Posh tacos totally have their place. The business lunch. A night out for margaritas with your besties. Dinner dates before that merciful point in a relationship where you both stop trying to act cooler than you really are.
But other times paying almost 20 bucks for some pizzazz between a few tortillas – as deftly executed as that pizzazz can be – seems nuts. In Huntsville, it also feels premature. Our city is growing and all, but this isn’t Atlanta or Nashville yet. At that price point you’re often not just paying for pork belly, aioli and meticulously curated microgreens though. You’re paying for location and ambience, which are critical for some occasions.
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For example, you wouldn’t want to take Mom out for Mother’s Day dinner at a gas station, which is where you can get three excellent tacos for less than $10, at the Chevron at the corner of University Drive and Old Monrovia Road. That’s where the Nacho’s Mexican Food trailer is parked.
Launched about six months ago, Nacho’s serves tasty, authentic, un-glam tacos. On a recent Monday, I called in a pick-up order. When I arrived there around noon, there was a line of six or so workers on their lunchbreak, in front of the orange-colored Nacho’s trailer. There are a couple picnic tables set up to the left of trailer. Those were already taken. Maybe not such a bad thing as they’re in close vicinity to University Drive vroom and exhaust.
The al pastor taco ($2.50) was the gold of my order. Tender, slow-roasted and seasoned pork shoulder, with pineapple slices offsetting those primal pig pleasures with subtle sunshine. Vastly superior pineapple usage than on a pizza. Like the other Nacho’s tacos I tried, the al pastor’s topped with diced cilantro and onion on top of double-wrapped soft corn tortillas. If you’ve got a feathery touch and wanna decrease carbs you can peel off the outer tortilla without everything falling to pieces – as long as you keep that taco in hand until finishing it. The tacos are served with lime wedges on the side.
The limes came in handy with the chicken taco ($2.50), which trafficked mostly in natural flavors. The zingy, tomatillo-forward salsa-verde served on the side also played well with the chicken. For those with the fever for heat, there’s a chili-forward red-sauce too. You can skip the picked carrots though. Not enough zing or flavor.
The chorizo ($2.50) was Megadeth to the al pastor’s Metallica of my Nacho’s order. A distant and still totally rad second. Chopped pork sausage with some delayed heat that hits the edge of your tongue and warms your chi.
Three tacos make for a satisfying meal for moderate appetites. Each contained the perfect, maximum capacity of protein. No over- or under-stuffing. just right. The exalted El Cazador food bus on Governors Drive does four tacos for around $10 bucks and those tacos rule and so does that deal. But I’d say Nacho’s are a little bigger. In this taco trigonometry, four equals three.
To get a wider spectrum of Nacho’s tacos, also tried the birria ($3) version. Pot roast adjacent beef stew with melty white cheese, inside double corn tortillas folded (unlike the other tacos, which were served semi open-faced) and finish fried in the fat from the stew. Judicious dabs of the aforementioned red sauce teamed well with the birria.
Nacho’s menu includes other trad Mexican fare, like tortas ($11.99), tamales ($9 for three) and empanadas ($10 for three). And less-trad fare, like burritos bowls ($11). There also a carne asada ($12.99) that looks from promising photos on social media: strip steak, avocado, grilled onions and jalapenos and rice and beans. Nacho’s hours of operations are 11 am – 9 pm Monday through Thursday, and 10 am – 10 pm Friday and Saturday. Call in an order at 256-843-0835. But if they’re busy they may not answer, so be patient and call back. More info online at acebook.com/NachosMexicanFoodTruck. To get best directions, put 5830 University Drive into your maps app.
Does El Cazador need to be shaking in their Nikes? no. If you’re over in West Huntsville or downtown, the bus is still the move. But since Nacho’s is across the street from the MidCity development, their tacos would make for affordable, enjoyable ballast before an Orion Amphitheater concert, swatting Callaways at Topgolf or perusing wares at MidCity’s Sunday market. Convenience you don’t have to pay extra for.
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