Arguably one of the first instances of Mexican food going mobile comes in the legend of Juan Mendez.
A taco vendor, Mendez used a small donkey (burro) to transport his cart into the streets of Ciudad Juarez, giving rise to the burrito.
Technologies have improved, but the techniques remain more or less the same. Simple food, fresh ingredients.
The taco carts of Mexico have become stuff of legend. When Winnipeggers who have experienced the delights of authentic street food speak of their almost hallowed experience, they attract crowds of enamored and envious listeners.
But where cities like New York and Los Angeles have embraced the mobile food movement with fleets of food trucks selling everything from crepes to Cajun food, Winnipeg remained a realm of the smooth meat vendors…hot dogs, smokies and hamburgers.
Enter El Torrito (little bull). Winnipeg’s first taco truck has taken to the streets staging la mobile food revolucion on Portage Avenue (in front of the Air Canada building) during lunchtime, and hanging out on Henderson for nocturnal noshers.
Using family recipes, these boy-geniuses are keeping it simple, keeping it real. They serve tacos. Only tacos. (Okay, yes they offer BBQ beef or chicken on a bun, but who’s paying attention.)
At a steal of a deal price of two bucks a pop or 3 for $5 you get a beef or chicken taco garnished with onions, tomatoes, chili sauce, cilantro and lime and served on a lightly grilled corn tortilla just like in Mexico.
A bit of an aficionado, Savour’s been experimenting with recipes for authentic Mexican food of late (courtesy of noted authority Dianna Kennedy and her seminal work The Art of Mexican Cooking). Take it from me (and friends who’ve spent serious time down south), these boys did their research.
Working in Mexico, then blazing a trail through the food truck scene of Brooklyn, they’ve learned how the locals do it. Now these amigos are taking street food to a new level in Winnipeg. And that’s no bull.
El Torrito’s flavours are distinct, lively and clean. Beautifully balanced, nothing overpowers. Fragrant, floral cilantro balances the smokey savory meat. The acidity of lime and sweetness of tomato burst with freshness, and the mild bite of onions fades on the finish to reveal a subtle and delightful hint of heat from the chilies. These are some of the best tacos to be had in Winnipeg, reminiscent of the awesomeness now being served at JC’s Tacos & More and Deseo Bistro.
While they don’t have a website, you can keep track of the taco truck, new developments, news or special events by following El Torrito on Twitter: @ELTorrito1. But above all, track this truck down!