It’s been a year since the first taco tour, and we’ve been amazed at how much interest the project has had, with TV appearances, newspaper articles and radio shows featuring on the trucks. The project is also evolving and we are becoming increasingly involved with liaison and advocacy issues, but what it’s still fundamentally about, for us, is introducing new people to the taco trucks. There is nothing as gratifying as watching someone try a taco truck for the first time and hearing them say “Wow, this is really good”. There is also lots of fun to be had for taco truck veterans, as so many of the trucks have interesting specialities, and there are new trucks popping up all the time. We have visited three new trucks in the last week.
We estimate that around 200 people came on the tour, including at least 50 on two wheels, and while the threat of rain may have kept some people away, we were really lucky and the rain held off right until the end. We were really pleased to have such a diverse group on the tour and so many people from the west side. The group including representatives from the Hilltop Business Association, Westgate Neighbors Association, The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, families, hard core cyclists and food enthusiasts. Ages ranged from infants to retirees. As the Gourmand says, Food has great power to bring people together.
We think the taco trucks are a great asset for the city and love the diversity and color that they add to Columbus’s dining scene. We’re glad that lots of people seem to agree with us. The taco trucks are an obvious draw in bringing people to the west side and we wish that the city of Columbus and particularly the west side showed more pride in their vibrant street food scene.
We raised $150 for the Center for Latin Hope, a small non-profit based on Sullivant Avenue which offers educational and health programs for the latino community. We have heard wonderful things about their work and were pleased to be able to support them. Thank you to everyone who donated.
If you missed this tour and would like to have your own tour of the west side trucks, here is a copy of the map and guide. There will also be a feature in Alive this thursday featuring six trucks from around the whole city. There’s a sneak preview here and we had a lot of fun with G.A. Benton and the rest of his crew. We are also planning a taco truck meet up for Cinco de Mayo at Taco Nazo. More details to come.
If you enjoy eating at taco trucks you might also enjoy reading our new blog alt.eats.columbus, where we visit off-the-beaten-track restaurants and explore Somali, Jamaican, Salvadorean, Middle Eastern and Asian food, as well as some of the more authentic Mexican restaurants.
Special thanks to Ray from Columbus Rides for organizing the bike ride part of the event; to Hal and Al’s bar on Parsons Avenue for hosting a Mexican beer themed after party and of course to the wonderful truck owners for their warm welcome. Thanks also to everyone who came on the tour, and for all the kind comments on twitter and facebook. You can friend or follow us on either for news of events and updates of new trucks, specials or changes in truck locations. We also love to get news of new truck spottings.
Here are some more photos from the event. It’s a flickr group, so if you have more photos please feel free to add them.