NYSF FIRST LOOK: MEXICO BLVD FOOD TRUCK

Right after the New Year, we  told you that Mexico Blvd Food Truck would be coming our way in February.  That’s now…and we had our First Look yesterday.

Mexico Blvd Food Truck was founded by Jordi Loaeaza and his father Jorge.  Jordi grew up cooking at his father’s side in Mexico, and they traveled around the country learning all they could about different regional cuisines in Mexico.  They moved to the US a number of years ago, and Jordi worked in various restaurants here, including Tom Colicchio’s Riverpark, although I’m not sure in what capacity.

After a couple of days on the street, the menu was revised to reflect the realities of working from a truck.  They no longer offer flautas, but tacos and tortas are still on the menu, in addition to fresh guacamole.

We decided to try each of the 4 types of tacos ($3 each), which is a lot of food.  Don’t try this at home – we’re professionals. Two tacos will probably suffice for most normal appetites.

Tinga (chicken) & Adobo (pork) tacos

Each of the tacos was topped with onions and cilantro, but that’s where the similarities ended.

The Tinga had shredded chicken breast and quite a spicy salsa verde. I also tasted fresh lime juice.  Between the chicken, lime and salsa, I had to be careful not to let the juices drip on my shirt.  This taco was really good, and it turned out to be the spiciest of the bunch.  Maybe because it was the first one I ate, and my mouth was acclimated to the spiciness on later tacos.

Next up was the Adobo, which had a lot to live up to.  We regularly make our own adobo spice rub at home, and even published the recipe on NYSF back in Sept 2010, when we used to publish recipes every Friday.

There are almost as many adobo recipes as there are people cooking Latin food, so I couldn’t tell you exactly what’s in their adobo recipe.  Cumin was obvious and probably paprika, dried chilis, and an underlying sweetness that could have come from cinnamon.  You can never be sure what’s in an adobo rub without a chemistry set, but who cares – it was delicious!

The pork loin was tender and very tasty, with the adobo rub adding a well-rounded but mellow dimension to the meat.  The red salsa on top was a little spicy, but not as much as the salsa verde.

Pastor taco

The Pastor taco had pork that was marinated in a 3 chili sauce plus slices of pineapple, scallions and more of the salsa verde.  The 3 chili sauce had more of a “pop” than the adobo pork did, and with the pineapple and salsa verde, this taco was bursting with sweet, fruity and spicy flavors.  Squeezing on fresh lime juice added yet another flavor.

Bistec taco

The Bistec taco was made with chunks of top round beef that were marinated in a “drunken sauce”.  When I asked what that was, Jordi told me “the beef was marinated in beer, which impregnates the beef with the chilis”.  Yes, those were his exact words.

I’ve never had pregnant beef before(!), but after eating this taco, I’ll have to do it more often.  The beef was also very tender (with no fat) and it had a really nice marinated, grilled flavor, and was topped with a medium-spicy red salsa, onions and fresh cilantro.

fresh guacamole

While I was waiting for some food, they gave me a small portion of guacamole and chips to try.  The guacamole had chunks of avocado, fresh cilantro, lime juice, and possible a little jalapeño, but it wasn’t spicy.

Some places don’t pay too much attention to the chips, but these were dusted with chili powder and lime and had a nice kick.  If you like guacamole and chips, give theirs a try.

Whew, that was a lot of food!  Let’s sum things up.

The meats were exceptional, with all of them marinated in various rubs and sauces overnight.  All of the meats were of good quality, with no fat or any other funkiness in any of the tacos.  In my opinion, the marinades are what really made the difference here.

The sauces were very good too, with strong, distinct flavors and a good amount of heat.

If there was a weak spot, it was the tortillas.  They only used one per taco, which makes them susceptible to breakage, especially if you don’t eat the tacos right away.  If I brought this back to my office, there would have been severe breakage.

Mexico BLVD Food Truck also grill the tortillas a little too much, which adds a toastiness, but also makes them a little brittle.  The excellent fillings and toppings more than made up for this one shortcoming.

As I said earlier, don’t try this at home.  Two tacos should be enough for most people for lunch, maybe three if you have a large appetite.

You can follow Mexico Blvd Food Truck on twitter here or on our Mobile Munchies twitter feed, and they are already listed in the NYSF directory.

Jordi told me they are still getting their sea legs, so they will be parking in less high-traffic areas until they feel ready to accommodate the masses.  He told me they worked the WFC Food Truck Court earlier this week and were slammed.  They don’t want people walking away unhappy, so they are trying to ease into things a bit slower.

Next up…tortas!  There’s no way I’m going to eat 4 sandwiches, so let us know what you’ve tried from Mexico Blvd in the comments section.

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