Bon Appetit, y’all.
Everyone knows what a crepe is, but co-owners of French Tex Cuisine, Frederic Jagu and Lala Elliott, are changing the game with the French taco at their food trailer in south Austin.
“We are the only people in town adding a French twist on Texas tacos,” Elliott said. “(Jagu) had a dream to share his culture and his food with Americans. We really wanted to put galettes on the menu, but really on the map here in Texas.”
The most popular item on the menu is the French taco and it consists of a gluten free galette made from buckwheat flour, distilled water and sea salt and then stuffed with locally sourced brisket, house made queso and avocado.
Jagu, the head chef at French Tex Cuisine and a native frenchman, learned how to make galettes from his grandmother in her kitchen in the Brittany region of France. He moved to Texas five years ago, and after visiting Austin, realized it was the place where he could fuse French cuisine with a Texas touch.
They were playing around with different ideas of fusing french and Texas cuisine one evening in Elliott’s uncle’s kitchen when the French taco was born.
“My uncle invited us over one night and he had made brisket, queso and guacamole,” Elliott said. “Frederic put it in a galette and my uncle took a bite and he looked at us and said, ‘Y’all are going to sell a million of these.’”
Elliott said the combo of the French galette with Texas style ingredients just work. All of the ingredients at French Tex Cuisine are locally sourced. They grow fresh ingredients on site — anything from dill to varieties of mint, basil and thyme.
Beyond using strictly sustainable ingredients and meats, French Tex Cuisine can make any menu item vegan. The Vegan Delight is stuffed with fresh spinach, mushrooms, tomato and vegan mozzarella cheese. They have two cast iron grills with the intended purpose of using one strictly for customers that are vegan.
“We brainstorm and realize how cool it is that we get to do this because we want to go more vegan and vegetarian,” Elliott said. “We both are vegetarians, but we serve meat because we are in Texas and we feed everybody. We are conscious with the meat that we use so we use grass fed, pasture raised and cage free. We want it to be as humane as possible so we can still feed carnivorous people.”
The options to fill your stomach go beyond the French taco and Vegan Delight, they also have what they call the la classic, a galette with bacon, egg and cheese, and the pizza galette which is a galette stuffed with mozzarella, tomato, garlic and parmesan.
Apart from the savory galette, Jagu and Elliott also included savory crepes on their menu. They have crepes filled with caramelized bananas, apple cinnamon, chocolate, peanut butter and honey, and lemon sugar. And to top off your sweet tooth, they just added French Press coffee to the menu. Jagu said the most rewarding part about being able to fuse together French cuisine with Texas-style ingredients is seeing the look on people’s faces when they take a bite.
“It is new for everybody,” Jagu said. “And it is so much better when you come experience the food and our atmosphere here instead of ordering it off of GrubHub.”
Jagu and Elliott said running French Tex Cuisine is really about creating an atmosphere and a brand for customers to enjoy.
“The name kind of says it all because Frederic is from France, and I am from Austin,” Elliott said. “So, you know it really kind of is his American dream to do this day to day.”