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Surprised by vegan tacos in middle of South Park

Satellite of Tijuana's La Taqueria Vegiee

A "marlin" and "carne asada" taco — both vegan.
A "marlin" and "carne asada" taco — both vegan.

I'm fortunate to have my favorite fish tacos within easy reach. A Mariscos Nine Seas food truck sets up daily in what is now the Target Express parking lot, by the corner of Hawthorn and Fern streets in South Park. That's half a mile from my home, and many are the days I'll quit typing on my laptop to hop over for a taco or three.

A vegan taco truck parks beside a locals favorite fish taco truck in a South Park parking lot.

When it happened this week, I found a long line of other knowing taco fiends ahead of me. That's usually the case, and those Baja-style tacos are worth the wait. Except this time, I found an entire other taco truck sitting next to Mariscos.

A makeshift, fluorescent yellow cardboard sign explained the new truck's purpose: "Vegan tacos."

Turns out, this is another Mariscos truck, but it's being leased to La Taqueria Vegiee, a Tijuana-based shop covered by Matthew Suárez in this year's Reader taco issue. The vegan taco spot makes its own soy-based representations of traditional Mexican taco fillers, and it's taken up shop in South Park.

The woman taking orders in the truck's service window told me the official start date at this location is August 24, but here it was, ten days ahead of time at least, slinging vegan tacos and tortas. Hours are 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. Thursday through Monday.

I'll admit, suppressing my fish taco hankering wouldn't be easy, but the line at Taqueria Vegiee proved shorter, and service quicker. At $3.50 apiece, I opted for a "carne asada" taco, and one described as "marlin."

The marlin-styled taco featured a spicy, pink-orange crema and had green peas interspersed throughout the soy fish substitute. It didn't taste fishy, or smokey as I had hoped, and the texture proved chewier than well-cooked fish — even diced and grilled. It couldn't compare to the Mariscos tacos being devoured only a few feet away, but I enjoyed it well enough as a plant-based alternative.

The "carne asada," however, did a convincing carne asada. Cooked with onions, and topped by guacamole, the faux meat here possessed a mild nutty flavor, but like slightly greasy beef cooked to death on a griddle.

It may not hold up to anyone's favorite carne, but it's the kind of taco that meat eaters take for granted. I don't know how many vegans in the world feel like they're missing out on street tacos, but I'd wager most of them live in San Diego. And as of this month, so does La Taqueria Vegiee.

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Comments
2

My girlfriend loves this place and I'm always trying bites. No matter what it is, it is hard to believe it's vegan. The latest bites I had was their milanesa torta... and it tasted just like milanesa.

They are vegan miracle workers. I still prefer meats, but they really do wonders.

Aug. 17, 2017

Yes, I'm mostly impressed they apparently make their own meat substitutes.

Aug. 21, 2017

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A "marlin" and "carne asada" taco — both vegan.
A "marlin" and "carne asada" taco — both vegan.

I'm fortunate to have my favorite fish tacos within easy reach. A Mariscos Nine Seas food truck sets up daily in what is now the Target Express parking lot, by the corner of Hawthorn and Fern streets in South Park. That's half a mile from my home, and many are the days I'll quit typing on my laptop to hop over for a taco or three.

A vegan taco truck parks beside a locals favorite fish taco truck in a South Park parking lot.

When it happened this week, I found a long line of other knowing taco fiends ahead of me. That's usually the case, and those Baja-style tacos are worth the wait. Except this time, I found an entire other taco truck sitting next to Mariscos.

A makeshift, fluorescent yellow cardboard sign explained the new truck's purpose: "Vegan tacos."

Turns out, this is another Mariscos truck, but it's being leased to La Taqueria Vegiee, a Tijuana-based shop covered by Matthew Suárez in this year's Reader taco issue. The vegan taco spot makes its own soy-based representations of traditional Mexican taco fillers, and it's taken up shop in South Park.

The woman taking orders in the truck's service window told me the official start date at this location is August 24, but here it was, ten days ahead of time at least, slinging vegan tacos and tortas. Hours are 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. Thursday through Monday.

I'll admit, suppressing my fish taco hankering wouldn't be easy, but the line at Taqueria Vegiee proved shorter, and service quicker. At $3.50 apiece, I opted for a "carne asada" taco, and one described as "marlin."

The marlin-styled taco featured a spicy, pink-orange crema and had green peas interspersed throughout the soy fish substitute. It didn't taste fishy, or smokey as I had hoped, and the texture proved chewier than well-cooked fish — even diced and grilled. It couldn't compare to the Mariscos tacos being devoured only a few feet away, but I enjoyed it well enough as a plant-based alternative.

The "carne asada," however, did a convincing carne asada. Cooked with onions, and topped by guacamole, the faux meat here possessed a mild nutty flavor, but like slightly greasy beef cooked to death on a griddle.

It may not hold up to anyone's favorite carne, but it's the kind of taco that meat eaters take for granted. I don't know how many vegans in the world feel like they're missing out on street tacos, but I'd wager most of them live in San Diego. And as of this month, so does La Taqueria Vegiee.

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Comments
2

My girlfriend loves this place and I'm always trying bites. No matter what it is, it is hard to believe it's vegan. The latest bites I had was their milanesa torta... and it tasted just like milanesa.

They are vegan miracle workers. I still prefer meats, but they really do wonders.

Aug. 17, 2017

Yes, I'm mostly impressed they apparently make their own meat substitutes.

Aug. 21, 2017

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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