Category Archives: Taco Truck

Taqueria San Angel

taco trucks in columbus

Taqueria San Angel
4005 Sullivant Ave Columbus, Ohio 43228
Open daily.

There’s a great new taco truck on Sullivant Avenue called Taqueria San Angel.  It’s between the Los Guachos turn off and Georgesville Road. The owners are from Oaxaca and are offering some Oaxacan specialties like tlayudas and Oaxacan style empanadas. We were excited to see them open as one of the previous Oaxacan trucks Tres Reyes disappeared over the winter.

This is the first place in Columbus that we remember seeing tlacoyos. Tlacoyos are similar to a Salvadorean pupusa as they are made of a masa dough that is stuffed with refried beans, cheese or meat and cooked on the grill. However they are football or torpedo shaped rather than being round and sometimes have toppings on them like a sope.

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One of the highlights of Taqueria San Angel are the Oaxacan empanadas. The difference with these compared to other types of empanadas is that they are not sealed and they are cooked on the grill, so they are sort of a cross between a quesadilla and a large empanada. They have some really interesting and unusual fillings that seem to vary day to day. We’ve sampled huitlacoche (corn smut) which you rarely see on menus, zucchini flowers and mole. They also have mushroom and amarillo (Oaxacan yellow mole). Pictured below is the empanada with quesillo (string cheese) and huitlacoche. It has an earthy mushroomy taste.

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Another highlight is the home made agua frescas. We’ve tried both cantaloupe and watermelon (sandia) and both were excellent. Refreshing and not overly sweet with a little pulp. IMG_1338

The owner is clearly a very good cook and everything including the tortillas that we had have been home made. Here’s the tlayuda. The base was a little chewy but otherwise it was very good.

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Taqueria San Angel has access to an indoor seating next to the truck with three tables.

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Condesa

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6157 Cleveland Ave
(Parking Lot of House of Cigar, west side of street, south of Ida)
Columbus, 43231

Open 10 am to 10 pm Monday to Saturday

This opened after June 4th 2014 (the date on it’s inspection tag).

Right now they are in flux as a new business. Their core menu is standard Mexican fare – tacos, burritos, quesadillas and Tortas. They may do some occasional specials in the weekends such as Pupusas. We are mainly posting this as a TTSA – Taco Truck Service Announcement. We will try to visit again later in the summer when the business is more experienced and they have a chance to find their footing. Let us know what you think in the meantime.

You will find this truck just south of 270 and Cleveland Ave., one the west side of the street.

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Los Aguachiles

los aguachiles taco truck columbus

(Note this Truck is closed / was sold as of June 2014)

6157 Cleveland Ave (Parking Lot of House of Cigar, west side of street)
Columbus, 43231
614.483.0624

We seen a few seafood-focused taco trucks come and go on the west side before but Aguachiles brings this novelty  the east side. Found on north Cleveland Avenue just south of 270, it’s conveniently (if you’re getting take out) located in the parking lot of a beer store.

seafood taco truck columbus

The truck takes its name from the dish – aguachiles – which is a shrimp ceviche in which the shrimp are essentially cooked in lime juice. Usually aguachiles are very spicy but the version at Los Aguachiles was probably the mildest version we’ve had. It didn’t suffer for the lack of heat and I’d imagine you could order it spicier. As is traditional, it’s served with crackers and tostadas.

aguachiles Columbus

The truck offers several different versions of shrimp cooked on the grill. The main difference seemed to be different levels of spice. We enjoyed our order of camarones a la plancha. The shrimp were grilled with onions and peppers and still had a little kick even though this was reputed to be the mildest option. They were served with cucumber, rice and beans as well as tortillas.

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We also tried a tostada de camarones y pulpo (shrimp and octopus) which proved to be a solid version of the dish. Not too spicy but with plenty of lime and some avocado.

ceviche in columbus ohio

In addition to the seafood, there are plenty of meat options including the usual taco truck staples of burritos, tacos, tortas and quesadillas.

The truck has a tent with some seating and the owner and staff were friendly. The truck had only been open 3 days when we visited so we expect the menu and hours to evolve as they get established.

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El Manantial Latino (Dos)

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8380 North High Street
(Parking Lot of Two Brothers Wine and Spirits)
Columbus, OH 43235
614 515 3929

Open 11:30 am to 9:00 pm
Closed Sundays

El Manantial Latino may look familiar. The original trailer has been around for over four years. This is a spin-off. It is located in an unlikely area and especially well beyond the traditional Taco Truck Territory. Located outside of I-270 on the far north side of Columbus, this trailer is buried in a series of strip malls and surrounded by plenty of food options, including a Taco Bell. The menu is the same as El Manantial (Original or Uno). We will let the menu speak for itself below.

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The selections (and some of the translations) are very different from the typical Taco Truck fare. Pineapple is a common ingredient in some dishes as well as unexpected items like hot dogs and the mysterious “pink sauce”. Empanadas and Cuban sandwiches are on the menu as well.

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The trailer has a couple of downsides that might be righted along the way. Not all menus items are available every day. The phone number is for the original trailer located miles away so neighbors can not effectively call in an order for pick up. The start time of 11:30 am….is a little shaky on occasion.

We wish this spin-off well and will keep tabs to see if it can sustain in this unlikely location.

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Taqueria El Paisa

Taqueria El Paisa

3900 Sullivant Ave
Columbus, 43228
614.302.0788

Open 10am – 9pm (sometimes close earlier)
Now only open Saturday-Monday

Click here to map it!

We were sad to see Little Mexico close at the end of last year but the oldest taco truck in Columbus has new owners and keeps on trucking. There’s always a little anxiety when a truck we love changes owners. Will it still be as good? In the case of El Paisa we didn’t need to worry. So far it may even be an improvement.

menu taqueria el paisa

The menu is mostly the same, the standard taco truck fare of tacos, tortas, burritos, gorditas and quesadillas but El Paisa have added huaraches to the line up. Everything we’ve eaten so far has been very well made. The gorditas are a little different and come with beans, meat, cheese (crumbled queso fresco), cilanto and onion. No sour cream or tomato. We like them this way.

Where El Paisa really excels is in their meat. We’ve sampled the barbacoa, chorizo, carnitas and steak and have been impressed. They make their own chorizo from scratch.

They’ve also added lengua, huraches and ceviche tostadas.

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On Mondays tacos are $1. 

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Los Sartenes

taco trucks columbus

901 S. James Road
614.439.5308
Facebook
@lossartenes 

Click here to map it!

Through our experiences with taco trucking, we’ve learned to be concerned for anyone that debuts in the cold seasons. Sad truth is, they don’t often last long enough to see the food truck friendly months. Los Sartenes opened a month or so ago – in the dead of winter – but we’d wager that they’ll experience a much kinder fate.

First off, this isn’t a low-budget operation.  It’s slick in the best sense of the word. From the tidiness of the kitchen to the conspicuous newness of the trailer to the impressive clarity of the menus (both posted and takeaway), it’s clear that much planning has occurred and that plans have been executed skillfully.

taco trucks columbus

At first glance, it almost spooked us a bit – we don’t often find the unadulterated flavors of Mexico coming from trucks with this level of refinement. Thankfully, the only sense in which our instincts were right were that, in addition to fine Mexican, Los Sartenes is also putting out some fine renditions of Central American fare as well. We started off with a couple of tacos – they passed our lengua test with flying colors – and then moved on to the following:

Traditionally a Salvadoran dish, the pupusa kicks off our exploration of the Central American side of the menu. Essentially a thick corn tortilla pancake filled with any of a variety of ingredients, a good pupusa is a great thing. We tried their cheese version and it was no exception.

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For a truck that defies expectations, their yuca dish epitomizes it. We’ve previously thought of yuca as a Brazilian root vegetable side dish, and something that’s mushy, starchy, and kind of inert. But then again, we’d never seen it served with generous chunks of fried pork belly, curtido, and sauce. They’ve upped the yuca game, folks.

interesting taco truck dishes

We were excited to see empanadas de platanos on the menu; they’re a favorite Salvadoran snack of ours, and hard to come by locally. Los Sartenes’ version didn’t disappoint – the empanada shell consists of a thick layer of mashed sweet plantain filled with a sweet soft cheese, and the whole shebang is fried and dusted with sugar. Don’t let the use of ‘sweet’ and ‘sugar’ deceive, though – while these are certainly dessert-worthy, they’re nonetheless fairly tame on the sweetness spectrum. And, they’re really good.

los sartenes taco truck

The menu is unusually extensive, and the fine folks that alerted us to their location (thanks Jeff & Pablo!) have mentioned a few other dishes that we need to try (the carnitas torta being first among them). Check these guys out, and let us know what you thought!

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Super Taco Nazo (and Taco Nazo Revisited)

super taco nazo

2200 East Dublin Granville Road (Near Lev’s Pawn Shop)
Look for Walgreen’s sign
NE corner of SR 161 and Maple Canyon
Phone: 614.390.6346
Summer Hours Monday to Saturday 10 am to 10 pm
Winter Hours Monday to Saturday 10 am to 8 pm
Phone: 614.390-6346

We first wrote about Taco Nazo in 2009 when this site launched – and we have not had a chance to update the post since then. It is interesting to compare the 2009 listing with many listings we have created since then as our knowledge has grown and so has the sophistication of the taco trucks of Columbus. No Latino Mobile vendor epitomizes that more than Quicho from Taco Nazo…..I mean, Super Taco Nazo.

Quicho took what he learned from years in the Taco Truck trade and incorporated that knowledge into the Super Taco Nazo Trailer. He has a better layout inside that has a lower serving window and less hassles than his original truck. He is working on the original Taco Nazo to make it a true mobile Taco Truck for corporate lunches and catering.

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A brief note about the food, it is among the best in the category of standard Taco Truck fare, easily in our top ten, probably in the top five of at least one of the Three Taco Trucks Amigos. Taco Nazo always wins in consistency. This is a frequent introductory trip for first time Taco Truck adventurers and especially those that are skeptical of mobile Mexican Cuisine. The large quesadilla has never let me down when hoping to have a gringo greenhorn try out a truck and want to come back for more.

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For the Taco Truck Columbus creators our relationship with Quicho and the truck goes long and deep. Although we have not updated the listing for Taco Nazo in years, this vendor has been the most frequent flyer for mentions on the website and in the community as well. Join me for a trip down memory lane.

There are two counterintuitive and unwritten laws for Taco Trucks: 1) Most of the vendors are not mobile 2) Due to a combination of language barriers, cultural differences and etc., many taco truck owners are not the most, shall we say, consistently time conscious. Quicho from Taco Nazo has always been there when we needed him to help spread the word about these mobile kitchens. Quicho is no slouch when it comes to customer appreciation, every Thanksgiving, he hosts a Dia del Pavo (Turkey Day) with free tamales, atole and other goodies for old and new customers alike.

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When we needed a truck to be open at 5:30 am for an early morning television show – Quicho was there and ready to serve. It also connected us with new-found pal and now Foodcast comrade – Johnny DiLoretto. Anytime we needed a vendor for a bike and car Taco Truck tour event – Quicho was ready, willing and able to participate and add to the festivities often with some incredible cakes.

The highlight of the early years was pairing Rick Bayless with Quicho for a special event. We are not sure which one was more thrilled with their meeting but we think it established some major street cred for Taco Trucks in our community. An article by Columbus Alive allowed us to do a tour of several Taco Trucks, including Taco Nazo and cemented a connection with G.A. Benton and photographer Jodi Miller.

All work and no play makes the Taco Truck website a dull read, so when Taco Drew conjured up a David vs. Goliath Taco Truck vs. Taco Bell Challenge – Quicho was ready for the battle. We don’t have to tell you who won that one.

We have observed, in many of our community connections that most successful businesses make a habit of giving back to the community they serve. Quicho continues to do so in his support of the Latino community as well as youth soccer leagues. Quicho is also one of the first go to with mainstream advertising for his business. On an end note (not final note, because Taco Nazo will continue to be on our blogs and in our tweets as the business keeps growing) it has been interesting to watch Quicho share his space and his wisdom with a new Indonesian mobile food vendor in the lot he has occupied since he started. Quicho has embraced the diversity of a new competitor as a collaborator and from the perspective of a peer and coach instead of with fear and distrust that he encountered when he started his kitchen on wheels years ago.

super taco nazo guy

Taco Nazo on Urbanspoon

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