Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
Otay Mesa: Where the bus drivers eat
La Taquiza food truck is a life-saver for night-time drivers like Michelle
It's 9.25 p.m. Michelle brings her 901 bus in right on time. She says goodbye to the last passengers, kills the engine and then jumps out herself. She heads straight through the parking lot to the little island of lights across Iris Avenue.
The Iris Avenue terminal is where buses like the 929, 901, 933, 905 all come to the end of the line, and the Blue Line trolley goes through.
“Aah,” she says, looking at the clump of guys standing round eating. “This’ll definitely keep me going.”
She’s standing in the little line leading up to the table where Eduardo...
...is taking orders for La Taquiza, the food truck behind him.
"Two is enough,” she says. “If I get greedy and order three, I always have got to give one away.”
She asks for two carne asada tacos ($1.50 each). Behind her this father and son, both dressed snappily in suits, ask for carne asada and lengua, tongue.
“I’m from Mexicali,” says the dad. “This is definitely one of the better taco places on this side.” His name is Héctor. He cuts men’s and women’s hair at Hair for All Seasons in Hillcrest. He and his son Brandon have just come from church.
I order an adobada and a lengua. I scoop up some beans from one chafing plate and sautéed onions and a roasted pepper from the other, get a horchata (milky rice drink), $1.50, and head for the salsa tray against the truck.
Héctor is scooping shredded cabbage onto his carne asada taco. “It’s a Mexicali thing,” he says. “Lemon, pepper, cabbage.”
Me, I’m finding this lengua of mine so rich I forget to worry about the tongue squelchy thing. I also forget to put on the green serrano salsa dammit. Eduardo says it’s best for tongue.
My only grizzle, with Eduardo, is that they don’t have tables for you to sit down and really enjoy this.
"We can't do anything," he says. "The Health Department says we can't have them for health reasons."
What da heck?
’Course that’s not a problem for Michelle. She’s taken her two tacos back to the bus terminal. What I like (apart from these being my current favorite tacos anywhere) is that you kinda come, meet, talk, go your separate ways feeling better about da woild. Go to a regular restaurant, you’re on your own.
More like this:
- Coronado street taco wars: Costa Azul steps up to the plata! — April 2, 2013
- La Fachada Logan Heights: Gordita vs. mulita — April 2, 2013
- Going crazy at Don Pancho’s — Aug. 31, 2012
- The Lunch Line at Tacos el Gordo — May 14, 2012
- La Taquiza: Standing Room Only — May 10, 2011