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Sep 9, 2008 10:36 AM

Taco trucks and street food in metro Detroit?

Last week while waiting for my sliders and onion rings to finish cooking at Telway Hamburger in SW Detroit (Michigan Ave at Martin, between Cecil St and Lonyo) I spied a taco truck in front of a zapato/shoe store across Michigan Ave. Curious, I ate there today for lunch, with Summerfield joining me. The sign painted on the truck says Taco El Toro, and the tacos are excellent. I'll be going back.

Does anyone know of other taco trucks or street food vendors in metro Detroit worth a visit?

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  1. Jeez, Barkis, I guess we'll have to go to New York, NY (a town so nice they named it twice) to sample street food vendors. For what it's worth, Ann Arbor has got a couple of street food vendors. I know there's a hotdog cart around the diag, and I've heard that the woman who ran Pilar's on South State, which she had to close, now has a cart. Perhaps Jim M can verify.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Summerfield

      Before running Pilar's cafe, Pilar had a cart. Not sure if she does now, it used to be in the Liberty Square Plaza. However, I think I may have seen her cart at the Farmer's market on Saturdays.

      A few years ago, there was an extremely nice woman selling tamales from a cart at the corner of Liberty and Maynard (near Borders). Her tamales beat Pilar's to flinders. I think she was from Romulus. Anyone know of her?

      1. re: charlesbois

        Thanks, charlesbois. Pilar prepares Salvadoran food so it's pupusas I'm after. And yes, now that you mention it, I think I've heard that she is at the Farmer's Market on Saturdays. I will have to check it out. Flinders?

        1. re: Summerfield

          British term, means something like splinters. In other words, totally obliterated.

          Another place to look for food carts is in front of the post office on liberty in A2. Just hot dogs though, but they used to, and may still do, fresh hot french fries. Ann Arbor tends to eschew street carts b/c we have little hole in the wall places like Le Dog or Oasis.

          1. re: charlesbois

            Plus, apparently the restaurant business people get pissed off at the vendors vis a vis market share. I think that there's been an attempt to suppress the carts. Hey, I'm gettin' hungry.

            1. re: Summerfield

              The carts are still here in Ann Arbor but have run afoul of downtown's sidewalk-ordinance gestapo. It's an ongoing struggle, but we've always had a few good ones. Sylvia, a.k.a. Pilar, is still around here and there, although I miss her wonderful restaurant, and she still does catering. There's an Indian food cart at South U and East U that I've never tried. I remember tamale cart #2 but don't know what happened to it. I think the town is still wide open for carts serving something other than hot dogs. In Berkeley, CA, there was a pasta cart for a while--guy had a big tub of fusilli, and your choice of four really good daily sauces, for about three bucks.

    2. Drive up and down Vernor and you may find a few more trucks. That truck across from the Telway is as much of a institution as Telway is to me.

      The only other street food vendor I love in the Area is Bert's Ribs in Eastern Market.

      1. there is a taco truck on waldo and parker st near that new playground they made on waldo st . they have great toastadas that are so good , wish they could have a taco truck in dearborn heights. the streets are just behind that shoe store , cause my son - inlaw's parents live right there on St. John , try them they are so good and try the horachata it is deliouis.

        2 Replies
        1. re: diana60108

          Have you seen this google maps link of taco trucks of detroit? I've bookmarked it but have yet to make it down:

          Oops, I see this was a really old thread. Perhaps I'm not the last one to have known about the map and it will help someone out.

        2. Recently came across a barbecue food truck with smoker, on the NW corner of 8 Mile and Wyoming in Detroit. Rough neighborhood, wonderful ribs--not the fall-off-the-bone type, but so very smoky and peppery.

          The truck is called Motown Mobile Barbecue & Grill.

          Can call ahead to order -- (248) 247-4493

          1. Just saw this on Facebook. I have yet to see this Pink Flamingo Taco Truck. Anyone want to go skating tonight?

            OMNICORPDETROIT Presents:
            Skate O' Rama!
            Bring yer roller skates (or buy some from your local thrift store) and warm up those bunz in Eastern Market's glorious new heated shed 3!
            featuring most awesome DJs Kevin Sears and Drew Pompa of Blank Artists
            ... and the Pink Flamingo Taco Truck! YUM!


            1 Reply
            1. re: JanPrimus

              Interesting article. I hope Detroit gets on the ball and changes the ordinance.