or 14-0 Express on Hudson between Indianola and Summit.
As of September 2012, 24 hrs per day 7 days a week (mostly)
Colombia represents! El Manantial Latino is our second truck with food (and owners) from that part of the world in as many days, and we’ve found that they make a compelling case for occasionally straying from the city’s many mobile Mexican offerings.
Upon ordering, we were heartened to see the cook hand-forming our empanadas from scratch. ’Fresh’ is the word here, and we were told that they hoped to reflect that attribute in their name (Manantial means ‘waterfall’).
The empanadas were crispy and, for having just emerged from the fryer, remarkably light and not too oily. We tried the beef and cheese options, and while both fillings were pleasing enough, neither had quite the satisfying complexity of flavors found in the empanadas from 8th Taste. Perhaps the taste bud abuse I endured from the screaming hot green sauce that Manantial’s empanadas are served with contributed to that impression?
Go ahead, call me a wimp, I can take it.
(Edit – my Manantial dining partner chimes in, emailing: “The sauce wasn’t that hot, I ate all of it while you weren’t looking!” What evah. )
The arepas (above), also formed and cooked as we watched, were even more popular – I suspect that’s at least partly because they hit TTC’s collective soft spot for carmelized cheese. Served with an especially appealing style of chorizo slices, our order disappeared quickly.
Satisfying though the above were, we can’t help but feel as though we missed out – El Manantial offers a wide range of rotating special items that, if we understood correctly, are only served on Saturday and Sunday. Luckily, they send out email updates to provide customers with the latest info. Personally, I’m keeping an eye out for the next appearance of their Colombian tamales.
If you’d like them to add you to their list you can email them at:
elmanantiallatino (at) hotmail (dot) com. They also have a facebook page.
A parting thought – one of the true pleasures of taco truckin’ is the opportunity to, unlike in most restaurants, routinely interact with the people who own the establishment and prepare your food. Occasionally the language barrier may pose some difficulties to the spanish deficient, but respect for the customers and pride in the food are easily communicated even without words.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that El Manantial Latino’s kind operators exemplify these qualities in spades