Before the food truck phenomenon began several years ago there were really only two types of food trucks found in the area, the “roach coach” serving usually crappy, greasy diner-type food like burgers and sandwiches to largely non-Hispanic workers and the ones serving Mexican food that were often parked near construction sites and whose food was generally much better. As the name might suggest, El Taco Man belongs in the latter category, and its worthy of detour to the near north side for some tasty, very inexpensive fare. It’s truly a cheap eats destination (for a change). The most expensive items are $5.
It’s not much of a destination, though. It resides, seemingly every day, in a dumpy strip center on Calvalcade just west of I-145 that features two adjacent dollar stores, dumpy dollar stores, even by dollar store standards. The truck, well, trailer, is parked near the Autozone, which is, comparatively, a Nordstrom’s viewed against the other tenants. Don’t be put off by the surroundings, though. The food is quite tasty at El Taco Man, very inexpensive and the proprietors are friendly and accommodating, and speak English. And, if there has been a queue, it has been short.
I had first heard about the truck a while back from my friend Rick, who was a longtime fan. I finally took his advice a few months ago and have really enjoyed it since, visiting several times. To re-emphasize, it’s good and really cheap. There is certainly nothing fancy or even outstanding, but it provides good, appealing flavors from pretty decent components, including necessarily well-made salsas. Each of my meals taken from El Taco Man have been very satisfying.
When approaching a service window you are greeted by the list of meats they serve: beef fajita, pastor, barbacoa, lengua, shredded chicken, desebrada de res, chicharron, chorizo, ham and carnitas. These are used to fill or top the tacos, gorditas, burritos, quesadillas, tortas and tostadas. There are also hamburgers and hot dogs. The tacos are available with corn or flour tortillas and topped with onions and cilantro, though you can get the Tex-Mex pairing of lettuce and tomato if you’d like.
And it’s all so cheap. The standard-sized tacos – you’ll likely need three for sure – are just $1.25 with corn tortillas and $1.50 for flour. Gorditas are $2.35, tostadas are $2.50, a hot dog is $1.50, hamburgers are $3.50, and the good-sized burritos and large quesadillas top out the bill of fare at $5.00.
El Taco Man
610 W. Cavalcade or so (between I-45 and Airline), 77009