Tres Reyes

taco trucks columbus

421 Georgesville Rd  (Near railroad tracks and U Haul location)
Open every day 9.30am-10.30pm or later.

Click here to map it.

Taqueria Tres Reyes is the latest incarnation of the truck formerly known as Super Torta II. The owners of Super Torta decided to focus on their restaurant (Super Torta on Georgesville) and sold the truck to a cousin (also from Oaxaca). The name means three kings because there are three joint owners. We guess they all wanted to be the boss!

taco truck menu

The menu is similar although they are not offering Tlayudas. We had a carnitas torta which was good and a couple of tacos. The lengua was very tender. The tortas are a little different to other trucks. They do not use any lettuce, they use black beans instead of pinto beans and they use Oaxacan string cheese. The torta Oaxaca and milanesa were recommended by other customers. The truck only opened last week so we expect the menu may develop over time but the offerings so far are solid.

tres reyes taqueria  columbus

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Taqueria El Fogoncito

al pastor tacos gringas columbus

El Fogoncito
(near) 2733 Morse Road
(west of the intersection of Morse Road and Westerville Road)
614.900.4784
Hours: Closed Mondays 11am-11pm Other days.

Click here to map it!

Good new al pastor fans, the brother of Los Guachos’ owner has opened his own taco truck on the North-East side of town. El Fogoncito is offering Mexico City style al pastor and a menu similar to Los Guachos. The truck had its grand opening this weekend and was already doing a brisk business on its first weekend. We’ll post better photos soon, but in the mean time we wanted to share it with you as soon as possible.

al pastor, taco trucks in columbus

Fogoncito, translated, means ‘little stove’, but there’s nothing diminutive about the truck. It’s palatial – bigger and shinier than even Los Guachos with a little more seating and an impressive kitchen. El Fogoncito is also the name of the restaurant in Mexico City that claims to be the inventor of the gringa. For those who have not visted Los Guachos, a gringa is a soft flour tortilla with caramelized cheese, your choice of meat (most commonly al pastor), onion and cilantro.

taco trucks columbus

El Fogoncito offers gringas, tacos, tortas and carnequeso which is a corn tortilla taco with cheese. Like Los Guachos they also offer 2 for 1 tacos on Tuesdays. Meat options are spit-roasted al pastor (marinated pork), asada (steak), suadero (rose beef), chicken and tripe. Gringas come in ‘single’ or ‘double’. Campechanas is also offered which means a mix of two meats. El Fogoncito also has some specialty plates including alambres and chupa cabras – steak, al pastor, cheese, onions, pineapple, mushrooms, cactus and grilled jalapenos.

gringas, tacos

Salsas and condiments are also similar to Los Guachos with a mild avocado cilantro sauce, a smoky chili de arbol salsa and bowls of onion and habanero relish.

If you love Los Guachos is safe to say that we think you’ll love El Fogoncito too.

El Fogoncito offers 2 for 1 al pastor and chicken tacos on Tuesdays.

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Merendero Catracho

honduran food truck columbus ohio Merendero Catracho
Honduran food truck
3868 Sullivant Ave
614.207.6340
Friday-Sunday 11am-10pm

2011 update: The truck formerly known as Las Catrachas is back with a new truck and a new name, but it’s the same delicious Honduran food cooked by the lovely Isolina with help from her daughter Angela. If you are curious about the new name Merendero is an outdoor kiosk and catracho means Honduran. We were excited to see them open again. New on the menu this year are pastelitos (empanada like pastries) made either with flour or cornmeal. Here’s the menu:

merendero catracho

and here’s evidence that the food is just as good as always: the tajadas con pollo with guineo (fried chicken with green bananas, cabbage and picked onions)

fried chicken green bananas, honduran food ohio

For more information about the food – our 2010 post is below.

3868 Sullivant Ave (parking lot of Country Food Store)(Verified August 2010).
Open 11am – 10pm, Fri-Sun
614.778.7416

Click here to map it!

Note: Due to the ‘crossover’ nature of this particular food find (it’s a mobile food vendor – which is typically taco truck territory – but they’re selling some offerings that are entirely unlike anything we’ve covered yet on TTC), we are posting this write-up both here and on alt.eats.columbus.

We’re often asked just exactly why we do what we do here on this blog – it looks like a lot of work (partly true) and doesn’t pay (entirely true), so what gives?  Our list of possible responses usually includes some or all of the following:

• We want people to be aware of the diversity of offerings in Columbus
• We enjoy learning about new cuisines and sharing our findings with others
• We like how the blog provides us with the motivation to expand our horizons and try new foods for ourselves
• We derive pleasure from the idea that our recommendations may help small business owners who have excellent (though perhaps unfamiliar) products to achieve much deserved success.

To this list, we have to add a new item:

• Pure unadulterated selfishness.  Put simply, we want to be able to return to places like Las Catrachas again and again.  Your patronage is requested for the purpose of keeping this new truck afloat through its infancy, thereby guaranteeing our continued, unfettered access.  So please, go to Las Catrachas.

Deal?

Alright… so this isn’t your first rodeo, and I’m guessing you wanna know what’s in it for you before you sign on. Fair enough. To start, there’s Las Catracha’s Honduran interpretation of a pupusa:

Made to order, these brilliantly fresh cornmeal patties pleased like none we’ve had before, and were filled with a delicious mix of refried beans, mildly spiced chicken, and cheese.  The curtido (cabbage slaw) was bright and refreshing, and the thin red sauce had deep savory undertones with just a hint of spicy heat.

The baleada, a traditional Honduran snack, was similarly satisfying.  While very similar to a taco in form and concept, this dish distinguishes itself with a light, thick, soft cornmeal shell containing your choice of cheese & refried beans, scrambled eggs, or carnitas & beans.  We opted for the carnitas, and couldn’t have been happier.  As with the pupusa, each bite exudes an ineffable freshness.

As we were contentedly munching on the above, the main attraction came out. Here’s where things get wonderfully weird:

This hot mess of a dish is called tajadas de guineo verde con pollo, or, in English, ‘french fried green bananas with chicken’. All of this was topped with pickled onions, cabbage, a sauce similar to the pupusa’s side sauce, and a rich, creamy dairy-based sauce.

Upon tasting, revelations abounded… and since we’re making lists today:

• The crispy french fried green bananas are way better than they might sound, don’t particularly taste strongly of banana, and were excellent when bathed in the mix of sauces that accumulated at the bottom of the plate.

•The chicken is fried, and very skillfully fried at that.  The included leg/thigh piece we sampled was, by itself, easily the best piece of fried chicken I’ve had in Columbus. A bold claim, perhaps, but I’m betting you’ll agree.

•This chicken was even better when smothered in the creamy sauce… I think I detected a hint of buttermilk in there.  Niiice.

•The whole strange motley mish mash of a plate adds up to one hell of a counterintuitively cohesive and spectacularly satisfying dish.

In fact, I’d wager that this dish has just the combination of oddball, inspired, and sublime that cult followings are made of.

Finally, we tried the pastelitos de carne molida - essentially a ground beef & potato empanada topped with cabbage, tomatoes, and pickled onions.  While carne molida translates roughly as ‘ground meat’, the meat in the pastelito seemed more like finely cubed beef.  No problems there, though, as the pastelito was fried to a pleasing crispness, the carne/potato mix had a nice flavorful spiciness, and the whole package struck us as resembling an endearing Central American interpretation of an Indian samosa.

Overall, our experience at Las Catrachas led all three of us to be infected with the kind of giddiness the food-obsessed get when challenged by the unfamiliar (who knew Hondurans ate fried chicken?  Who would’ve thought to put it on a plate of banana fries and cover it with all sorts of stuff?!) and made utterly content by it.

Ready to sign on?

Please be aware that La Catrachas is only open from Friday through Sunday (though they suggested they might be open for Memorial Day Monday and perhaps some other holidays.)  Vegetarians might find some happiness if they’re inclined to be lenient with some of the minor ingredients in the beans and cornmeal preparations – we can’t confirm the use of lard, but the likelihood is there. The staff is very friendly, and happy to work through any language difficulties.

Just for kicks, a look at the tajadas de platanos verde con pollo (which we intend to try next time):

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El Nopal

sullivant avenue columbus, west side taco trucks

El Nopal
3528 Sullivant Avenue
Open 11am-10pm daily except Wednesday

Click here to map it!

We’ve been taco trucking enough that we can recognize ‘recycled’ trucks, even when they’ve been repainted. El Nopal is the formerly pink Mi Chula, a much missed Mexican seafood kitchen. As an added curiosity, the menu board is from the old Otro Rollo truck, which was briefly known as El Milagro. I doubt this will be the last we’ll see of it.

Given the heritage of the menu board it’s not too surprising that it doesn’t relate terribly closely to what is on offer (or at least what was on offer during our visit). The pictures on the other side of the truck seemed the truer guide: tacos, huaraches, tortas and hamburguesas as well as (pictured below) sopes and gorditas. Burritos and quesadillas are likely as well.

taco trucks columbus

The meat options were limited on our visit (chicken, steak, lengua, pork), but they do have a small al pastor spit that we’re told will be used on weekends.

The truck resides in the parking lot of its parent restaurant of the same name.

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Los Chilangos

homemade tortillas

1415 Demorest Road
614.599.7365 or 614.360.6053
Open 10am – 10pm, 7 days a week.

Click here to map it!

Update – Los Chilangos have a new location on Demorest Road. They are working towards opening a restaurant at that location and at the moment you can sit inside the restaurant while you eat. Once the kitchen is finished they will transition from the truck to the restaurant. They continue to make homemade tortillas (really good) and we’d recommend their lengua as well.

——

Los Chilangos marks our first find of the 2011 taco truck season, and it’s an interesting one. Tortas are their calling card, and they quickly distinguish themselves by having a selection of over 20 of them to choose from.

And, they distinguish themselves in the super-sizing game as well – your average torta is already a big meal, but these things are out of control:

They’re good, too. Pictured above is the ‘nortena’, a satisfying behemoth that includes egg, chorizo, and milaneza.

Beyond tortas, the offerings are minimal – tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and huaraches round it out. Surprisingly, though, these were every bit as satisfying as the tortas (we’ve tried all save the burrito). Corn tortillas are made in-truck, make for a delicious differentiator, and are used not only with the tacos but also for the quesadillas. The thicker, also cornmeal-derived huarache base was also conspicuously handmade.

 

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Winter 2011 Taco Truck Tally: Support Your Local Taco Slingers

Some people think that Taco Trucks migrate to the south for the winter. Not true. Just like the rest of us they hunker down, try to stay warm and try to make a living until spring comes along. Most of the Taco Trucks in Columbus do stay open in the wintertime. However, their hours become a bit irregular and some just call it a day before the day begins. Equipment used in some of the trucks does not work well when it is below freezing and just like us – if the employees are freezing, they don’t work too well either.

A few trucks take late December, January, February and early March off. Many reduce evening hours and try to stay open on days when the temperatures are above 32 degrees. In the case of Taqueria Jalisco II, the owners decided to open up at Mad River Mountain (skiing destination) and take the tacos to the people. Los Guachos and Super Torta II have brick and mortar locations to feed you when the outside temperatures bring fear to you.

So, in the meantime, the best way to fight winter and avoid cabin fever is to go out there and eat tacos. This is also a way to ensure that taco truck you loved in the summer returns in the spring by making sure they have enough income to survive in the dark days of winter.

A couple taco truck census missions were conducted after New Year’s Day. A few taco trucks have disappeared and a couple show no signs of recent activity. Two trucks seem to have repositioned to ride out the winter together as dueling taco trucks. Taqueria y Pupuseria Salvadorena and Taqueria La Morena have been open some weekend evenings in the parking lot of a bar which seems to change names every few months at 2400 E Dublin Granville Rd / SR 161.

To support winter taco consumption, help out our friends during a slow business time and to help you fight the cold of winter with hot sauce we are listing some of the trucks you can depend on to be open for non snowmageddon days.

Taco Nazo

Los Guachos

Taqueria Little Mexico

Taqueria Jalisco

El Tacorriendo

Juniors Tacos

Taqueria Davanne

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Los Guachos Opens Sit-Down Restaurant

That’s right, perennial TTC favorite Los Guachos just opened a brand spankin’ new bricks & mortar restaurant serving all of the favorites (spit-roasted al pastor, anyone?) from their truck and more. To get the skinny, see our write up on alt.eats.columbus ->here<-.

If you haven’t subscribed to the alt.eats feed, we’d encourage you to do so. There are a couple of other trucks poised to make the leap to full restaurant operation, and alt.eats is where sit-down restaurants will be covered.

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