[Editor's note: According to a tweet from Nomad Dosa, the trailer is closed until further notice. Here's to hoping they open up again soon! Also, their domain name appears to have been taken over by cybersquatters, so we've removed all hyperlinks that previously pointed to their website from this post.]
Nomad Dosa opened last Wednesday at 3421½ N IH 35, one big block south of the Fiesta Mart on 38½ St near Concordia Ave and Robinson Ave. Chef and proprietor Todd Davis, trained at the Natural Gourmet Institute, works to provide his customers with an all-around “quality experience,” from the flavor profile, to the friendly faces behind the counter, to the shopping list. We were lucky enough to get a taste of the vegan Mangonana Lassi and the lentil sambar during the soft opening on Saturday. Both impressed us so much that we had to return today for the full menu experience.
The menu guides customers through a streamlined ordering process. First, you choose between a dosa, dosa set, or a rice bowl. Next, you choose a filling, toppings, and a dipping sauce. Marie tried a dosa with the Holy Cow filling (creamy spiced potatoes, sauteed onions, roasted cashews, and green peas), stuffed with raw chopped onions, and coconut chutney on the side. Marie says, “the mild rating of the coconut chutney is accurate,” so if your tongue recoils from heat, this chutney flavor is a good bet. The dosa tasted fresh and light and was not weighted down with too much oil.
I chose a dosa set. The dosa set features two small dosa flat rounds with a filling on the side, as opposed to the regular dosa which features one large round with the filling stuffed in. I ordered the Kerala Kokonut filling (mixed vegetables, garlic, ginger, with coconut curry), topped with romaine lettuce and bell peppers, with the cilantro chutney on the side. The cilantro chutney definitely has a kick. If you order the dosa set, then you can stuff your filling into the rounds and eat them like tacos (please note the inauthenticity of this method). We also tried idli (steamed lentil and rice cakes) and vada (savory Indian donuts) on the side. The Kerala Kokonut filling and the vada were our favorites, but we recommend you give everything a try. (As part of a promotion for the soft-opening, we tried our food for free, in exchange for food pantry donations.)
The only non-vegan items on the menu are the India Jones filling and an always optional cheese topping. All menu items are gluten-free, wheat-free, and soy-free. Nomad Dosa prioritizes using “the best food available from local family farmers who practice organic and sustainable ways of growing crops.” They do other neat things like fermenting their own dosa batter and making their own coconut milk.
A major life event, a trip around the country, and a love of dosa inspired Todd to start up his trailer and “share this delicious and nourishing food with others.” Marie and I had the opportunity to chat with him about his new venture, and we’re really excited about this new addition to the Austin food scene. Currently, Nomad Dosa is open from 11:00am till 3:00pm Monday through Saturday. If business demands it they may open for dinner and Sundays too. We are so excited about this new food trailer, that we’ve already scheduled a VRA meetup; so please make haste and show this new food trailer some love!