Jason Goad owns, manages and cooks at a food truck called The Perfect Bite. His food truck is one of many in a park called The Thicket, located on South First Street. Jason’s background is in psychology as well as cooking. Our conversation bounced back and forth between these two passions, which led to perspectives I’ve never heard before. Jason told me about how his work with poor families has given him perspective.
“I’ve seen lots of difficult situations for folks. These people can barely afford food and they need counseling. I could have more money, but money is not that important to me. For me it has always been about the service.”
This service is what gives Jason his perspective on his community. He compared a community to some of his favorite art.
“It’s the sum of the parts. I like impressionist paintings because you can step away and see a beautiful picture but when you’re up close it is splotchy and blurry,” Goad said. “My role, the way I see it, is the better I do my job, the easier it is for you to do your job. If I study and learn and get experience then that way the people I come in contact with, maybe it creates a better society.”
After I tried the South First Burger that Jason made, I knew he had some unique techniques and perspectives. He told me that what goes into his menu, what he presents to his customers, and the perspective of his former boss, Suzanne Perkins, shape his craft today.
“She [Perkins] taught me the importance of quality ingredients. Shop local, support local business, get everything fresh,” Goad said. “If I go out to eat somewhere I can tell when the bun is subpar or the meat is subpar. Maybe it’s because they’re doing so much volume. I’ve also worked with a lot of great chefs that showed me you don’t have to rush, take your time with it. To me it’s all about the best ingredients. I want to get the best ingredients so I can just put it together and not mess it up.”
Jason has lived in Austin since 2013 but his food truck will only be a year old in November. He enjoys having regular customers and he enjoys the culture of South Austin.
“I’ve got a handful of regulars that come in every week. One texts me her orders and I’ll bring it out to her in 15 [minutes]. I like being busy and I like putting it all together,” Goad said. “I really like South Austin. Most people are really cool about everything. South Austin has a good vibe to it.”
I had to ask Jason what makes a great burger. He explained that he makes “classic burgers and special orders regularly.”
“A little salt, a little pepper, grill it up right, mustard, heirloom tomato, some sharp cheddar with a great bun. It’s just so basic, a classic burger without a lot of frills. I make classic burgers and special orders regularly. I’m not into the gimmicky stuff.”
Jason, we aren’t either. You’ve found a way to make the Perfect Bite!
You’ve got questions and we can’t wait to answer them.