Birria and Nopalitos Taco @ Tacos Colima #1, Salinas
Back to reporting from the Salinas taco truck trail . . . found Tacos Colima #1 in January parked on the street outside the convenience store at 201 Williams Road at the corner of E. Market Street across the street from the trailer park. It shows up around 5pm and stays until after midnight.
Image of Tacos Colima #1 menu -
Tacos are a buck apiece. I tried a birria taco, here made with beef. Very juicy and flavorful long-braised beef, nice tortillas, and the toppings of chopped cabbage, onion and cilantro, plus cucumbers and radishes on the side made this a delicious and balanced meal on a paper plate. And, the condiment bar where I helped myself to nopalitos (cactus), mashed avocados en molcajete, roasted jalapeños, and fruity chile de arbol salsa gratis, took it over the top.
Image of taco de birria -
The City of Salinas is still hell-bent on banning mobile food vendors such as this truck. The first phase, limiting permits to those currently in operation has been approved. So, enjoy the high quality, delicious, healthful and inexpensive street food of Salinas before it disappears.
Tacos Colima #1
This truck along with Mayra's has held the line by pricing tacos at a buck. The others have mostly crept up to $1.25 or $1.50. Still, they're an incredible value. And, for those who toil in the fields and might be sheltered in a spare room or garage without cooking facilities, these tacos may be their only hot meal of the day. The Salinas economy rests on the strong backs of field labor and the least we can do is make sure they can get a decent and affordable meal after hours.
Tacos Colima is parked on the street next to the parking lot for
Quality Market & Video
201 Williams Rd
Salinas, CA 93905
The owner of this convenience store said that the customers for the truck shop at the market and increase its business.
Oh, and the article in the NY Times hasn't published yet. Soon though.
re: Melanie Wong
I've read post after post of people saying they pulled off the freeway and stopped in Salinas to try the taco trucks out. I really appreciate these posts because it gives me a reason to stop by when I'm in that area. That brings business into Salinas. You might also purchase gas or stop at some other shop that catch your attention.
Without the taco trucks, I know I would just bypass Salinas on the freeway.
I have stopped at taco trucks in all parts of California, many based on your recommendations. So I know we have similar tastes in this type of food.
Given that ... is there something different about Salinas taco trucks?
To me they just sound more delicious than the hundreds of other reports about taco trucks in areas like Oakland, Richmond, SF, Napa, Sonoma ... just a few of the over 600 reports on Chowhound alone including a report of mine with links to the East Bay Express review about taco trucks.
Heck, I was so fascinated by these my first taco truck stop was in Castroville based on posts on this board. I chased a taco truck down the road and after eating, bought produce at the near by fruit stand that I would have otherwise passed. That stand is now a regular stop of mine when I'm in Castroville.
So what makes Salinas taco trucks different?
Some of the concerns don't make sense to me. I've never read of a health problem with a taco truck as they are restaurants and subject to the same standard ... they just have wheels ... so do lunch trucks.
Are lunch trucks being banned too? Or is it ok to sell a ham and cheese sandwich and can of coke and not a torta de jamon with aqua fresca? I don't stop for lunch trucks. I do stop for delicious tacos.
If that is the case, why allow them at all? It is ok except in certain industrial areas and at certain hours. I tell you I will not be stopping in Salinas at midnight to seek out a taco truck in a deserted industrial area. I will stop during the day ... as long as these interesting trucks are there.
In Richmond and other cities the taco trucks are often located in the parking lots of businesses because those businesses know that people will stop for a taco and drop into a shop. Even the trucks located near restaurants have no problem. The person in the market for a $1 taco isn't going to patronize the restaurant with the $6 sandwiches whether or not the truck is there.
And not allowing vendors within 300 feet of a church? That is just stepping on cultural norms. I can't imagine Richmond ... or any city in Mexico without vendors selling food after Mass. I guess if this goes through, I won't bother stopping by for in Salinas for Mass when I'm there on a Sunday and go to a town that is more interesting in terms of my post Mass snacking.
I drove by this truck on Friday evening around 8pm and it was quite busy with a line. Later around 11pm, when I passed by again, it was gone, so it's not always around until midnight. This truck is known for offering nopalitos as one of its garnishes.
Be sure to check the NY Times on Monday for coverage of this story in Salinas and too many municipalities around the country.