Last night, we were resigned to have something “stupid” for dinner, as we call it. It had been a long week and neither of us wanted to cook. We were torn between a fried fish place or a taco truck. And the taco truck won out.
We’d heard and read about these taco trucks that are along Perrin-Beitel and Nacgodoches Road (Perrin-Beitel becomes Nacgodoches at a certain point) between 410 and 1604, so we ventured out.
Having lived in Mexico for several years and spent much time in Mexico City, or D.F., as it is known, we have cloudy, yet fond memories of going to a wedding or a party and drinking a bit much, and then having the driver take us to his favorite taqueria where we would dine on fabulous taquitos and hang with the locals. Usually, at 4 in the morning.
Life is a little different in San Antonio, and perhaps we sometimes get up at 4 am, but we no longer come home at that hour. Although that’s when these taco trucks shut down. But, still, the thought of “real” tacos was quite enticing, even though it was only 7 pm.
We drove up Perrin-Beitel and came upon Erick’s Tacos y Fruteria, located at 12715 Nacogdoches Road (210-590-0994), which is not quite a truck, but more of a taco trailer and a patio, next to a big tire (llanta) store.
The authenticity took us by surprise. There was Spanish music playing in the corner from a small boom box, a TV on the wall playing with no sound, lots of posters from Mexican boxing matches on the wall, and, of course, the open air “dining room” which is so typical of a Mexican taqueria.
We knew we were in the right place.
We ordered our tacos from Erick, the jefe (owner), who hails from Mexico City. You get four tacos to an order for $5, but you can mix it up, which we did. I had two chorizo tacos and two tacos al pastor (both pork). David had two al pastor and two carne asada. We requested avocado, and, of course, the obligatory cilantro and onions. Oh, and two sides of frijoles borrachos. Even Erick remarked with a smile, “You know how to eat tacos.”
Then we went to the fruit stand, which is part of the establishment, and ordered a corn in a cup and our drinks.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have agua de jamaica, which is our favorite agua fresca, but they did have others we did not want.
The corn in a cup was good, but we would pass on that next time and save room for dessert: arroz con leche (rice pudding).
The tacos were personally delivered by Erick himself and we both looked at each other, because we knew we were back, at least for the next 30 minutes or so, in Mexico City. They looked and smelled exactly like the real thing.
We squeezed some limes on our tacos and a little splash of green sauce and wow! Home run! We kept looking at each other saying, “These are sooo good. Finally, some real Mexican food.” Moreover, they had just the right amount of grease.
For not being very hungry, we both devoured our four taquitos and there was not a morsel left on either of our plates.
As far as the beans go, David loved them and I was a little leery because they were full of hot dog slices and bacon, which is not necessarily my first choice in bean accessories. But I managed to pick out a few bites of beans and they were delicious.
As I was taking pictures of this experience, Erick wandered over and wanted to know where I worked, which was his way of asking why I was taking pictures. And so a lively conversation in both Spanish and English ensued. Us telling Erick how wonderful his tacos were, and Erick sharing with us stories about his four years in this location and his growing group of authentic taco fanatics.
Erick also told David about his Pierna de Puerco Torta (pork leg sandwich) and David is presently scouring his schedule as to when he can go and get this sammy.
Not only was our evening fun, and just a mere $16.50 (plus propina for Erick and his team), but we left so satisfied and happy from our little mini-vacation out on Nacogdoches Road.
Note: Even if you don’t speak or read Spanish, fear not. Erick speaks English and the menu is bilingual and easy to understand. We must support Erick and his endeavor to sustain a taste of D.F. in SA. We are already planning our next pilgrimage, probably right after Thanksgiving weekend. You’re welcome to join us if you like.