More Taco Trucks de Santa Rosa
- Melanie Wong
I've found another one! Same area, still on the south side of Sebastopol Road between Dutton and Stony Point.
This evening I was headed to the white Delicias Elenitas truck next to David's shoe repair. Rajas and choripapas on the brain, but no luck at 8pm on Friday night.
On the next block though, next to the blue Delicias Elenitas truck is a third D. E. truck parked parallel to Sebastopol Road. It's white and I think it may be the one I'm looking for, but no, this truck is different with a colorful painting of a saintly woman and coctel de camarones (shrimp) painted on the back. A newcomer!
As I walk up, the same young man who has been the order taker at the other two trucks greets me. When I ask him where this third truck came from, he shrugged and said that there are four in all. This one is normally in Petaluma but came to Santa Rosa tonight and will be back tomorrow and maybe Sunday because the white truck usually parked at David's had to go somewhere else. He shrugged again when I ask him where.
So, I settle in to this new truck's offerings. No pambazos here, nor tinga, rajas, choripapas, or enchiladas. I ask for a huarache and sope from the menu and get apologies again --- ran out of masa. Okay, this is my chance to try a quesadilla and I choose cabeza (literally, head) for the carne and I'm happy to see suadero on the list and ask for one taco of this rib meat.
I never order quesadillas out because I make them for myself at home so often. What could be simpler? But the one here is so special, I was very happy with my choice. The flour tortilla was big, burrito-sized, folded in half over a filling of stringy melted Monterey jack cheese and a mix of tongue and beef cheek cubes. The tortilla itself was nicely browned and had separated into crisp layers, not unlike a roti canai, with a delectable chewiness. The whole thing was slashed on the diagonal into 4 pieces that I picked up to eat by hand. The meats were soft and unctuous and so flavorful. A small cup of very spicy hot, thin red chili sauce accompanied the plate.
The other garnishes were a small pile of shredded iceberg lettuce, a scoop of sour cream, two slices of perfectly ripe tomato dusted with salt and pepper, and some slices of red peppers. These peppers were one wonderfully intense bite --- medium hot, full of ripe capsicum flavor, very salty, and mildy sour at the same time. Sort of the chili pepper version of sauerkraut, if you let your imagination run that way. The heat was starting to build up by this point, and I took the trouble to carefully scrape off the seeds (the hottest part) from each piece of marinated pepper. So very good!
The suadero here was pretty tasty, better than the blue truck's, but not as moving as my first time. This was more like braised beef short rib meat. Cut into a bigger cube, the texture was more chewy, almost crunchy, but lacked the deep grilled flavor of my idealized version. The garnish of those red peppers again on the taco plate almost made up for not getting cebollitos, even though I asked for them twice.
With a Jarritos tamarindo soda (which is not quite as pepper heat cleansing as the grapefruit), dinner tonight was $5.
As I drove away, I spotted another new one to me. Antojitos Milpas was parked just off of Stony Point Road. But I was much too full and satisfied to think of trying anything else tonight.
Taco trucks can really be good.
A friend from Mexico thinks that El Tonayense, which has two trucks on Harrision Street in the Mission, and also a restaurant on 24th, is some of the best Mexican food available in San Francisco. He prefers the trucks to the restaurant by the way.
They only serve tacos. The El Pastor is his favorite. I get the chicken.
Downside: there's nowhere to sit, so you have to eat them standing at the built-in counter on the side of the truck (or take them with you, but they're better hot).