What a title right? I seriously need to work on that. This week has been challenging albeit rewarding. The weather has been humid, sticky, and on occasion really wet and well… I’m starting to get graphic so I’ll stop but you get the idea. It has sucked. Allergies are running rampant in ATX but I managed to try 4 fitness classes this week and while they were all challenging and had me questioning whether I really did mind being chubby , I stuck through it. Today was a cheat day – even though I don’t really believe in those.

Today was also the first day without a ton of rain and by 3 this afternoon it was only slightly cloudy, humid, and hot. After missing out on the chance to check out Midway Food Park a couple months back I decided that today would be the day. The Dad and I were discussing returning to our old haunt, The Picnic on Barton Springs when I suddenly remembered Midway. With it’s well stocked supply of food trucks it seemed like the best choice for us to eat to please our palette and for Jack to run around and get some energy out.

I’m sure many of you are saying, ‘Oh my god, I’ve seen like fifty people write about Midway.’ Yes, this is true. I’ve seen these posts as well and that’s what ultimately drove me to check it out, toddler and partner in tow. Let me try and stand out for one second by ingratiating you with  perhaps a badly written Haiku about Midway Food Park before I talk about my amazing food experience.

Midway Food Park

Oh, Midway Food Park.

Let me play on your playscape.

Your food is damn good.

Now that I have blown you away with my poetic prowess, I’ll let you know about my foodie experience with this increasingly popular food park.

The Appeal.

One of the first things I think of when considering eating out is of course how worth it the food will be. Will we be okay blowing $40 on food that is the grocery equivalent of 3-4 home cooked meals? Second, what’s the toddler draw? The toddler draw usually consists of toys, playgrounds, swings, or a special menu that my kid will love. I realize that to some that draws out an eye roll but let me assure you that the reason is actually pretty selfish and most parents will know what I’m talking about. When you go somewhere with toddler draw you go somewhere that will allow a parent to eat, drink, and even kill time staring blankly at their cellphone while their tot is preoccupied. These moments are precious and few and far between so if we’re going to make an effort to leave the house it better be damn worth it. Midway Food Park covered ALL of those needs.

Euphoria.

While the playground was definitely worth the visit, Midway is also host to Mighty Fine Burger – which happens to be Jack’s favorite. The kid will take huge, adult sized bites of a ¼ lb cheeseburger with a look of pure joy on his face. Aside for the burger joint there were tons of other options for The Dad and I.

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As I walked passed a string of food trucks I heard a woman’s voice describing a variety of cheesecakes and it took everything in me not to decide to have cheesecake for dinner. The miasma of smells swirled around us in an intoxicating whirlpool of barbecued meats, Italian seasoning, and a halo of fried potatoes. This was bliss for the Austin foodie, which we all claimed to be. Driven to the center of a covered picnic area we made our individual selection. Jack eyed the Mighty Fine Food truck the same way he ogles a new can of play dough at home. The Dad had his heart set on Italian once a slender, cigarette smoking man signaled at us and in a heavy Italian accent said, “I’ll be done with a smoke soon and I cook for you.” The Dad being a lover of all things foreign was smitten by the authenticity of Cannone Cucina Italiana and it’s proprietor. I, on the other, hand decided that I’d be a Texan for the evening and went for good old barbecue.

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We sat down and enjoyed our meal with zeal as the park slowly filled up with more and more families. Time slowed to a crawl and we didn’t care because it was Saturday and we were all eating an amazing meal, in typical Texas heat. As our meal came to an end Jack turned to face the playground. Curls were plastered to his head from the heat and humidity but like most kids, he didn’t care. In his tiny but lovable voice he said, “I go play now?” With a belly full of Mighty Fine he ran towards the playground with The Dad.

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The playground was a vibrant metal jungle with slides, monkey bars, and a bridge that accommodated several children. I don’t think it’s suitable for tiny tots but 18 months and up will definitely enjoy this playground. However, tiny tots will enjoy the surrounding area as it is quite an expansive lawn with a large cluster of rocks perfect for climbing and a smaller play structure resembling a house.

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About the Magical Ice Cream.

While Jack definitely enjoyed the play area I think the entire family would agree that our favorite thing about Midway Food Park was the Ice Cream Truck, The Science Cream.

When people talk about foodgasms, I now know what they mean. The Science Cream is typical in that it’s the same size and shape as most food trucks, however, it is adorned with pastel colors and a bubble machine right on top. Every toddler in Austin will become a groupie once you tell them that there is a place where ice cream and a bubble machine live together, in happiness.

Of course, at the moment I decide to get us this unforgettable treat, Jack had to use the loo but it was to my advantage as it gave me a chance to talk to the folks at The Science Cream and really admire what they do. Looking at the menu, it seemed pretty straight forward and typical. It offered a variety of flavors ranging from strawberry cheesecake to the currently popular, salted caramel. I ordered one of each and began chatting with the gentleman helping me. I admired how much pride he had in his work and how he spoke of the ice cream. Before he admitted to it, I could tell that he was either the owner or knew the owner closely. He spoke about the owners the way we talk about Jack when we describe all he’s accomplished in two short years. When he did own up to being a parent to one of the owners he also promised that it would be fun to watch and delicious to eat. When I asked him what he meant by fun to watch he pointed to two large blenders twirling away, making our ice cream. The super awesome thing about The Science Cream is that they make your ice cream on the spot using liquid nirogen. I immediately regretted that Jack had to use the potty but was mesmerized by the process.

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Plums of white smoke rose from the machines as they twirled simultaneously. I eagerly awaited the end product and felt like a kid again. THIS was going to be the best ice cream ever! As the machines came to a stop he signaled for me to move to another window where he presented me with two ice cream cups brimming with strawberries and caramel sauce. The gentleman dipped a spoon in and proudly announce that it was color changing as he handed them through a small window. I could not wait to get them back to Jack and taste our treat! 

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We were in pure bliss as we ate our dessert and I described to The Dad what had transpired at The Science Cream. We promised to return so that Jack could witness the wondrous, smoke filled event that only a child could truly appreciate. 

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We finished up our ice cream and got up to leave. Before we could walk away Jack started screaming, “Bubbles, Bubbles.” The guys working at The Science Cream had turned on their bubble machine and every toddler within a 2 mile radius came running towards the truck to grasp and clutch at the unattainable.

I’m so glad we decided to stop at Midway Food Park. It was so worth it and was probably one of the happiest 2 hours I’ve had in awhile. I can’t wait to take Jack back to check out the ice cream truck and maybe next time we’ll catch the live music as well.

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Midway Food Park and Magical Ice Cream What a title right? I seriously need to work on that. This week has been challenging albeit rewarding.
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