Tag Archives: taco trucks columbus

Truckload of Tacos

Truckload of Tacos is the headline of G.A. Benton’s taco truck feature in this week’s Alive! We had a lot of fun showing G.A and the rest of the Alive crew around some of our favorite trucks and were really pleased with their fantastic seven page(!) feature – as well as the plug for our new project alteatscolumbus. You can read G.A.’s initial post-tour musings here.

It’s been a busy month for the taco truck crew (aka the three amigos). The warmer weather has seen the opening of several new trucks and there are rumors of more on the way. The list of trucks is currently up to date and we will surely be adding more trucks to it soon. There’s also the map to help you find them.

Earlier this month, I did a feature for Vendr.TV eating street food for a day on a budget of $10. I managed, just, and of course, my street food choices included two taco trucks. My $10 day wouldn’t have been complete without the most craveable of taco truck food, a Los Guachos gringa. If you haven’t tried this killer combination of caramelized cheese, al pastor pork fresh from the spit, grilled pineapple and avocado cilantro sauce, well frankly, I feel sorry for you.

As the taco truck project has received so much interest and support we have found ourselves becoming increasingly involved with liaison and advocacy. There are some interesting dynamics between the trucks, the city and the neighborhoods in which they are located. We see the taco trucks as a very positive asset for Columbus and we hope that others will too. We are not sure where this project will eventually take us, but so far its been a very rewarding journey.

One of the highlights of the last month was our Spring 2010 Taco Truck Tour. You can read my full write up on taco trucks columbus. The tours are always a lot of fun: seeing old friends, making new ones, watching people trying new food and sharing the experience with them. The tours get people to explore parts of the city that they might not ordinarily visit and can help to bring communities together. I love that we are able to collaborate with other groups and organizations and that taco trucks appeal to such a diverse range of people.

Visiting the taco trucks is always fun: eating al fresco, not knowing who you will run into, or what what new experiences await you. My most recent bizarre taco truck food experience – chicken shaped (but luckily not flavored) jello.

Upcoming taco truck events are a Cinco de Mayo meet up at Taco Nazo with specially made posole (There will be a group of bikers leaving from Goodale Park at 6.30pm, or you can just meet us at Taco Nazo.) and a presentation on taco trucks and other food adventures at Pecha Kucha on May 13th.  If you have never been to Pecha Kucha, it is a fantastic format for people to speak, very concisely, about what they are passionate about. You are allowed to show 20 slides and you have 20 seconds to talk about each one. I’m a little nervous, but excited to share our story and our love for taco trucks.

Thanks to all the taco truck fans for all the kind words and support for our project, and special thanks of course, to my two amigos. I can’t think of better people to stuff my face with gringas with.

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Filed under Columbus, ethnic eats, street food, Taco trucks

Night of 1001 Tacos

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Yes, its a sequel, but we think this is one time that the sequel will be even better than the first. This time we will have the movie showing of The 3 Amigos and we have refined the route and learned a few lessons and have a few improvements from the first Night of 1000 tacos. If you missed out on the fun last time you can read about it here. The trucks were amazingly hospitable and taco truck veterans and novices all had a great time.

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The tour is organized with Columbus Rides but is open to all kinds of transport. For cyclists I would recommend helmets, lights and something warm as it gets cool by the end. For cars, car pooling is great as it makes parking easier. We will provide maps and a ‘field guide’ with some taco terminology to help people who are new to taco trucks. The whole Taco Trucks Columbus team will also be at the trucks to offer assistance with ordering.

Tacos cost around $1.25 each depending on the truck and the filling and all of the trucks have other offerings if you want to move beyond tacos.

If you can’t make the ride, you are still welcome to come to the movie. It starts at 11.30pm and we will have some prize give-aways before the movie starts.

Last time we raised $200 for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and this time we hope to raise a lot more. Studio 35 is kindly donating the movie so please come and watch, have a beer (or two) and laugh at Steve and Chevy.

For more information and a printable flyer please visit tacotruckscolumbus.com

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Night of 1000 Tacos

This post is also posted on tacotruckscolumbus.com

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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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Filed under special events, Taco trucks