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MSP: ISO the elusive east st paul taco trucks

so there are a few mobile taco/burrito/torta trucks that i sight occasionally in the 'hood where i live. has anyone tried their offerings? which truck is the best one? apart from the one that's generally pulled just off of arcade on weekend evenings, is there any sort of pattern to their perambulations? are there any taco trucks on the minneapolis side of the river? this seems to be untapped chowhound territory! let's talk taco trucks, burrito busses, torta trolleys, pupusa prams, and/or any other eat-mobiles in msp!!! :)

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  1. Wow! I had no idea we had Taco Trucks here! I first heard about these in the movie Chop Shop. It sounded like such a good idea that I wanted to move to Southern Cal. Arcade & what cross street? I have not seen any in mpls or anywhere else around here.

    1. There is one frequently parked behind the mercado on Maryland and Forest. I have had the lengua and standard beef tacos, both were good. The salsas were the best part in my opinion.

      1. Every so often I'll see a taco truck along 31st street between Cedar and 10th in Minneapolis.

        The reason they are so rare and inconsistently placed is that they are illegal, more or less. I suppose it is more accurate to say that they operate without a license, and that licenses aren't available for them at all. You'll find beverage stands and ice cream trucks around the lakes, but not hot food vendors. You'll find hot dog and brat stands outside of Cub for fundraisers, and I have wonder what the law is regarding them.

        I know that just out back of El Burrito Mercado is the Grilled Corn booth, and being that it is a permanent booth, I'm betting it's got some sort of regulated status. But there are usually a couple of guys who are selling tamales out of the back of their minivan on the weekends, and it's funny because they only make the offer to certain people as they walk past.

        I suppose there could be some food safety issues with these trucks, but I'm inclined to throw some caution to the wind and give this food a try.

        2 Replies
        1. re: pgokey

          We've also heard about a lady who sells tamales outside of the Los Gallos store on Arcade (near the Rainbow). But we've never managed to find her....

          1. re: pgokey

            This is only half true. Taco trucks ARE illegal in Minneapolis, but they are permitted in St Paul, if they are properly licensed. There are a handful of them, but they have to abide by the state law that says they can only be in one place for 21 days out of the year, so that's why they can be hard to find.

          2. Oh, how I wish I lived where taco trucks were officially permitted! The Twin Cities are lamentably backwards where street food is concerned.

            Anyway, there used to be a pupusa pram (aka van) in front of Don Pancho's bakery, which is at 172 Cesar Chavez Blvd, I think - a few blocks from El Burrito Mercado. Is it still there? Has anyone seen this van recently?

            Anne

            3 Replies
            1. re: AnneInMpls

              There are hot dog carts on Nicollet mall so there must be some provision for mobile hot food. But alas, I guess we'll have to go underground to get our tacos. Remember when tacos are illegal only the criminals will have tacos.

              1. re: mnitchals

                Yes, and remember, tacos don't shoot people. People shoot people.

              2. re: AnneInMpls

                I saw it a week ago! Around 8:00pm on a Thursday night.

              3. There is a Taco truck on the West Side of St. paul on Robert St. just North of Thompson ave. However the Pineda on Robert just south of Butler is a better choice.

                1 Reply
                1. re: showercapcrazy

                  Oh I know..the one off arcade is definitely a good one. There was one a few years ago on payne across from swede hollow. We went a couple times and it was so amazingly good, then it disappeared. Though it's not a taco truck last weekend we went to the new Bymore Tacos on Payne across from the Bymore Mercado (love that name..) The tacos were good but we thought a little pricey, $2 each. We got 4 carne asada tacos and 2 cokes and it was $11. I always think of the taco lunch as one of the cheapest you can get..does that seem pricey? That said they had an amazing and fresh condiment bar with all kinds of stuff for your tacos. Including 4 or 5 types of salsa and cotija cheese.

                2. Just drove by this taco truck off of Arcade on Friday night. Did a double take as it was this little trailer with a small neon Open sign. Made ChowHubs turn around. Though this post is a couple of years old, tacos were still $2 each, which seemed very fair for the AWESOME taste they delivered. The truck had quite a range of tortas, tomales and tacos, including the unusual tongue and brains. I didn't wander that far from my comfort zone- had the Al Pastor and Chorizo y Papa. mmmmm. They told us we could wait in our car and they would bring it out. Super nice on such a cold night!

                  Didn't catch a name on the truck, just saw a Southwestern painting of a cactus and adobe building on the side. Anybody else know the rhyme or reason to where they park?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: daniellempls

                    did they have anything vegetarian?

                    1. re: faith

                      : / You know- I didn't look. The menu was very extensive, and I didn't have time to read it all (it was cold). I'm guessing they would have some options, but not sure if they had veg specialties.