Tag Archives: Taco Truck Tour

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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Write-Up of Night of 1000 Tacos

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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’.

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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.

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Night of 1000 Tacos

Please note the change of date to September 18th and that there is no longer a screening of The 3 Amigos on this date. Check back for details of more taco events in October.

Nightof1000tacos_flyer4

Click here for full size (printable) version of flyer

Taco Trucks Columbus and Columbus Rides invite you to join us for a charity taco truck tour on Friday September 18th (please note change of date). We will  be exploring some of the taco trucks on the North Side of Columbus. The tour will start from Studio 35 (3055 Indianola Ave) at 7pm and will be approximately 20 miles. We encourage you to bike, but you are welcome to use any means of transport. Then, full of tacos, we will return to Studio 35 where you can enjoy a beer (or two). Studio 35 will be screening the movie Saved at 11.30pm  as part of ScootaQue.

We have been talking about this event for months so I am excited that it is now actually going to happen. Apologies for the changes in dates and movie – sadly beyond our control. But it  will still be a lot of fun and for a good cause too.

For the ride we are requesting a donation of $5 which will  go to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. The Foodbank have told us that for every $1 donated they can provide $8 of food.

If you are biking please wear a helmet and bring lights. We will have a waiver for cyclists to sign.

T-Shirts for the tour are available from our Skreened Store and there is a Facebook event page if you want to rsvp.

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Taqueria Little Mexico (closed – sold to new owners)

3900 Sullivant Ave (in front of Ohio Thrift)

Open 10am – 9pm (sometimes close earlier)

Click here to map it!

From Michocan

Taqueria Little Mexico is reputed to be Columbus’s first taco truck and it therefore seemed an appropriate choice as the starting point for our first taco truck tour. Little Mexico is a well established truck with a standard offering, they specialize in the basics and execute them very well.  The owners are friendly and the food is extremely good value.

Our favorite items include the gorditas which are among the best in Columbus (we usually get carne asada) and the melon agua fresca, which was a big hit on the tour. They also have good horchata and a good selection of meats.

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Here the owner shows off his homemade gordita shells.

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Taco Truck Team Takes 10TV on Tour

We received an e-mail at Taco Truck Central from Robin Davis Food Editor at the Columbus Dispatch asking if we were interested in a mini Taco Tour for TV. We said Si!

Robin is no culinary slouch. In addition to writing, editing and cooking, she does a weekly cooking program (often at the Dispatch Kitchen at the North Market). Although she does not promote it, she is a James Beard Award winner – that is a big deal. More importantly for this mission, Robin has past experience on the streets of San Francisco sampling Taco Truck fare there. We know tacos, Robin knows tacos and our goal was to teach taco truck tidbits to the masses.

Your hosts:  Hungry Woolf and Robin Davis after three taco trucks

Your hosts: Hungry Woolf and Robin Davis after three taco trucks

We met at the site of our launching point for the first Taco Truck Tour, Little Mexico. Our criteria for picking this truck were straightforward. In addition to a large parking lot in an easy to locate location, this truck was the first in Columbus. We think they have the best gorditas and we really enjoy their melon agua fresca.

Two 10TV crews pulled in right on time. Added to the mix was Dispatch Kitchen partner (and Taco Truck Tour veteran), the marvelous marketer Mary Martineau from North Market. A technician hooked up Hungry Woolf as our spokesperson and it was time to talk tacos.

The microphone was mounted on Bethia's bum

The microphone was mounted on Bethia's bum

The staff at Little Mexico were very gracious and generous in serving our merry band of taco tasters. We did not have a chance to warn them the night before so with only a few minutes notice, they cooked a variety of our favorite fare. We had great gorditas with carne asada, a spread of tacos with multiple meats, several of their homemade beverages and they topped everything off with a torta. Our Taco Truck Greenhorns were converted. We had them at carne.

At Little Mexico

At Little Mexico

Our next stop was the new location of Los Potosinos (4915 Lincoln Park Court, around the corner from Las Delicias). We admit we are not objective about this truck. Lydia and her family have fast become our friends. However, we were here to highlight some of the unique foods taco trucks have to offer. Los Potosinos is the only pollo al carbon truck in the capital city. In addition to good food we like the friendly service here.

Our special welcome sign from Los Potosinos

Our special welcome sign from Los Potosinos

We guided Robin and the cameras to Potosinos pollo al carbon, homemade ice cream and other specialties from San Luis Potosi. Our guests started at smitten when they pulled into the parking lot and smelled the chicken. It only got better from there.

Photo by Taco Drew, Hungry Woolf on film

Photo by Taco Drew, Hungry Woolf on film

While we waited for the pollo al carbon to finish grilling, we had time to take a break and plot out our next destination. We also encountered a first time Taco Trucker, who lamented that Columbus had no good Mexican restaurants since the demise of Chi Chi’s. Needless to say, his benchmark for good was raised after a couple tacos.

Taking a Taco Break

Taking a Taco Break

Mary and Robin prepped for Paparazzi

Mary and Robin prepped for Paparazzi

10TV crew taking a taco break between takes

10TV crew taking a taco break between takes

Our third and final destination for the day was Super Torta II.

Super Torta II

Super Torta II

It was hard to choose only three trucks but time was short and so is the TV segment. We opted for Super Torta II for the size and the diversity of their menu. We were not disappointed. The Taco Truck Team made this a journey of discovery as well – trying a few never before tasted items on this visit.

Robin talking tacos with Taco Drew

Robin talking tacos with Taco Drew

Tres Amigos Burrito

Tres Amigos Burrito

We tried the Tres Amigos Burrito: beef, chicken and pork in a burrito bigger than your head (will see if the visual for this makes the cut or the cutting room floor). I had my first Tlayuda (which HW and TD raved about on a previous scouting mission) which is kind of a Mexican tostada/pizza with mixed meats. Rounding out the trio was what I call a big pork rind, the real name is Chicharron preparados.

Giant Pork Rind

Giant Pork Rind

That was our three hour tour. We converted the 10TV team to our taco truckin ways and hope that we might see them back again for more Taco Truck adventures. We will let you know here when the segment airs and will link a video of the segment if we can work it out. Thanks to Robin, Mary, Bryan and the rest of the crew for joining us. Viva la Vida Taco!

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Taco Truck Tour, April 25th

We’ve encountered gargantuan Tlayudas, succulent Pollo Al Carbon, and the delicious and unique flavors of parts of animals we never knew existed. Cincinnati looks upon these offerings with envy, while Cleveland says, “yeah, we’ll take some of that.” and Japan – well, we have no idea what they actually think of it all (our Japanese is a bit rusty…) but we seem to have caught their attention for some reason or another…

In short, we’ve come to believe that Columbus has something special in it’s taco truck offering, and this is an offering we’d like to share with you – so it is with much enthusiasm (and a little sense of trepidation) we announce our first taco tour.

We intend for this to be an informal event.  The tacotruckscolumbus team Hungry Woolf, Taco Drew and CMH Gourmand will of course be on hand for suggestions and with a basic itinerary in mind, but our main goal is to land a group of interested folks in an ideal location that allows for easy access to the west side’s taco truck offerings (an east side tour is in the works).

We encourage anyone with interest to meet us on April 25th, 1:30pm at the Ohio Thrift parking lot near the Taqueria Little Mexico truck.  This truck’s offerings will provide an excellent overview of the basics of taco truck cuisine, and the more than ample parking lot should allow for carpooling to subsequent trucks if so desired. 

You will be free to go at your own pace, deviate off the route and to join us for as long (or short) as you would like. There are plenty more trucks in the area for those who can’t get enough or don’t want to wait in line. Save some room for some of Lydia’s excellent Postino style Pollo Carbon at the final stop, or take some home with you. We envisage the ‘full’ tour taking up to 4 hours. 

It would be great for us to have an idea of numbers so we can forewarn the trucks owners.
If you have questions, please post them in the comments section, in case someone else has the same question.

Link to printable full size flyer

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