Latest posts by Kat Rembacki (see all)
- 5 Winter Food Popups That Are Making Our Mouths Water - January 13, 2017
- The 7 Best Spots to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution - January 6, 2017
- Procrastinator’s Guide to NYE Parties - December 30, 2016
When Marco Gutierrez cautioned MSNBC earlier this month about loose immigration policies leading to a taco truck on every corner, it was meant to be a warning. But to be honest, the whole thing just made us hungry. A world where we wouldn’t even have to walk two blocks for a mouthful of al pastor or barbacoa? We see no problems there.
No matter which side of the political aisle you stand on, when tacos are involved everybody wins. And Detroit has some seriously good taco trucks roaming the city; ones which we’d happily pass by on our daily walks.
Read on for the Detroit taco trucks we’d like to see on every corner. Click on a truck’s name for more details about where to find them.
A lot of food trucks shut down for the winter, but El Parian is open year-round. Even in the dead of winter, this truck toughs it out. And even in January, if you’re here at lunchtime, you’ll find a line of diners braving the cold just to get their hands on the bevy of tortillas, meats and spices sizzling inside this tiny kitchen.
Hot dogs are actually the sleeper hit of the menu. They’re not just regular dogs; these are loaded with toppings like bacon, grilled onions, fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, salsa, cheese sauce, ketchup and mustard.
If you have not yet been introduced to the wonder of salchipulpos, make it a point to add this to your list of things to eat this week. Salchipulpos are french fries topped with sliced, sauteed hot dog. You might not think of it as a traditional Mexican dish, and it’s definitely not the health-conscious option. But it is tasty. A few dashes of hot sauce and you’re in business.
In the great taco debate, most of us fall into one of two camps. Hard shell or soft. Corn tortilla or flour. But there is a wildcard contender for taco president that has been quietly gaining momentum, converting nearly everyone it encounters into a devoted fan. One that nobody saw coming (at least, we didn’t). The puffy taco. It’s unlike any other taco you’ve had before, and it’s crazy delish.
If you want to find really good puffy tacos here in Detroit, look no further than El Charro, a roaming food truck by the Metro Detroit restaurant of the same name. They have brick and mortar locations in Fraser, Macomb, St. Clair Shores and Troy, but you don’t have to drive out to the ‘burbs to taste their most popular recipe. El Charro’s truck pops up in Campus Martius, Eastern Market, and other spots in the city.
Still warm from the fryer, a pair of El Charro’s puffy shells stuffed with lovely grilled chicken or seasoned ground beef are the ultimate al fresco lunchtime street food. The tacos are topped with shredded cheese, lettuce and chopped tomatoes.
This under-the-radar gem serves up tacos, tortas and quesadillas stuffed with mouthwatering carnitas, al pastor, carne asada and more. Grilled onions and jalapenos are served on the side, along with fresh lime wedges. Even on the chilliest of days you’ll find a crowd of hungry lunchbreakers happily lining up in the cold for a mouthful of spicy al pastor or a gooey cheese quesadilla; El Taquito stays open all year long.
If carnitas are your taco of choice, you absolutely need to try El Taquito’s version. Their tiny truck-kitchen turns out some seriously big flavors when it comes to this braised, shredded pork recipe. The juicy, mouthwatering meat is topped with a dash of diced onion and cilantro then folded into a soft tortilla shell. Add your choice of red or green salsas for a little extra zest.
Foodies in the know order one of El Taquito’s secret menu items: the shrimp (camarones) quesadillas. They aren’t listed on the menu, and they don’t always have them available. But it’s worth asking. The tortilla’s toasty, slightly crispy exterior gives way to plump, tender little shrimp with every bite. It’s perfectly seasoned and addictively delicious.
Detroit’s first fully licensed food truck has been feeding hungry Detroiters since 2011. Dan and Lindsey Gearig and Anthony Curis pioneered the city’s now-thriving food truck movement with the birth of El Guapo Fresh Mexican Grill.
Tacos and gigantic, hunger-defeating burritos are the stars of the show on this menu. The Ned Nederlander burrito is not only fun to say but a delight to taste. Sweet potato fries are wrapped in a tortilla with beans and rice, slaw, and guapo sauce. At first, some of the flavor combinations seemed unusual to our unsophisticated palate (Beef and pineapple? French fries in a burrito?) but, man, are they delicious. Flavor fireworks in every bite.
We suggest an order of chips and guac or sweet potato fries with sriracha honey on the side. Wash it all down with a refreshing beverage. The jalapeno limeade is developing a cult following all its own.
El Taco Veloz, which roughly translates to quick taco is tucked into the back of a produce warehouse on Toledo Street in Southwest Detroit. Turning into the farm market parking lot, on a block where residential homes meet industrial warehouses, you’ll definitely second-guess the reliability of your GPS. But once you catch the alluring scent of grilled meats and jalapenos roasting on the grill, you’ll know you’re in the right place.
You order your tacos from the truck parked in the lot, but eat in the surprisingly large dining room behind it. Go ahead and sit down inside right after you order, a friendly staff member will bring your food to you.
Tacos are the stars of the show here, but the menu is surprisingly diverse. Our favorite tacos at El Veloz are the carne asada and barbacoa. Lean, moist, and beautifully tender, both meats are exquisitely scarfable. Tacos come with grilled onions and grilled jalapenos on the side (forgo the jalapenos if you like your tacos mild, they bring the heat).
Really great food is worth waiting for. When we know our patience will be rewarded with mind-blowing flavor or a unique experience, we don’t mind delaying the satisfaction.
At Taco El Primo, we get the best of both worlds. The food is scrumptious, but you never have to wait for it. Like, at all. You’ll be hard pressed to wait even half a minute for the gleaming, delicious piles of meat and tortilla to hit your plate.
The menu is succinct: tacos and quesadillas. Both are incredibly tasty. Tacos are stuffed with meat, sprinkled with chopped cilantro and onion, and served with a lime wedge and radishes. They cost $1.50 each and that’s a pretty good deal for the amount of meat they pack onto each tortilla. The tortillas themselves are the traditional soft corn variety – doubled up with each taco to make sure they can hold the piles of deliciousness scooped onto your plate.