Taco Truck: The Best Food on (or off) Wheels

Mark, along with his father, Tom Grissom, at “The Taco Truck"

Mark, along with his father, Tom Grissom, at “The Taco Truck”

As a fan of the underdog, I am pulling for the Royals in Game 7 of the World Series.

After the Baltimore Orioles were eliminated from the playoffs, I really could care less about the World Series.  I do not know a player on either team.  I have no interest in even watching a game.

However; I am NOT for the Giants!

I always pull for the underdog.  Does not matter what it is in life, I am always for the side that does not seem to have a chance!  The Giants have dominated baseball in the past few years.  I do NOT want to see them win this year too!

Prayers for the Royals would sure be appreciated!

Growing up on the south side of Chicago, I can remember looking forward to hearing the sound of the “Ice Cream Truck” as it was making its way into our neighborhood.

It did not matter if I was in the house watching television or in the backyard throwing the baseball up against the brick wall and catching it, (my dad hated when I did that), or riding my bicycle down the street…I knew that sound all too well!

I would find my mom, (God rest her soul), or dad real quick and get a dollar, (back then a dollar went a long way), and run out in front of the house and stand there and wait for the “Ice Cream Man”.

I had one favorite item off the “Ice Cream Truck”.  I bought it every single time he pulled up to meet me.  I never had to look at the menu on the side of the truck.  I always knew what I was getting from the “Ice Cream Man”, and it was not even ice cream!

I bought, what they called back then, a “Bomb Pop”.

It was a red, white and blue Popsicle in the shape of a bomb and, man oh man, was it ever good!!

Fast forward to the years 1983 and 1984.

I was enrolled in Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago.  The mortuary college was actually meeting at the time in an old elementary school building in Skokie, Illinois.  We were the only ones in the school.  There was no cafeteria or cafeteria workers.  I don’t even remember there being any vending machines on the premises.

Every day, at around 11:00 a.m. or so, a food truck pulled up in front of the school.

This food truck was not like the ones you see today.  The food trucks today are a whole lot fancier.  This was a simple truck with an aluminum body on it and it had two doors on each side in the back.  The driver would pull up to the school, get out of the truck and open up the swinging doors on each side.

He had a little bit of everything inside that food truck!  Fresh donuts and pastry items, hot coffee, cold canned sodas, cold sandwiches, chips, and candy bars.  You name it…it was either on the truck or he would bring it back with him the next day!

Again, the crazy person that I am, I had one favorite item on that truck.  As often as I can remember I would get the ham and cheese cold sandwich, a bag of chips and a cold drink.

If I were really hungry, I would grab a fresh donut for dessert.

It was not that the food was so great.  It was more the experience of getting your lunch from a “Food Truck”.

Fast forward to the present!

Several months ago, my pastor and his friend took me to a place where there was a whole new dining experience to be found.  Pastor Tim Bracken and Ramon Torres introduced me on that day to a place called “Taco El Cunao”, AKA, “THE TACO TRUCK”

It is located on the south end of Cleveland, close to Bradley High School.  It is an old white truck that has been converted into one of the most incredible eating establishments I have ever experienced.

I LOVE Mexican food!  I always have.  It has always been my favorite.

For 20 years, I kept Monterrey Mexican Restaurant in business.  I still go there quite often, but not as often as I use to after discovering a small piece of “Heaven” at a place called “The Taco Truck”!

They have the most authentic – or as the sign on the Taco Truck says…”AUTENTIC” – Mexican food anywhere around.  Everything from tacos, burritos, gorditas, tortas, and quesadillas.

You walk up to the little window and place your order.  Then you go sit under an “aluminum shed” type building that is open at both ends.  Your name or number is called and you go back to the window and pick up your food.

I have been there so many times, I am known to everyone that works at the taco truck as “Mr. Marcos”.

That makes me smile!

They make their very own hot sauce.  (Be sure and get the red bottle)

On average, I am probably at the taco truck between 2 and 10 times a week.   I am making my case, as I write this blog, for my very own parking space at the taco truck!   I think I deserve it!

I truly believe it is not just the food that draws me to the taco truck, but the experience of ordering my food from a rusted out old bus with Mexican food pictures plastered all over the side of it and hearing the ladies yell out…”HOLA MR. MARCOS”.

Whatever the case may be, there certainly seems to be a pattern in my life of having an affinity to trucks that have food.  Not quite sure how to explain that!

I do know this one thing to be true.  The next time I have a date, and if that date says…”Hey, lets go eat at the taco truck for dinner”…I will marry her.

Until next time… GO CUBS!!

PS… You better believe I have one favorite item at “The Taco Truck”.  Burrito Grande with steak, rice, lettuce, tomato, cheese and jalepeno.  Then I SMOTHER that sucker in the red hot sauce!

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