On my way home from work, I sometimes see a Mexican taco stand on the sidewalk. This is not a truck mind you, it is straight up set up on the sidewalk. They even had lights for when it became dark. This is totally illegal as they do not hold any permits or licenses — no health and safety inspection, nothing. I see them grilling and selling tacos and what not all the time. This one particular day, I took the bait and I finally stopped for a bite. Let me tell you, this was not a mistake.
I looked around and saw what they had. They had a flat top grill station, charcoal grill, table full of condiments, and even home made horchata. I asked the guy for 2 carne asada tacos and 2 chorizo tacos. The cook grilled up my meats on an open grill, then finished them off on the flat top. I then laid on the sauce along with onions and cilantro — all which were prepared at their home or somewhere else. I ordered a horchata to make it an even 5 bucks. Home made everything tacos and a drink for 5 bucks is amazing.
These tacos were delicious beyond words. The bite of the meat and the onions and cilantro was perfect. Even the hot sauces were good. I liked the smoky flavor that the meat had from the grill. Usually the chorizo I buy at the market is like a paste, but theirs was sausage like. These guys really knew what they were doing.
I was so proud of my find, that I came back the same night with my cousin and brother. My brother got a humongous burrito, and my cousin and I got some more tacos. I liked that they put the rice and meat in the burrito, gave it to my brother to add whatever he wanted — they wrapped the burrito afterwards for us. At this point, I was full, and happy that I had a chance to try this food.
There was one thing that caught my eye. As I gave the guy my money for the food, he was thankful for the business he was getting. He took the money, looked up to the sky, and thanked God for it. Then and there, it really allowed me to appreciate everything I had. To me, it was a measly 5 bucks, but to him, it was a blessing. This really opened my eyes. Food wasn’t just something “delicious” anymore — it was more than that.
Every time I pass that spot and look, they aren’t there anymore. Maybe they were given a citation or warning from law enforcement. I don’t know what happened to them, but I always hope that they are there. Either way, I still hold on to the memory of those tacos. I think it’s the place where these tacos come from that make it so delicious. It’s not from some business driven chain or money hungry restaurant owner. These tacos are homemade, brought to the streets, from hard working individuals. They know the true value of the dollar and their passion for food is evident.
I guess I’m not too distressed from their disappearance. I know Los Angeles will lead me to another street tacos once again.