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Restaurants & Bars 4

The taco truck north of Calistoga

Jennie Sheeks | Mar 24, 200307:02 PM

It’s a taco truck in the middle of nowhere. North of Calistoga, north of Petrified Forest Road, where what was once Hwy 29 is now Hwy 128, on the right, next to a down and dirty little cement block market that sells mostly beverages and a few Mexican snack items, sits Napa Valley’s northern most taco truck, and probably the last stop for food before the county line. I discovered this place last fall enroute to Mendocino via Alexander Valley. I pulled over, and then remember I had only plastic on my person, and sorely lamented my lack of cash. My next trip that way in January I had dollars and hunger in abundance, and stopped for a chorizo torta. I’ve yet to see chorizo at any of the downvalley taco trucks, and it’s hard to find even in the restaurants here, so I couldn’t resist, even when they told famished me it would take longer to cook properly. Their tortas start with large round hamburger type buns brushed with oil and grilled till toasty brown. They stuff them with meat, quickly grilled onions, pinto beans, iceberg lettuce, slices of avocado & tomato and sour cream. I savored this as I crossed the county line and dropped down into Knights Valley, thinking about how hard it is to have experience chorizo torta bliss and drive at the same time. In addition to the tortas, they have tacos, burritos, and quesadillas – the usual local truck fare. They also have taquitos and tostadas. The prices are more expensive than I’ve seen, $2/taco, $4.75 for a torta, (compared to $1 or $1.25/taco and $3/torta) but it’s still in the top 3 cheapest lunch options upvalley.

Today, at my desk in northern St. Helena, the urge hit me and I fled my desk cash in hand and headed north. Edging my way around the assorted vineyard workers and construction guys I managed to score a torta al pastor. I have to say I think I liked the chorizo better; there’s something about the spicy grease that just works for me. The pastor didn’t have enough tingle for my tastes but it still was pretty good, with a slight heat that built a little with each bite. Being able to make a taco truck run from slightly snobby cream & butter clogged St. Helena just puts a little smirk on my face.

Now if only we could get an outpost of Naan & Curry up here…

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