Author Archives: tacodrew

El Simoncito

5005 Chatterton Rd.
Open 10am – 10pm daily
614.449.8889

Click here to map it!

The employees at El Simoncito are men (and women) of few words:

“Do you have a menu?” (there wasn’t one posted.)

“No.”

“What do you serve?”

“Tacos.”

Oooo-kaaaay then.  Well, we ordered a couple of… (drum roll please)… tacos.

The tacos themselves – not bad, actually. The al pastor was nicely seasoned and the carne asada was, in every way shape and form, carne asada-ish. Salsas were good, with the nod going to the fiery green avocado/guac style.

We’d have liked to try more, but the ‘speaking’ barrier was a bit off-putting. Frustratingly, this didn’t seem to be a matter of an inability to communicate so much as the lack of will to try, and we say that having just enough Spanish under our belts to feel confident in knowing the difference.

El Simoncito, ladies and gentlemen: they have tacos.

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Taqueria Jalisco II


Note: This truck is still in operation, but is no longer fixed to a location

With the addition of this new truck, Taqueria Jalisco the vendor has become Taqueria Jalisco the franchise.  The Martinez family has put significant time, effort, and money into the kitchen of their new baby, and the results are nothing short of sparkling.

Impressive though it may be, the kitchen’s real advantage comes from allowing the truck to provide an expanded menu offering that includes a significant number of full meals (‘special plates’).

For example, see the carne asada above – as straightforward as it is satisfying, this dish is a simple seasoned and grilled piece of skirt steak with sides of rice and beans.  Tortillas come on the side.

The pollo loco is another plate special – a lightly spiced half chicken also accompanied by beans, rice, and tortillas.

Highlighting TJ2’s seafood offerings is the aguachiles – a tart and refreshing mix of uncooked shrimp, lime juice, cilantro, diced vegetables, and jalapeno pepper.  Served with tostadas on the side (pile the aguachiles on top and eat), aguachiles make for a pleasant bite on a hot day.

TJ2 also offers the full range of items from their first truck and makes them with your choice of carne asada, pollo, al pastor, carnitas, chorizo or lengua.  Through May, they’re offering tacos for $1.00 each.

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If you’re checking in on the Taco Truck Tour…

…rest assured, it’s ON.  See you at 4:00!

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Taco Truck Tour 2010 (and after party) This Saturday!

It’s coming up quickly, so we thought we’d provide a few updates and some advice on how to maximize your taco trucking enjoyment.

First off, a big thanks to Hal and Al’s (on Parsons Ave) who have kindly offered to host an after party for the taco tour. For $8 you will get 4 different bottles of Mexican beer – Dos Equis Amber, Dos Equis Lager, Sol, and Tecate – in a Dos Equis bucket that is yours to keep. There will also be Jarritos Mexican sodas, for those who don’t want beer.

Next item of business – unlike some of our events last year, there will not be a suggested donation for participation.  However, we will provide the opportunity to make donations to the Centro Esperanza Latina (Center for Latin Hope), which is a community development organization that provides a great number of invaluable services for the Latino community in Central Ohio.

Preparation for the event is minimal, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the trucks only accept cash, so please be sure to have some on hand (it shouldn’t take much).  Second, we’re not sure what to expect for weather.  We know that a few raindrops aren’t going to keep us from enjoying the day, but a rain jacket or umbrella might be worth keeping on hand just-in-case.

We will have maps on hand at Taqueria Little Mexico to show locations for the trucks and tell a little about why each is special.  All trucks are easily within a mile of each other.

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The Big Bass Brothers – Taco Trucks in the Funhouse Mirror

Now this was something different… !

When the Big Bass Brothers called us for advice on taco trucks to visit (thanks Columbusfoodie!), we had no idea what to expect. To be honest, we hadn’t heard of them and really didn’t have any idea as to what they did. So, for those who are in the same boat as we were, a quick synopsis – the BBB have a weekly radio show on WTVN 610 that entertainingly covers their lunch adventures as they look for inexpensive quality eats. And bathrooms… mustn’t forget the bathrooms.

Their piece aired yesterday at 3:00pm (and again at 6:00pm), and we gave ’em a listen. Our thoughts?

Well, first off, we’re glad they did it. They gave this site scads of plugs and love, which sent considerable traffic our way. We hope that means that a lot of their listeners will be trying out the trucks.  (Edit – we’ve spoken with a few of the trucks and they definitely saw a good bit of new business over the last few days).

Second, they reminded us of what it’s like to visit a truck for the first time… the tinge of anxiety, discomfort with the language barrier, and uncertainty with unfamiliar foods. As the BBB show is as much entertainment as it is informative, it’s to their credit that the generally dealt with all of this in a fair-minded manner. A bit cringe-worthy, at times – he did not just say ‘go to Giant Eagle and get some taco seasoning,’ did he?! (yes, yes he did…) – but generally honest and fair.

Third, we wish we could’ve been there with them.  They rate their experiences on a scale of 1 to 5 bellies, and when all was said and done their taco truck rating probably averaged out to a 3.  With a little more guidance, we feel pretty confident we could’ve delivered a 5 belly experience.  Well, save for the bathrooms.

You can give it a listen here: link

The trucks mentioned on the show were Otro Rollo, Little MexicoLas Delicias and Los Potosinos (which is closed on Wednesdays). If you want your own 5 belly tour, all of these trucks and more will be included in the tour on April 24th.

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Taco Truck Tour 2010!

Click for printable full size version of this image

The days are getting longer, and the temperature is rising – yes, folks, it’s taco truck season!  What better way to mark the occasion than to join us on our first Taco Truck Tour of the year?

Meet us on April 24th, at around 4:00pm in the parking lot by Taqueria Little Mexico (3900 Sullivant Ave.) for an afternoon of sampling the cuisines of Mexico as offered by the taco trucks of the west side, including:

  • The tacos & gorditas of Little Mexico, Columbus’s oldest taco truck
  • Succulent pollo al carbon (marinated and grilled chicken) found only at Los Potosinos
  • The unbeatable spit roasted al pastor tacos and gringas at Los Guachos
  • Pizza-sized tlayudas at Super Torta II

…and much more, including a live mariachi band at Potosinos.  We’ll be at the trucks with guidance and advice, and will be distributing maps at the meet-up point.

Look forward to seeing you!

————

By the way, in case you haven’t heard – we’ve started a new blog called alt.eats.columbus.  Not all cultures are inclined towards mobile vending, but an awful lot of ’em are serving up great tasting and reasonably-priced dishes from their native cuisines – mostly in the lesser-traveled parts of our town (where rent is cheap).  alt.eats strives to make note of these restaurants, much in the same way that we’ve chronicled the city’s taco trucks.  This new project will run concurrently with TTC, and we’d love for you to check it out.

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Taqueria Davanne

Corner of 5th and Forsythe, Victorian Village
11am-9pm

614.735.5979

Closed. This truck is now Taqueria Los Primos

When we first started out with this taco truck blogging adventure, everyone asked us: have you been to the truck next to the Mexican market in Victorian Village?

We had, and it was always closed.

Until now, that is.  A cousin of the owner of the market has taken the truck over, given it a fresh coat of paint, and opened up last week with a limited menu that they plan to expand with time. The hours may also increase over time. The owners are a husband and wife team and were very friendly. The truck name is a compilation of their children’s names.

Currently, they offer tacos, tortas, burritos, and quesadillas filled with your selection from six different meat options.  We tried the cecina, al pastor, and chorizo tacos, and all met or exceeded expectations.  The chorizo in particular was nice – less greasy than most, but lacking nothing in flavor. It is house-made by the grocery store, so you can also go inside and buy some to take home.

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