Surviving Another Encounter With Convenience-Store Tacos
Months ago, I realized that the Barbecue Bus on Maple Avenue had disappeared. I cried and cried and prayed and prayed that it would come back—the Barbecue Man behind the cigarette counter who served me chopped beef sandwiches was awesome, and so was the food he served up. What happened, Barbecue Dude? Whither dost thou goest in thy rusty food bus? Did those health code people call you out for serving food out of a short bus? Whatever happened, it sucks for me. No more busbecue equals no more happy.
But recently I noticed that the convenience store had opened up again. This time with shinier signage and a new food offering: tacos. The juxtaposition of the "Cambiamos cheques" and the "75-cent tacos" signs made me wonder if my prayers had been answered. Did Jesus build me a check-cashing, taco-serving convenience store? Did God actually hear me when I said, "What in the fuck, Savior! No more Barbecue Bus?! What's next? No more puppies??" I walked up to the front door, took a deep breath and opened it.
Where there were once refrigerators, there is now a giant menu with tons of taco options. I was particularly hyped about the 75-cent tacos they advertised in the windows, but they were nowhere to be found on the menu. I would have been annoyed, but the smell of fresh-made corn tortillas kept me happy for long enough to order the taco plate: three tacos, rice and beans for five bucks. I chose al pastor, beef fajita and went out on a "that sounds weird" limb and rounded out my order with one chicharrón taco. Although the corn tortilla was delicious, the al pastor and the fajita meats were underwhelming, kinda dry and certainly not better than other gas station taco stands I've tried (Wow. I'm a gas-station taqueria connoisseur. That's frightening). And it turns out that the chicharrón taco was made of what looked to be pork rinds and what tasted like chewy butt hole. I think my fellow chicharrón-tryer described it best when she said, "This tastes like eww." Barbecue Bus, I miss you millions.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.