1441 L Street, East Village
Sometimes two good things create a third thing that's bigger than the two of them.
Case in point: Outside Mission Brewery's big ol' brick place at 14th and L. Used to be the Wonder Bread bakery. It's Friday, and this food truck has parked right outside. Tacos La Mezcla.
"Can I eat these in the brewery?" I ask, because the long bar inside is where I'm headed. Don't have a lot of time, but a snack with a brewski would go down a treat.
"Of course," says Diana, the gal in the orange top.
"That's why we're here," says the guy, Francisco.
It's a pretty smart truck. "La Mezcla" means "The Mix," maybe like "Fusion Tacos." And they have some original takes. Like, Purple Potato Taco ($4) and Seared Scallop Taco ($4). And then I'm seeing a Korean Asada Taco ($3.50).
"Korean barbecue," says Francisco. "Galbi, made from marinated beef short ribs. It has brown sugar in it too, so it's slightly sweet. Plus soy, ginger and sesame and garlic and rice wine vinegar. It's delicious."
Does sound pretty tempting. And of course I'm into those purple potatoes. I know the purple skin is supposed to be really good for you, anti-oxidants and its own flavor. Different from the same-old Idahos we always get up here in El Norte.
Francisco says that's half his idea, to bring us gringos new flavors from the South. Though he is really from the North. "I come from an apple farm in Auburn, up near San Francisco. My mom has had a restaurant up there for 14 years. She taught me a lot, like everything. But I was in home sales, till I really wanted to do my own thing in the restaurant business. I figured I'd create a following with this truck. It's so much cheaper than starting a full-on restaurant. Most of the time, Wednesdays through Saturdays, we're up in South Park on Fern, across from The Station, but we're here for Taco Tuesdays and some Fridays when the baseball's happening."
I end up asking for the seared scallops and and the Korean BBQ.
"You just head on in. We'll find you," says Diana.
She does. And here's where the magic happens. I order a glass of my totally favorite brewski here, Dark Seas ($5.50), Mission Brewery's Russian Imperial Stout that's rich, dark, kinda fruity and chocolatey. While it's pouring I chomp into the scallops. Ooh. Nice and crispy grilled.
But it's when I start on the Korean BBQ taco and take a slurp from the Dark Seas that — oh man! The perfect marriage. The soy, the brown sugar, the ginger in the taco, and the fruity, coffee thing going on with the Dark Seas. Dee-lish.
Just wish I didn't have to rush this. Got to remember to come back on a Taco Tuesday. Because tastebud romances like this, you can't let them slip away.