Neon Indian had just finished their set at the Indie Summer Series on Fountain Square, and the crowd began to disperse. My friends were deciding what they wanted to do next. O’Malley’s in the Alley? The Righteous Room?
I still hadn’t eaten. Just as I was running down the list of restaurants still open at the almost-midnight hour downtown, the bright orange Señor Roy’s Taco Patrol (www.Senorroys.com) truck pulled right up onto the sidewalk to police our hunger.
It was kismet. I'd been assigned to write about Señor Roy’s, and here they were. I didn’t even have to track them down (though you can by following them on Twitter @Señorroys).
The menu is simple. Choose a meat to add to tacos, a burrito, a quesadilla, nachos or taco salad. Then add any of a number of salsas and extras.
Simple, yes, but I was drunk and I like to be a pain in the ass, so I ordered nachos ($5) and said, “Put all kinds of delicious stuff on them!”
Little did I know that the first guy of the two-man team doesn't handle all the ingredients.
He threw some grilled marinated flank steak on the tortilla chips and slid it along the counter. I had to choose the rest of my toppings later. I got black beans, jasmine lime rice, shredded Chihuahua cheese, chopped cilantro and sweet pickled red onion. They were piled high, flavorful and really hit the spot.
My girlfriend went with the quesadilla made with white Chihuahua cheese and added the signature Al Pastor: slow-roasted pork shoulder marinated in pineapple and adobo ($6). The Al Pastor itself was the hit of the night. Everyone we shared it with was crazy for the juicy, tender delight. The addition of diced white onions and mango habanero salsa made it even a bit more awesome.
We loved Señor Roy’s so much that we made it a point to seek them out the very next day for lunch. This time I got two tacos for $5 with the Al Pastor, beans, rice, cheese and pico de gallo. The meat serving was generous, but the little guys fill up fast so don’t expect a lot of toppings. This time, the Al Pastor didn’t seem quite as flavorful as the first time, but the tacos were still good.
Don’t be thrown by the pale corn tortillas. They're handmade by a company in Chicago, and they’re pretty tasty. Next time I come across Señor Roy’s, I think I’ll try the guacamole ($1.75) or queso dip ($2.50) with corn chips.
If you’re not down with the unpredictable availability of mobile eateries, that’s understandable, though they’ll be less unpredictable with City Council recently voting to start a pilot program zoning off areas downtown for food trucks. But I think those times when you spot the truck in your neighborhood at just the right moment or it comes right to you when you’re in no condition to drive make it all worthwhile.
It’s all just part of the mystique of mobile eateries.
CONTACT BRIAN CROSS: firstname.lastname@example.org