03 May 2008
Speaking of Tacos
(Thanks, Los Taco Trucks, for the photo.)
So the other morning NPR ran this story about a website that lists addresses and reviews of taco trucks on the west coast. Now as you may have noticed in my last post, I'm a fan of the taco. As much as I love Seattle, however, there is a severe--and severely disappointing--lack of worthwhile Mexican food here. Having spent so much time around Chicago, where there's lots of great Mexican, it's been an unpleasant adjustment. So when I heard that story, I got pretty excited: Mexican! West coast!
Alas, when I took a look at the website (yumtacos.com) I discovered that Portland was the closest place they list . . .
Now, it was some comfort that we were able to use our new tortilla press and some of Mark Bittman's recipes from last week to make some tasty tacos at home, but, well, it's just not the same.
Just as I'd resigned myself to this bland fate, however, Emily stumbled across a piece on some local taco trucks in the Seattle Weekly.
At this point, two main things became clear: all hope was not lost; and people really seem to be talking about tacos a lot lately. Indeed, there was a front page story in today's Times about recent legal issues confronting taco trucks in LA, which included this charming passage:
This a where you can pave over a freeway’s carpool lanes with toll roads, and few will complain. You can propose a 40-story skyrise in the center of Hollywood, and hardly anyone two miles to the west will take notice. You can squander public money, close down the ports and flatten landmarks, and many residents of this sprawling metropolis will simply yawn and move on.
But this is also a food-obsessed city with rich Hispanic cultural traditions, and tacos have crossed the miles of road and class divides.
Ah, tacos . . .
Anyhow, this evening we booked ourselves a Zipcar (Flexcar was bought out, but whatever), drove down to the Columbia City neighborhood, and had some terrific carnitas at Tacos El Asadero. Delicious, affordable, and served in a bus that's been converted into a a tiny kitchen and ten-stool seating area. What could be better?
Emily, in fact, said that it was the best carnitas she had ever had. Oh how I love a happy ending.
Now why is it that good food like that is served in a converted bus miles from the supposedly cool part of the city where we live? I don't know, but there's something wrong somewhere. The writer of this '04 review in the Stranger agrees, though, that's it's worth the trouble getting there.
Overwhelmingly positive reviews on yelp seem to share the sentiment as well.
Also, note that the link I put for the taco place is not to their own website (they sell tacos for $1.20 in a converted bus!); it's to a site that seems to do a decent (if not particularly up to date) job of tracking local taco trucks, called Los Taco Trucks.
Why did I use their photo above? Well, here's the one I took with my phone:
Oh, and what are carnitas? Try the Wikipedia entry.