Tag Archives: Don Pedro’s

Late Night Taco Trucks at the Continent

In the early 1980’s, the Continent near the intersection of SR 161 and Busch Blvd., was the place to be in Columbus. The location housed the French Market, which added an international feel to the city with a food court of various foods, independent shops that had a faux French Village Motif and lots and lots of people coursing through the area. The area was dead by the mid 1990’s. In the last few years, the place has had a minor rebirth as a destination for the young Latino population of Columbus. On Friday, Saturday and especially Sunday nights, the night clubs are full. If you did not look at the license plates in the parking lot you could think you were in Houston, Santa Fe, Southern California or even parts of Mexico City. Mixed among the throngs of the young ladies with short skirts, bangle ear rings and three-inch heels and macho boys in Cowboy hats and urban wear you will find two Taco Trucks serving the crowds and keeping it real in the neighborhood.

IMG_2124

El Tizoncito has been at the location for over a year. Don Pedro’s (well known to the writers of TTC) has migrated to this spot in early 2013 and found it to be very profitable. Tizoncito parks in front of Euphoria Night Club Friday to Sunday from 7:30 pm to 3:30 am.

IMG_2123

Don Pedro’s pops out the panbazo’s Friday to Sunday until 4 am in front of Spain Night Club. The club complex is more centrally located and more upscale than many other Taco Truck locations in town. There is also a bit of a sense of “turf” here, so if you are going to visit to appreciate the food and the culture, you may feel that you really stand out from the crowd. Do make sure you know some Spanish if you plan on doing more than ordering food to go.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under La Vida Taco

Pambazo Thursdays at Don Pedros

Got Pambazo?

Got Pambazo?

Starting Thursday October 22nd and running until Thursday November 19th, Don Pedro’s will be offering a special on their Pambazo sandwich. The price will be $4 on any Thursday.

We came to know the owners of Don Pedros during the Nights of 1000 and 1001 Tacos. They are newer to the Taco Truck trade and could use a little burst of business as they get ready to weather their first winter in Columbus. As a social media experiment we decided to spread the word about their signature sandwich and get you a better price in the bargain.

Here is where to find the sandwich:

Don Pedro’s

Near 6066 Cleveland Ave. (near intersection with Deewood Dr.)

614.327.0515

Click here to map it!

Did you know that the Pambazo is the official sandwich of Vera Cruz? So…while some say Pambazo, at Don Pedro’s the sign says Panbazo (which makes sense Pan=Bread). However one opts to spell the special of the house, the taste is great. We went behind the scenes to see Panbazo making Don Pedro’s style.

1) Split bun, bathe in sauce, slip on the grill

1) Split bun, bathe in sauce, slip on the grill

2) Flip buns to toast, start to grill a combination of chorizo, potatoes and beans.

2) Flip buns to toast, start to grill a combination of chorizo, potatoes and beans.

3) A little spatula action.....

3) A little spatula action.....

4) Mixed grill mixture goes on the bun

4) Mixed grill mixture goes on the bun

 5) Some lechuga - lettuce to most of us

5) Some lechuga - lettuce to most of us

6) A squirt of special / secret sauce

6) A squirt of special / secret sauce

7) Slice on some avacado

7) Slice on some avacado

Pambazo - Don Pedros Panbazo style.....

Pambazo - Don Pedro's Panbazo style.....

So consider giving the sandwich and Don Pedro’s a shot. We hope you like it. Please note this warning: this saucy sandwich can make a mess so take some wet naps, shout wipes or something to supplement the napkins and wax paper that come with the sandwich.

If there are any other special taco truck dishes you want us to explore send us an e-mail.

2 Comments

Filed under Taco Truck

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

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

Don Pedro’s Tacos

The Continent 6134 Busch Blvd. (in front of Spain Night Club)
Open
Monday to Thursday 11 am to 11 pm
Friday to Sunday 11 am to 4 am (yes, 4 am)

614.622.5862

Click here to map it!

We’ve long thought of the Broad-Georgesville-Sullivant-Wilson rectangle on the west side as the ground zero of taco trucking in Columbus.  Lately, though, we’re not quite so sure… the ‘east of 71’ crowd seems to be asserting itself with some capable and interesting newcomers such as El Manantial Latino, 8th Taste, and now: Don Pedro’s Tacos.

Don Pedro’s Tacos has been operating for less than a month, but seems to have hit the ground running in terms of quality – the al pastor and longaniza (basically chorizo) tacos were solid and then some.

Having more than satisfied our ‘can they do the basics well’ test, we started exploring the menu for less conventional offerings…

…and we found some.  What is this pambazos?  Well, basically a torta, but with one important difference:

Yep, red bread.  If we understood correctly, it was dredged in a sauce and then toasted – apparently a method of preparation that the Don Pedro’s folks learned from a famous bread maker in Mexico City.  What’s certain is this: 1) the mildly spicy but immensely flavorful bread elevates this otherwise conventional torta-style sandwich to new heights, and 2) you will need LOTS of napkins.

Solid basics, novel offerings, and (did we forget to mention?) friendly operators means:  thumbs up, check ’em out.

16 Comments

Filed under Taco Truck