It’s sunny, warm. I actually got a sunburn while out this afternoon checking out a new restaurant (more on that next week).
And this is what I like to call Taco Truck Season.
It’s that time of year when we don’t have to wait in front of the taco bus hunched under our umbrellas, or scurry to our cars, taking cover from the rain while waiting for that order of carnitas tacos.
And just in time for Taco Truck Season is a new mobile taqueria: Taqueria Las Torres on Sixth Avenue. It opened two months ago in the parking lot of an old check cashing place (next to Gateway to India). The taco truck has a bonus – indoor seating for when the rainy weather does return (and we all know it will, despite our current stretch of sunny delight).
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The truck doesn’t list prices, rather, the prices are listed on oversized signs in the parking lot. The signs shout, “Burritos $2.99! Tacos 89 cents!” This is cheap eating.
We ordered our taco truck standard: a torta sandwich ($3.99), with chicken. A chewy roll was buttered and grilled. Grilled chicken was tender and moist, the chopped meat tinged with chiles and lime. Chopped (not shredded lettuce), a slice of tomato, a swipe of mayo and a few sprigs of cilantro finished the sloppy sandwich that dripped all over the downscale table inside the seating area that flanks the mobile taco truck. I’d go back just for that torta.
A carnitas burrito ($2.99, plus $1 extra for avocado) was a little less delicious, but still a good burrito for a bargain price. I want carnitas that are succulent, but crispy around the edges from a tour on the grill before being stuffed into the burrito. The carnitas here were succulent, but tasted flat and floppy, overly fatty around the edges. The meat wasn't crispy grilled. The meat was stuffed into a flour shell with avocado, cilantro, diced onions, rice and beans. It was filling and cheap. But next time I’d get a chicken or carne asada instead.
A carne asada taco (89 cents) was about as perfect a steak taco I’ve ever enjoyed in town. Grilled steak was piled atop double decker corn tortillas. The meat was simply topped with chopped onions, a squeeze of lime and chopped, fresh cilantro. I added verde sauce from the squeeze bottle that we were offered as we collected our order. I appreciated the pickled carrot, radish and grilled onion and jalapeno that came on the side. For under $1, that’s a pretty decent nosh. Get two and it's one of the best $2 lunches you'll be able to find.
The scene was Sixth Avenue hipsters, local students and working men on our visit. The seating inside offers a handful of tables, but the atmosphere is very bare bones with no artwork on the walls and seats that are accommodating, but far from an inviting place to stick around and linger. Sure beats standing in the rain though, doesn’t it?
Taqueria Las Torres
Where: 2515 Sixth Avenue, Tacoma (next to Gateway to India)
Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Details: They take cards or cash.
See my tour of taco trucks here: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/tntdiner/2009/09/22/tacos-for-taco-truck-weather/