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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Guests Bram and Monica Meehan: Meals on Wheels

Restaurant Review

They've been called many names: "roach coaches," "mobile dining establishments," "taco wagons," even "danger on wheels." Be prepared to wait at most places as they make your food to order.

California Pastrami, corner of Alameda and Saint Francis. Bram and I both checked this place out. All I tried was the pastrami sandwich to go. The bread was totally soggy by the time I got it home, but the pastrami was thinly-cut and delicious... and a bargain. Bram also pronounced the fish tacos "awesome" and the breakfast burrito (made with roasted green chiles and hash browns) "good" and another great value. As one of the twenty-something guys awaiting his order noted to his friends, "This place is dope! And cheap." Those terrific fish tacos can take some time to prepare, so if you don't feel like waiting, you can call in your order ahead of time at 920-4584.

¡Viva México! Tacos Proudly Made in America This yellow and red van at the intersection of Saint Mike's and Fifth Street got a thumbs-up from Monica and her co-worker Susan. Both the tacos al pastor (spicy pork) and tacos barbacoa (slow-cooked beef, which seems to be their specialty) were yummy, with easily-customizable, fresh condiments. Next time, Monica's getting one of those tamarind drinks! You can also call ahead at 795-5867.

El Chile Toreado Apparently one of the most popular in the city, this cart by Big O Tire on Cordova has a full complement of burritos, tacos, and — why not? — Polish sausage. Bram went with the pork burrito, served on a tortilla with rice and beans, and — foolishly, given his New England heritage — hot sauce. Through the burn, what he could taste was great and lasted two days for lunch. Bram figures if he had maybe chatted up the nice folks behind the counter more or paid attention to the condiment offerings, it would've gone better. Quickly prepared, expertly wrapped, this is ready for the diner on the go. Monica's co-worker Susan also loves this place and recommends the collision-of-cultures Santa Fe cheese steak sandwich, with the deadly hot guacamole sauce. Skip the Taco Bell a half-block away and check 'em out.

Cajun Cart? I was looking forward to this — John Margraff recommended it! But I went twice in one day and they weren't there! I wasn't going back a third time, so no bagels for now.

Got any recommendations for your favorite carts? Perhaps some notes on the rare and elusive Cajun Cart? Please leave a comment below!

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Ya gotta try Roque's Carnitas, on the Plaza Tue-Sun and have catered all over town for years. Been there longer than the Fajita cart, and yes, you still get the same freak show on the Plaza, but isn't that why we live here, 'cuz we blend right in?!?!? All greatly mitigated in the summer by live music at noon. And, by the way, love M.O.W. and the HONESTY of the reviews. We work too hard to spend on a meal that is not as good as the ones we make ourselves! Sure, every spot has an off night, but geez, especially at some of SF's NY prices, off nights should be few and very far between....and service shouldn't be an issue when ya pay, no matter what the price point! They need to save the crabbies for the home kitchen where someone presumably loves 'em! Keep up the yummy work!