Category Archives: Taco Truck Tour

Buenos Dias Columbus

IMG_6010

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.

IMG_6024

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.

IMG_6023

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.

IMG_6063

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.

IMG_6041

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.

IMG_6009

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.

IMG_6033

More photos on flickr.

2 Comments

Filed under La Vida Taco, Taco Truck Tour

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

P9180043

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

At Studio 35

The cake says it all

1 Comment

Filed under Taco Truck Tour

The Show Must Go ON!!!

click here for a larger (printable) version of this flyer

Make no mistake, folks – we’re committed.  Dampness will not put a damper on the activities… or our enthusiasm!  Join us tonight – and feel free to use the mode of transportation that you feel is most appropriate given the weather.

The trucks are geared up – many have cover from the precipitation, and many are offering significant discounts.  And, don’t forget – the night ends in a nice, warm, dry theater with the screening of The Three Amigos at Studio 35.

It’s all for a good cause – all donations and ticket sales go to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Leave a comment

Filed under Taco Truck Tour

Night of One Thousand AND ONE Tacos

click here for a larger (printable) version of this flyer

Now *this* is the event we’ve been trying to pull off since the beginning… this is the big one.

If you’ve read the write-up from our previous outing, you know how the trucks pulled out all of the stops – offering discounts, freebies, and amazingly warm welcomes to the participants.  Expect more of the same for this event (we’ll be visiting the same trucks), plus a generous selection of raffle items and a screening of The 3 Amigos to cap it all off.

As with the last event, all proceeds benefit the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, so join us for an evening of food and fun while supporting a worthy cause.

Also, please note: while we have been promoting this heavily within the cycling community, this is an event for everyone.  Drive, ride, scoot… whatever tickles your fancy.  We’d like to ask cyclists and scooterists to meet at Studio 35, and due to the parking situation at the theater, those taking the route by car are asked to meet up at Taco Nazo.

This event will take place rain or shine.  The trucks don’t take credit cards – bring cash.

1 Comment

Filed under Taco Truck Tour

Write-Up of Night of 1000 Tacos

P9180023

Before an event I always worry about how it will turn out. I worry about whether enough people will come, or too many people and I worry about the weather and traffic and toilets. I am usually told that things will work out fine, and in the case of the Night of 1000 tacos they did. Actually better than fine. It was a wonderful event. We raised $200 for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, we converted some new people to the pleasures of taco trucks, we had a fun bike ride and made some new friends. Some of the riders came all the way from Wheeling!

We assembled at Studio 35, waited for stragglers and with our motley crew of 30+ cyclists, 2 scooters and the red caboose, we headed north for the first taco truck. Our first stop was at Taquikin on Morse Road.

IMG_5597

Taquikin had brought their ‘A’ game for the event and had four people working in the kitchen. They turned around orders quickly and efficiently and the only thing that took time was for people to choose from the array of offerings. I kicked off the evening with a couple of tacos and some horchata. The carnitas taco was fantastic – really tender and juicy. My favorite interaction at Taquikin was talking to the young son of the owners.

Him: “Are you guys doing a race or something?’
Me: “No, we are just riding bikes to different trucks and eating tacos”
Him: “That sounds like fun”

He was right, of course. Taquikin were really welcoming and warmly thanked us for coming. The whole crew piled out of the truck to wave us off into the night. We headed north on Cleveland to stop number 2: Taqueria Jalisco.

IMG_5600

I have to admit that I have a soft spot for  Taqueria Jalisco as it was the first truck we visited when we started researching taco trucks. Jalisco is run by brothers Jorge and Oscar and they have always been great to us, even when we once accidentally forgot to pay before leaving. Everyone thought someone else had paid and we were a couple of miles away before we realized.

The Jalisco crew were sporting new-that-day polo shirts for the occasion and you could tell they were enjoying the event. I went for a carnitas sopita, a thick corn base topped with meat, sour cream, lettuce and cheese and it was really satisfying. I could have easily eaten another if there weren’t two more trucks on the route. Once the taco peloton was fed and watered we headed north again, this time on residential streets and past a high school football game. Our destination was Taco Nazo on 161.

IMG_5608

The other trucks had impressed us with their speed and service, but Taco Nazo welcomed us like celebrities with a special poster, balloons and flags and insisted on a group photo before we left.

IMG_5604

As if that wasn’t enough, there were free drinks, special prices and two enormous cakes – one with a bicycle on top and the other with a motorbike. The motorbike even revved when you pressed down on it.

IMG_5603

Owner Quicho had done us proud and we were so touched at the effort they had made to make our visit so special.

Quicho hard at work but all smiles

Quicho hard at work but all smiles

I ordered a campechano taco (a mix of pork and beef )- a speciality of Taco Naco and had a generous slice of cake. Most people were getting pretty full by this stage and I definitely heard mumblings of ‘we really have another truck?’ Luckily Taco Nazo is next to a large Walgreens and so those who needed a pit stop were able to use the bathrooms there. Thank goodness for late night drugstores! Heading north again we made our way to the last truck, greeted on route by cheers from a neighborhood cook-out of ‘Go, Green’.

IMG_5618

Our fourth and final stop was at Don Pedro’s on Cleveland Ave. Taco Nazo had raised the bar so that we almost expected a Mariachi Band at the last stop. Some of the group disappeared into the neighboring Mr Big’s Garden Inn for tequila shots but one of our group, Amber appeared inside the truck and was using her spanish skills to help translate orders. Service was a little slower at the other trucks, but some people were too full to eat any more. I found room for a pambazo, which is a speciality of Don Pedro’s. It is a hot sandwich filled with meat and potatoes and the bread is dipped into a salsa and then grilled. Really tasty. I also had some fresh mango agua fresca (their drink servings are huge). Well fueled by our Mexican food overload we pedalled back to Studio 35. Too late for the movie, but I don’t think anyone minded.

The atmosphere on the ride was great, not just from the warm welcome we received from the trucks, but also the camaraderie of the riders, looking out for each other and waiting when anyone got left at a light. We are going to change the route a little for the next ride to make sure that we can make it back in plenty of time for the 3 Amigos and maybe have the cyclists only go to 3 trucks. It would still be plenty of food.

Thanks to Ray for the idea, Ray, Jim and Andy for all the help with logistics and planning, everyone who donated services and time to make the ride possible and of course everyone who came and rode and ate and donated money to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Stay tuned for details of the Night of 1001 Tacos & showing of 3 Amigos on October 9th.

5 Comments

Filed under Taco Truck Tour