Author Archives: hungrywoolf

About hungrywoolf

Co-founder of tacotruckscolumbus.com, alteatscolumbus.com and streeteatscolumbus.com. Bethia is also co-owner of Columbus Food Adventures and writes about food for Columbus Monthly.

Los Sartenes

taco trucks columbus

901 S. James Road
614.439.5308
Facebook
@lossartenes 

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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.

salvadorean food

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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El Taco Peton II

columbus taco trucks

II
2374 East Dublin Granville Road
Columbus, OH 43229
(parking lot of Central Ohio Dental)
Friday-Sunday 11am-9pm

El Taco Peton is the sibling truck of El Taco Peton on Karl Road. Same owners, different but close location. It is currently only open on weekends.

chalupas columbus

El Peton has a broad menu with traditional taco truck offerings (tacos, quesadillas, tortas) but also some more unusual dishes:

  • Chalupas  –  a taco with mashed potato and onion and topped with lettuce and shredded chicken.
  • Huraches – a large masa base (sandal shaped and sized) topped with beans, meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream
  • Pambazo – a sandwich containing a fried potato and chorizo mixture, lettuce, cheese and sour cream. (served here with shredded chicken as well)
  • Sope – a mini version of a huarache. A disc of masa (corn meal) topped with beans, meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream
  • Pupusa – popular Central American stuffed corn cake usually filled with cheese, beans, meat or a mixture of the three.
  • Nopal is the pads of the prickly pear cactus and it is usually served grilled in strips.

el peton taco truck

Generously plump and not greasy pupusas served with a generous helping of curtido (slightly fermented slaw). The curtido was notably herby in flavor.

columbus mexican food

Pambazo sandwiches are usually dipped in red sauce and then cooked on the grill. That’s not the case here. The sandwich is good, it’s less messy to eat, but it’s not our favorite in this part of town. That honor goes to Don Pedro’s.

el peton taqueria

El Peton (I & II) are the only trucks we’ve found offering chalupas. It’s a shredded chicken taco with lettuce, finely chopped radish, cheese and mashed potato! It’s a good option for those who don’t like spicy food – or you can add some hot sauce to jazz it up.

El Peton also offers some Sunday specials: goat barbacoa and goat consume. Consume is a meaty soup made with the cooking liquid from the barbacoa and served with finely chopped onions and cilantro. It’s a great accompaniment to the barbacoa tacos.

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El Taco Peton I

tamales in columbus
3881 Cleveland avenue
Columbus Ohio 43224
Monday to Saturday 9 am till 9:30 pm

El Peton has a broad menu with traditional taco truck offerings (tacos, quesadillas, tortas) but also some more unusual dishes:

  • Chalupas  –  a taco with mashed potato and onion and topped with lettuce and shredded chicken.
  • Huraches – a large masa base (sandal shaped and sized) topped with beans, meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream
  • Pambazo – a sandwich containing a fried potato and chorizo mixture, lettuce, cheese and sour cream. (served here with shredded chicken as well)
  • Sinchronizada – is like a quesadilla but it is made with two flour tortillas instead of one folded one and it usually contains ham.
  • Pupusa – popular Central American stuffed corn cake usually filled with cheese, beans, meat or a mixture of the three.

mexican food in columbus

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Previous post from 11/07/11

El Taco Peton is the newest truck on the NE side of town. Parked in the lot of La Cabana lounge it’s open late at the weekends. This truck is the former Pupuseria Salvadorena and is maintaining the same location, so it is appropriate that they still serve pupusas as well as some standard taco truck fare.

el taco peton

These were the thickest pupusas we’ve ever had but they were well cooked and had a nice crunch to them. We visited El Taco Peton on a cold wet rainy evening – so apologies for the menu photo.

taco trucks columbus

The most interesting thing on the menu was the chalupas, something we haven’t seen on any other taco truck menus in Columbus (yes, we know – Taco Bell has something with the same name). The version of chalupa here was different than what we expected – a taco with mashed potato and onion and topped with lettuce and shredded chicken. I liked it but I’m a sucker for mashed potato. The chalupa is pictured below with a couple of tacos (al pastor and asada).

el taco peton

One of the other more unusual dishes was the pambaso (pambazo) – a torta where the bread is dipped in a red guajillo pepper sauce and the filling is potato and chorizo. We didn’t think that it was quite as good as Don Pedro’s – our favorite pambazo in town – but it’s still a satisfying sandwich.

el taco peton columbus

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El Tuzo Taco

west side taco trucks columbus

Sunoco Gas Station at the Intersection of Fisher Road and Hague Road
Open every day.
614.483.7837

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Although there’s a limited selection of meat options (steak, chicken chorizo and al pastor), the menu selection at El Tuzo is otherwise quite broad. We were happy to see pambazos pop up again, but when we visited they did not have the ingredients for them. In addition to the regular menu items, they also have some weekend-only specials: tamales, tacos de chicharron and menudo.

taco trucks in columbus

where to find tamales in Columbus

We tried a taco, a tostada, a hurache and a tamale and, between them, sampled all of the different protein options. Everything was perfectly passable, little struck us as exceptional. The tostada shell was made to order, a hand fried tortilla rather than a store bought one – a nice touch. The hurache was on the small side but serviceable. The tamale was made with green sauce and was nice and moist.

One more unusual dish is the ‘tuzalad’ which was a salad with your choice of meat plus lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber and freshly fried tortilla chips. It’s not often that you see salads on taco truck menus. The meat shown in the photo was chicken, which had been marinated. We asked for the salsa (pictured) with ours as there did not seem to be any dressing.

tuzalad

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Taqueria Los Tapatios

east side columbus taco trucks

4815 E Main St
(by Family Thrift)
614.424.1660
Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm, Sunday 9am-3pm

Monday-Thursday: regular menu
Friday-Saturday: al pastor spit, extra meat options: head, eyeballs and brains
Sunday: beef stew/soup

Click here to map it!

Los Tapatios is a reincarnation of the old East side truck Las Brasas. The new owners bought it at the beginning of 2012,  and have reintroduced it with an interesting menu that includes regional specialties (pambazo) as well as some protein offering – eyeballs and brains – that we haven’t seen advertized at any of the Columbus trucks before.

They also, of course, carry the standard offerings (tacos, burritos, quesadillas) as well as huraches and gringas. On Wednesdays tacos are $1.

pambazo columbus ohio

We weren’t able to try the pambazo as they were out of potatoes, or the eyeballs & brains (since it was a Tuesday…) so we went with tacos.

sesos tacos columbus, oyo tacos columbus

We tried chicken, steak and tripa. All were were thoroughly solid, with a generous amount of meat. The chicken taco had meaty chunks of chicken seasoned with black pepper. The tripa was probably our favorite of the three.

On the first free Friday/Saturday we come upon, we’ll return to Tapatios to try the Andrew Zimmern stuff. Wish us luck!

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