Category Archives: Taco Truck Tour

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.

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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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Taco Tour Spring 2010

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.

Click image for full size map

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.

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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!

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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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Buenos Dias Columbus

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This time last week we were standing in a parking lot eating tacos for breakfast. While we have eaten a lot of tacos in the last 6 months, we don’t usually eat them for breakfast. This was a special occasion, we had been invited by Johnny DiLoretto to appear on Fox 28’s morning show, Good Morning Columbus. So it was that we were watching the sunrise  from a parking lot on 161.

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If you missed our TV appearances – We had Johnny riding around on Ray’s big orange cruiser to talk about the taco tour, ordering and eating Lengua tacos live on air and evangelizing about the joys of taco truck food. We are always excited about any opportunity to spread the word about Columbus’s taco truck dining opportunities. There was a lot of food and the trucks kept bringing out more and more dishes. Johnny said that he ate more that he has ever eaten on a morning shoot and I am sold on tacos and tamales for breakfast.

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We were really impressed that Johnny comes up with 90% of his location ideas himself. He films somewhere different every week day morning and coming up with novel locations every day is an amazing feat. Every suggestion we made was somewhere he had already been. He does a great job of highlighting independent businesses, interesting places in Columbus and his early morning enthusiasm is amazing and contagious.

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The trucks involved were Taco Nazo (in their regular spot near 161 and Maple Canyon) and Don Pedro’s (generally found further north at 6066 Cleveland Ave). They were fantastic as usual, up at the crack of dawn cheerfully producing tables full of food, steaming hot coffee and hot chocolate and tamales. The Taco Nazo team sporting new t shirts, had made a special cake in the shape of their truck and between segments someone even made a little satellite dish for it. It was about as much fun as you can have at 7am.

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We also got to try a new dish. Don Pedro’s whipped up some alambres – beef, peppers, onions, cheese and bacon, served with hot flour tortillas. It’s like fajitas for breakfast. Very tasty.

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The purpose of the post is mainly to thank Johnny Di Loretto for helping us to publicize the Night of 1001 tacos event; Esteban for helping us liaise with the trucks; the trucks for their enthusiasm and hospitality; and to Johnny’s friend (and former colleague) who told him that he really should do a feature on taco trucks.

Talking about health inspections

Talking about health inspections

Taco Nazo told us that they have served lots of ‘Americans’ who saw them on TV asking for lengua tacos. Good to know that lengua love is spreading.

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More photos on flickr.

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Recap: Night of 1001 Tacos

To be honest, we didn’t know what to expect.  It had been raining on-and-off for days, and certainly showed no sign of letting up last night.  We had promoted this event a lot, though – through a variety of social media outlets as well as on Fox 28 and ABC 6 (thanks Johnny DiLoretto!) – so the word was out.

Results?  The turnout was, somewhat surprisingly, every bit the equal of our last taco tour, and the group’s enthusiasm held the dampness and chill at bay.  Generous servings of piping hot atole, hot chocolate, and cinnamon spiked coffee didn’t hurt either.

The trucks, of course, were fantastic at accommodating the crowds.  All of them provided tents for shelter, most offered up something warm to drink (and other treats) gratis, and a couple even donated a portion of their income from the night to charity.  Nobody does hospitality like taco trucks during one of our tours… and this is, I assure you, entirely without any sort of prompting from us (beyond simply letting them know that we’re coming).

To the 16 or so attendees who chose to travel the route on bikes – you have our sincere respect.  The weather made this something of a daunting ride, but this group just seemed to thrive on the adversity.

To everyone who attended – thank you.  We had a lot of fun chatting and getting to know many of you, and definitely got the impression that a good time was had by all. We can certainly say that your participation was worth it to the Mid Ohio Foodbank.

Special thanks to Studio 35, who generously donated all proceeds from the movie (not to mention the movie itself), and to Taco Nazo and Taqueria Jalisco for donating a portion of their income from the evening as well.  None of these guys are getting rich off of what they’re doing, making their generosity even more striking.

After all was said and done, this group effort raised over $450 for the Mid Ohio Foodbank.

We’d also like to thank Esteban.  This guy came out of nowhere a few months ago, said he liked what we’ve been doing, and offered to help in any way possible.  Since then, he’s been enthusiastically working to coordinate the trucks and the media events.  This simply wouldn’t have been the same event without him.

Quick note – there are still a few t-shirts left from last night.  If you’d like one, email us at tacotruckscolumbus@live.com and please include your shirt size.  You too can sport the latest in taco truck fashion, and for the bargain price of only $10!

Hungrywoolf and Ray George have posted photos to flickr here and here.  A few of our favorites:

Taco Nazo recreated their truck and its environs in cake!

Taqueria Jalisco, a beacon in the rain

Cyclists enjoying the offering at Taquikin

Quicho makes that t-shirt look gooood

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Don Pedro's Mexican coffee and delicious Pambazos were a hit!

At Studio 35

The cake says it all

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