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Taco trucks around Oakland Airport

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  • dty Aug 16, 2006 09:26 PM
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Does anyone have a recommendation for a taco truck around Oakland Airport/Alameda?

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  1. As of a year ago, there was a good one parked across Hegenburger from the Coliseum. I think there might be a u-haul establishment or something like that close by, but i could be wrong. If i remember the name of the truck, I'll post again.

    1. There are two main approaches to the airport: Hegenberger and 98th Ave. I think the airport has made it a point to keep taco trucks off both those streets between the airport and 880 (I remember a long time ago someone quoted some planning documents that indicated they thought taco trucks weren't classy enough to be seen around the airport <snicker>.

      There used to be some on 98th on both sides of the freeway. I don't know if the ones on the west side of 880 located to the east side, or if they went somewhere else entirely.

      Of course, the ground zero for taco trucks is just one freeway exit north on 880. Get off at High St., go up High to International, and there are several, including if you hit the timing right (evenings and weekends), my favorite El Gordo truck at 42nd and International.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Yeah, wouldn't fit in with the swank Applebees or whatever it is.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Last night I checked out 98th on both sides of 880 -- not a taco truck to be seen.

          Here's a link to the topic I referenced about taco trucks being unwelcome around the airport:

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            now I've got that El Gordo craving again...the al pastor against which all others must be judged.

            I seem to remember they're only there on weekends. Or at least, not on weekdays.

            1. re: Windy

              They are there "non-business" hours (i.e. after 6 pm on weekdays and on weekends). When we did our Feldmanfest taco crawl we got there just before 6 pm and had to wait for them of open (they were hosing down the area around the truck -- very hygienic, especially compared the filth outside the back door of most restaurants). The time you and I missed them we were doing a mid-day crawl.

          2. There is a pretty good truck just across Fruitvale Ave from the Fruitvake BART station (just off International as well). It's in the parking lot of Guadalajara's. Make sure you get all the extras in your bag - radishes, the little bag of pickled carrots and peppers, and a nice bunch of green onion - they're the best part.

            3 Replies
            1. re: foodfight

              That's "El Novillo" -- the carnitas there are my favorite of any taco truck I've tried, and their tripas tacos are excellent, even if you don't usually like tripe.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                I like the carne asada, but you're right on about the tripas. I had one on my last visit (taco #4) and since I had also ordered a bag of chicharrones, I wasn't sure if they had misunderstood and put my chicharrones in the taco. It was not at all what I expected. It was like slightly chewy, chopped up bacon.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  Yes, indeed. Excellent carnitas. Being a lover of carnitas, I made a trip from my office in San Mateo to try them out last Friday. Very nicely moist on the inside, but grilled on the outside to add a bit of crunch. My mother commented that they were more consistent than those at La Bamba (Richmond or Mountain View), and a bit less salty. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your preference.

                  The nice thing about "El Novillo" is that they are there until as late as 2 a.m., according to the Guadalajara Restaurant (the restaurant owns the truck). Perhaps more impressively, the restaurant is open until 3 a.m. I know where I'm going the next time I get a taco craving late at night in the area.

              2. The taco truck at High/880 behind the inexpensive gas station (not the one in the gas station . . YIKES!) . .. it's from La Pinata and while I am not a fan of the restaurant on Park Street in Alameda, the taco truck is very good. Great carnitas. EXCELLENT sopes. . . I suggest one carnita and one al pastor. . .a wonderful meal. If you get a burrito, make sure you tell them that whether or not you want whole beans or refried . .otherwise they will put in whole beans. Nice, friendly folks, too. 9-8 M-F 9-5 sat/sun.

                The taco truck at 98th near the DMV makes really good Tortas. I don't know the name of the truck but it keeps strange hours. Maybe in keeping with those at the DMV.

                El Novillo taco truck is good. . . the guys at night make a better burrito than the crew during the day and the best part is that the truck is open at least until 2am. . . good carnitas burritos and tacos. Not crazy about their carne asada only because it's sometimes really chewy.

                1. Thanks for all the suggestions. I tried the al pastor tacos and a carne asada burrito at the La Pinata truck: wasn't too impressed. Off to the one on 98th next. Will keep you posted.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dty

                    Today I went to El Grullo on Hegenberger just east of 880 and had 4 very flavorful carne asada tacos for a whopping $5. The meat is much more tender than La Pinata's. What a find!

                  2. About five minutes away, on International (14th) and 104th, is an outpost of the revered El Ojo de Agua taco truck. from airport, take 98th to the east side of 880, go a mile or so, turn right on Intl/14th, and it will be on the right a few blocks south.) My favorite is a pastor (spiced pork) taco. Great aguas frescas also. The usual guy speaks English, too, and is friendly.