consume tapioca pearls without choking on them.  So, to everyone who thinks tapioca pearls are a novel thing, please remember to chew thoroughly and not let children under 5 have any!

Caution: Not Safe for Children Under 5

On an unrelated note, CoCo’s only accepts credit cards with a minimum charge of $5.  If you only plan on getting a drink or appetizer, then remember to bring cash!