Saturday, 14 January 2012

Tacos of the North

Two months ago I wrote about the Beatbox Kitchen, one of the new breed of food vans which cruise around Melbourne's inner northern suburbs.

Every day these vans, which each prepare a simple selection of a particular type of food, notify their fans of their current location via Twitter.

Last time I enjoyed an excellent burger produced by Beatbox Kitchen; this time, I was investigating the Taco Truck.

I found this colourful food van set up next to a stretch of green parkland in Carlton North, part of a linear park which follows the path of the former Inner Circle railway (which I wrote about last month):


There was plenty of colour around the back as well:


Because there was a fair stretch of grass in this location, a lot of people had set up as if for a picnic:


It may have been because of the common miscalculation by which businesses assume that it's never busy around the Xmas/New Year period (and are then surprised when it is), but as I ordered I was warned it'd be a 35 minute wait.

In the meantime I drank a Mexican soft drink, a Jarritos Lime Limón ($4). The bottle's labelling described it as "naturally flavoured soda", but it was also a lurid green and tasted a lot like a jellybean of the same colour:


Sipping my jellybean drink, I sat on the grass and chatted to fellow would-be diners for half an hour, then drifted back to the truck to wait for the call... and wait. In the end, it was a full hour between ordering and receiving.

It was, however,  worth the delay. Here's the Taco Plate ($12), a selection of two tacos served with a pile of home-made corn chips. There was a choice of fish, chicken or potato tacos - I chose the fish taco (which came with coleslaw, lime juice and poppy mayonnaise), and the chicken taco (with corn salsa, baby spinach and chipotle mayonnaise).


On the advice of the staff in the van, I sprinkled the fish taco with the green sauce on offer (hot), the chicken with the brown sauce (hottest) and the corn chips with the red sauce (somewhere between the two).

To accompany it I'd ordered a serve of guacamole ($5). This came with more of the corn chips, delightfully thick and randomly curved:


The verdict? It was all very tasty food, spicy and clearly prepared from fresh ingredients. It was a great meal overall in a pleasant location; and worth the wait.

You can find the Taco Truck's latest location at http://twitter.com/tacotruckmelb.