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Oakland taco truck report: Tacos Estrellas

Ruth Lafler Dec 14, 2007 03:35 PM

Tacos Estrellas was mentioned in our last comprehensive taco truck round up, but although I've driven by it many times, today was the first time I stopped to check it out. It has an extensive menu that includes not only the usual meat suspects but fish and shrimp. They also have a masa specialist (or access to one), as they had pork and chicken tamales and atole and offered two platillos: chile verde and chile relleno. My friend checked out what the "locals" were eating and based on that, ordered a quesadilla especial with lengua. Although it wasn't my thing, it looked pretty good: overstuffed with cheese and meat, topped with crema and lettuce, radish, etc. garnishes. I ordered my usual al pastor taco and a carnitas taco, and they were both good, although the tortillas were a little oily. The carnitas was of the drier style, with the meat separating into shreds, some of which had been fried crisp. The al pastor was well spiced and not barbecue-y. I also ordered a pork tamale, which surprisingly had been removed from the wrapper and toasted on the grill. The filling was finely ground and not very porky, but generated a pleasant glow from a generous amount of equally fine-ground green chiles.

The quality and variety at this truck definitely puts it in the upper eschelon of Oakland taco trucks. I'm looking forward to going back and trying their atole (which I reluctantly passed on because I already had ice cream from Nieves Cinco de Mayo).

The truck is parked in a dirt lot behind the Purcell's paint store at High St. and the High St., exit from 880 southbound (the entrance is toward the Home Depot on Alameda Ave.). The locator is the address for the paint store:

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Tacos Estrellas
4169 Alameda Ave, Oakland, CA

  1. a_and_w Dec 17, 2007 11:37 AM

    Ruth, you really need to start a taco blog for the SF Bay Area.

    1. Skunk2Racer Dec 16, 2007 11:56 AM

      Did Anyone see the show "Diners, drive ins & dives? Guy fieri made a stop on a taco truck in San Jose right off the 880 & 101 Fwy. The truck was called tapatio. does anyone know where it is? I'll be in Fremont to visit my Godson for the Holidays. Wanna try it out. Thanks!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Skunk2Racer
        Melanie Wong Dec 16, 2007 12:52 PM

        Here's the report on Los Tapatios from April,
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/396954

        1. re: Melanie Wong
          Skunk2Racer Dec 16, 2007 02:01 PM

          Thanks Melanie! Happy holidays! & Good Eating!

      2. f
        foodfan Dec 15, 2007 10:25 AM

        I like this truck too. Before I gave up gout trigger foods, I really liked their lengua tacos. These days I stick to burritos (two meal tubes) but always have to remember to ask for no lettuce. I find lettuce in burritos very strange texture wise, is this common in local trucks? Adding cheese is .50 and there is a nice little spicy red sauce in separate cups for takeout. Another plus for Estrella is morning burritos, starting at about 8 and Saturday presence, but not Sunday. They have a note up about a new location in San Leandro, I forgot the exact location.

        My preference lately has been the Mi Grullenese truck, one of two in the Goodwill lot on International. A little greasier but cheese is included, tortilla seems a little flakier and dryer and slightly smaller. I'm glad both are close to my house and office.

        3 Replies
        1. re: foodfan
          Ruth Lafler Dec 15, 2007 10:55 PM

          The second location for Tacos Estrellas in San Leandro is on Davis "near the dump."

          Have you tried the breakfast burritos at El Ojo de Agua? I get the "American" style with potatoes and chorizo and it's amazingly delicious! Unfortunately, they're so rich, I only allow myself about one a year!

          1. re: Ruth Lafler
            rworange Dec 16, 2007 02:49 PM

            THANK YOU !!! I was there one morning and about to order the breakfast burrito and couldn't remember how to order it ... all I could remember was no rice ... but then what? Fortunately that was the day I found the Guatamalan tamales.

            The site is so slow I just wasn't able to search for the info ... I just updated my taco truck map so next time I'm there I can get that burrito.

            There is not one bit of exaggeration in this. Yesterday I went to Chowhound. Clicked on some links to load while I was doing something else. I made dinner, cleaned the kitchen, took a bath and came back to my computer and not all the pages loaded. But there is another new feature on the site though unfortunately this doesn't work for me either.
            http://www.cnetnetworks.com/partnersh...

            1. re: rworange
              Ruth Lafler Dec 16, 2007 03:34 PM

              I believe it -- I'm not having any trouble with chowhound.com but there's another site I frequent where all of a sudden it takes several minutes to load a page on my work computer (but not my home computer).

              And yes, at El Ojo de Agua you can get a "Mexican" breakfast burrito (with rice and beans) or an "American" breakfast burrito (with potatoes) and either chorizo or ham.

        2. r
          rfneid Dec 14, 2007 03:50 PM

          Ruth -

          This is an inestimable service you're providing with your posts on taco trucks. And it's absolutely the ideal expression of the true Chowhound Spirit. The high end, high dollar restaurants are done to death in every media outlet we have. Kudos to you, & keep it up.

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