Essential Austin barbecue truck and Smithville restaurant Micklethwait Crafts Meats is, in fact, opening a taco truck in the city, as reported by Texas Monthly. The truck will be called Taco Bronco, found parked at Batch Brewhouse & Bugroom on 3220 Manor Road in the MLK neighborhood, opening on Thursday, January 30, according to an Instagram post.
On deck will be smoked meats tacos: brisket, barbacoa, pulled pork carnitas, and a vegan option, plus house-made hot sauce. Everything will be smoked at the MLK location, overseen by its own team. Hours are from 4 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
Pitmaster Tom Micklethwait was very blunt about why he decided to open a taco truck to the publication. Business at the Smithville restaurant, Micklethwait Market and Grocery, which opened earlier this year, has been very slow. There aren’t a lot of customers during weekdays and he mentioned that there were much cheaper barbecue options nearby. The taco truck presented a good excuse to make productive use of the kitchen equipment.
Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn asked Micklethwait if he had thought about shuttering the Smithville restaurant. He said no, but that the stream of customers at the Austin truck helps offset the restaurant.
This new Micklethwait truck was teased earlier with the opening announcement of Batch Brewery last month. The barbecue spot already provided smoked meats to Batch’s kolache shop. Taco Bronco will physically take over what had been Micklethwait’s sandwich trailer Romanouskas Deli, which closed in 2016.
This article has been updated to reflect that Taco Bronco won’t have its own separate pitmaster and that the taco truck’s smoked meats will be smoked at Batch.
- Micklethwait Market & Grocery Serves Stunning Pork Ribs in Smithville [Texas Monthly]
- Taco Bronco [Instagram]
- All Coverage of Micklethwait Craft Meats [EATX]