The Taqueria El Poblano food truck, set up six days a week at 4th and Main, Chula Vista
On the patio of the Over the Border nightclub, an accordion player in a cowboy hat led his band through a set of norteño music, while a small crowd of fans danced and drank beer, with the express purpose of socially un-distancing themselves.
This was Saturday night at the northeast corner of 4th Avenue and Main Street, in Chula Vista. But I wasn’t there for the entertainment. I was there for tacos.
3008 Main Street, Chula Vista
For a little over a year, a couple of taco trucks have made a regular home in Over the Border’s parking lot. El Cacho Fish Tacos got the ball rolling, I’m told, serving a menu of mariscos: seafood tostadas, fish tacos, aguachile, etc. Soon enough, it was joined by Taqueria El Poblano, which offers beef and pork dishes, specializing in birria.
The tented parking lot seating at 4th and Main, Chula Vista
The two trucks remained open through the first five weeks of the pandemic, but business slowed considerably as people stayed home through the shutdown. But then the city started allowing restaurants to extend outdoor seating into parking lots. The two trucks fully embraced the concept, setting up a large tent for spaced out, covered seating. In the months since, they’ve been thriving.
A grilled, cheesy quesabirria taco
Mask wearing and social distancing was more common in the food truck area than the club patio, but the music could be heard throughout, while a large gathering of families, couples, and friend groups milled about, sorting out their food and drink orders.
Loads of guacamole smothering an adobada taco
Poblano and El Cacho weren’t the only mobile food businesses operating here: on weekends they’re joined by a crepe cart and another offering fruity drinks and tostilocos. There’s the Just Coffee cart, which serves keto-friendly pastries in addition to coffee drinks including café de olla (flavored with spices including cinnamon and piloncillo).
Long lines for El Cacho mariscos truck on a Saturday night
The festive vibe brought a lot of Chula Vistans out for the evening — cars spilled over into a tightly fit dirt lot next door. I picked up a terrific quesabirria grilled taco from Taqueria El Poblano, and decided to follow it up with a delightfully messy adobada taco smothered in guacamole.
The Just Coffee cart serves keto-friendly pastries and coffee drinks including café de olla.
I wanted to add baja style fish and grilled octopus tacos to my dinner, but the hefty line for El Cacho kept getting longer, not shorter. I take it everyone’s in the mood for seafood tacos and tostadas on a Saturday night. Fortunately, the two primary taco trucks are there at 4th and Main all day, every day except Monday, with plenty of tacos to go around.