"Taco Adventura 2012"

Our Goal: The Best Taco

Last weekend I loaded three of the Mango Kids into the MangoMobile for something we called "TacoTruck Adventura 2012." Adventure? Sure! Although it was really more of a quest. We were on a quest to find the best taco from a Taco Truck in our county. I had put the call out on facebook and received quite a few suggestions. But I knew deep in side that the only way to know which truck made the best tacos was to hit the road and put it to a test.

Here's what we found out:

Stop#1: "Viva Taco" - Canal/Geer Rd, Turlock CA
(Photos: In the bus, the MangoMobile parked, Nate pounding a Mexican Coke) 

Wow! We went to order at the window and we were invited inside. We loved this place and thought it was going to be hard to beat. Actually, it's a great place to go if the weather is lousy. It has a very clean interior and they make a very good taco. The only negative we found that was the actual taco was too watery and they did not cook their corn tortillas. Other than that, a really good place to eat tacos!

 

Stop #2: "Jessica's No. 4" - 7th and H Streets, Modesto CA
(Photos: Jessica's Truck,  Four Carne Asada Tacos, Preparing to devour)

Local readers will know this location well. There are easily six taco trucks in one strip between G and H Streets in downtown Modesto, but everyone seems to think Jessica's tacos are the best. As you can see from the picture above, the presentation is beautiful and there were several people in line (good sign). The only downside was the questionable characters lingering around the trucks. Overall, they were only average tacos that were pleasantly spicy, but we thought the whole location was just so-so.

Stop#3: "El Mexicano" - @Napa Auto Parts on Salida Blvd, Salida CA
(Photos: DriveUp tacos, Empty Cokes, "Hello, My Name is Chile Colorado", Scoring the tacos)

We were told over and over that Salida had the best tacos in the county. Several facebook friends mentioned the taco truck here, but only one mentioned a location (near Napa Auto Parts). We were sorely disappointed in this truck. There was no place to sit, no shade and the tacos were barely average. However, from our parking spot we noted two additional taco trucks in Salida, which makes me think we might have had the wrong truck. Take this recommendation for what it is worth. (We will make another visit).

Stop #4 : "Tacos Vallarta" - 14th and D Street, Modesto CA (near the DMV)
(Photos: Great parking, Great meats and a bold declaration, Nice ambiance near the tires)

This was another location based on a facebook recommendation. Everyone likes to talk about the taco truck near the DMV. Truthfully, this was a really good truck and they have a nice environment. Lousy parking, but really good tacos. 

Stop #5 : "El Primo, #2" - Yosemite and Santa Fe, Empire CA (at the train tracks)
(Photos: El Primo #2, Final scoring with orange Jaritos, Enjoying tacos in the shade)

This was our final stop and just happened to be the best tacos on flavor. Odd enough, this is the closest to our house. Although Tacos Vallarta was a close second, the ladies at El Primo #2 serve a mighty fine taco.

Final Ranking and Comments
#1 - El Primo, #2 - great flavor, great parking, great seating, but overall the best tacos!
#2 - Tacos Vallarta - very close second. Horrible parking.
#3 - Viva Taco/Taco Bus - Loved the seating and the great welcome we were given. Tacos were a little watery.
#4 - Jessica's - Good food, bad location. 
#5 - El Mexicano - not worth the effort to drive to Salida. 

Taco Adventura 2012 is complete and it was a success. I recommend you put your own trucks to the test. It was a fun afternoon of good food!

Quietly making noise,
Fletch 

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Andy Fletcher

Andy "Fletch" Fletcher has been married for the past 22 years. He and his wife Kendra are the proud parents of five sons and three daughters, all of whom keep them laughing and on their toes. During the day he can be found fixing people's teeth, but in his spare time you can find Fletch stretching out a pair of flip-flops, creating a new pizza recipe, playing the drums, or rescuing a piece of his tie-dye wardrobe from his wife's donation pile. You can find him online where he writes on his personal blog: theMangoTimes and cohosts with his wife on the HomeschoolingIRL.com podcast.