I’ve been food blog friends with Riço Ocir for almost two years. Somehow we seem to miss each other and haven’t had a chance to meet until last night. I was driving up to Portola Coffee Lab in the OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa when I see three food trucks lined up for the regular Friday night food truck gathering. Soho Gourmet Tacos, Sexy Burgers and Taco Maria were there. I have been trying to get to the Soho truck for quite sometime now and here was my chance.
I walked up to the truck and looking at the menu when I hear rumblings from one of the Soho truck employees. I look up and see that it is Riço! I was so surprised, I said hello and gave him a hug. It was really nice to finally meet him, but equally important that I got to try the taco’s from Soho.
Soho Gourmet Taco is headed up by Chef Gabe Zambrano who I had the pleasure of meeting last night. Soho Gourmet started and is still a Gourmet Taco Catering company. They have travelled all over LA/OC/IE bringing their fresh ingredients and homemade tortillas to events, private weddings, corporate parties and more. Their customized tables feature the ability to be setup without the need for an external power source making their ability to be in many types of venues. They only recently launched their Food Truck in the last 60 days or so and it’s been a huge success for them.
Let’s get to the tacos. Riço recommended the vegetarian. Now, I know Riço is no vegetarian by any means, so for him to say I have to try it says a lot! In addition, I wanted to sample the Camerones Especial (Shrimp) and the Carnitas (Pork).
My order was placed “on the floor” by Pierre who took my order on an iPad. My order was not only paid for on the iPad, but the order was transmitted to the “truck” and came out on a printer for the line. This is awesome! (I’ll follow up on this with a separate story for iFoodie, the tech side of my food blog.)
My order was ready in a matter of minutes. Three tacos nested in a container. I helped myself to the fresh salsa (Chef Gabe says if there is one thing you can do, is that you should always make your own salsa, don’t buy store bought ones) and a verde sauce they call “Green Crack”. I placed a nice squirt of the bright green concoction on my tacos and off I went to enjoy.
Look at the tortillas. Hand-slapped on the truck to the perfect thickness cooked on a hot “comal/griddle”. It’s cooked thru fast and given the “ever so slightest” crunch on the outside. Each taco had a healthy portion of fillings. Using up all the real estate in the tortilla is not a problem for these guys. My first bite was into the Camerones Especial. Tender pieces of non-breaded shrimp cooked perfectly in garlic butter with tender shreds of cabbage topped with a special sauce made of chipotle and sour cream along with some Jack cheese. When you bite into your taco, the tortilla doesn’t fight with you. The shrimp is not rubbery and seasoned well. It’s hard not to eat thru it in three or four bites, you want to savor each bite.
The carnitas taco is slow cooked pork that filled the tortilla. I add chopped cilantro, some of their salsa and the Green Crack. Juicy, through and through. No dry shreds of pork. I want more. For readers of my blog, you all know I LOVE pork. The heat from the Green Crack is just right. A good amount of heat to wake up your senses, but not hot that you’re sweating. Now I know why they call it Green Crack. They should bottle that up and sell it on its own.
I left the vegetarian taco for last as in my mind I was savoring shrimp and pork really bad. I don’t add anything to the taco except for a small amount of “crack”. I’m about to take a bite when my nose catches the aroma of grilled vegetables. I go for the bite and find my eyes opening in amazement. I’ll be the first to tell you that ordering a vegetarian taco wouldn’t have been on my list tonight, but I tell you, this is the taco to order! A mixture of bell peppers, onions, Portobellos, baby spinach with Jack Cheese and some of that signature Chipotle sour cream. Your mouth tries to interpret what you’re eating and you find a chunk of grilled mushroom and you want more. The vegetables still have a bit of a crunch to them and they are not over grilled.
Trust me on this all you carnivores, if you come across the Soho taco truck, honk your horn, make them pull over and have them make you a “Vegetariano” taco. Don’t tell them I told you to do that, honk at your own risk!
Now I understand why Riço has allied himself with Soho. Clean, simple, flavorful tacos. Nothing more, nothing less. They don’t make burritos, enchiladas or flautas, just what they do best: tacos.
Photo credits: Food shots by Foodie In Disguise, pics of Chef Gabe and the Soho Taco Truck courtesy of Soho Taco.