Archives for posts with tag: taco

Why I love America: Mexican food.

My three favorite Spanish words: Carnitas, Lengua, Pastor.

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Why I love Canada: Asian food.

My three favorite Japanese words: Tobiko, Maguro, Maki.

I know I’ve said it time and time again, but seriously. The Mexicans have got it figured out. Another taco experience, another transcendental moment, another glimpse at bliss. Doña Betty’s taco truck, up 41 in Bradenton, in a little bit of a “What are you doing out here?” neighborhood. Wedged between the Joyland Dance Hall and a deserted BBQ buffet. Standard white truck enlivened with bright pink interior, three women rushing  in the cramped space to feed the giant line forming outside. I don’t think I’ve ever stood in line for a taco before. I think a line is a real good sign.

High quality phone pics, enjoi! Too much taco-lust to go home and get my camera before devouring…

Families huddled over the hoods of their car, frenziedly eating tacos, trying to finish them before all the spicy goodness dripped out out the bottom. Dudes with impressive moustaches hanging around waiting for their six, eight, ten taco orders. Little Anne ordered one al pastor and one beef cheek before slouching around the parking lot with the rest of the hungry, anticipatory mob. (I should come clean and admit that I didn’t discover this gem on my own, via some telepathic taco-truck location system. No, I read about it in Edible Sarasota, like a real white girl. But that’s ok. I still felt cool kickin’ it in the taco line.) Finally the taco queen, presumably Doña B herself, hollered “Veinte y cuatro!” and I reached up to the glowing window for my manna from heaven. Two tacos annnd a sweet little gratis side affair: a generous heap of pickled carrots and fresh-from-the-can pineapple. Review: Al pastor: chunkier than usual, spicier than usual. Two good things. Unexpectedly topped with a little queso fresco. Good. Barbacoa: tender, salty, spicy, heavenly. Heaped with onion and cilantro and lime, of course. And lots of the gently cool but simultaneously zingy green avocado-ish sauce and a healthy, sinus-clearing dash of the ominously red-orange hot sauce. The heat cut by the sour carrots, coupled with the sweet pineapple. Boom. Bang. Ok then. Doña B, you have my heart. Slammed that whole plate down, to the soundtrack of the country twang buzzing out of the dance hall and the wailing sirens of the cop cars bolting down 41, the contented chatter of taco truck clients and the pleas from the kids for “Just one more taco, just one!”

You might think a nice hot chocolate or warm little muffin might be the best thing on the snowiest day, but you are wrong. Tacos, my friends, tacos. Stand around in the cold by a shady van in a funky falling-down town tacos. Really freaking amazing tacos. Tacos Cecy in Lewiston, of all places. I cannot resist a taco van, I really cannot. Three inches of snow or skin-melting sun, I will wait outside that window for a styrofoam plate of meat and tortillas. You know that show, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” ? Anne’s answer: THIS. I am pretty serious. Those tacos were so good. One carnitas and one “walla walla.” The carnitas was somehow all the crispy good bits of the pulled purk. Chewy, bacony bits of meat topped with chopped cabbage, cilantro, and onions. The walla walla a nod to the nearby home of the famous sweet onion; spicy steak pieces with softy cooked onions and a smooth slice of avocado. A little line of hot sauce and a squeezed lime wedge on both, and sweet taco angels sang. 

Two tacos, three bucks.

Sweet bliss.

Snowland.

Cecy herself.


Found a new market, found a new taco wagon. Sarasota Swap Meet, every Saturday, behind the Ringling Ave Circle K. Lots of dreamcatchers, barnacled skeleton keys, old tools, and treasures. If I love you, you’re probably getting something from the magic market for Christmas, just a heads up. Young girl is the best sort of person to be at flea markets, where a reliable 90% of the sellers are ancient men. Makes for good bargaining power. I got some good stuff. And tacos. A little lower-end than Red Barn, at this particular taco wagon it’s a dollar a pop, pretty good deal. They’ve got a cool set-up: communal tables with big bins of cilantro and onion, fresh salsa with big hunks of serranos, and lime quarters and bottles of varying hot sauces and for the very brave, bowls of whole chilies. You order your smattering of tacos and wait for your numero, then you just get the tortillas and meat. Plop down at an open spot at one of the packed picnic tables and you doctor ’em up as you like. I got barbacoa and lengua, as per usual, and covered them with a ton of cilantro, a little salsa, a smidge of the not-so-hot (but still hot) hot sauce, and a lotta lime. Then messily ate in the shade and talked in embarrassing (hopefully endearingly so) Spanish to my neighbors. And took pictures. I love markets and I love tacos and I love talking to people and I love taking pictures. Having a big camera has made me more friends than any amount of charm in my whole life. The rest of the day was spent studying in residual bliss. (Also, they had financiers at my regular coffee shop for me to dip into my tea. More bliss.)

Everyone loves tacos.

(P.S. New photos under the foto tab.)