Reviewing taco trucks resembles trying to nail jello to the wall. Every year new trucks show up and old ones disappear. The great thing about taco truck dining is that this is food primarily for Mexican and/or Mexican-American customers, so the food is authentic. Also the prices are great. The other day I had a lengua taco and a cabeza taco from one stand and a shrimp taco and fish taco from another stand and spent less than $5 total. The following are my favorite choices for taco truck eating though, of course, things may change during the season when the workers come back into town.
8th St Trucks: 8th St is Yuma’s little Mexico and is home to good restaurants and the majority of our taco trucks. Establishments are listed in no particular order. Unless otherwise noted, they are between Ave B and Ave C.
Tio Juan’s – this place, currently closed for the summer, is one of my absolute favorites. The seafood cocteles here are as good as any in town, and often the campechana (combo cocteles) incudes items – abalone, or black clam from Los Mochis – that are not found elsewhere. You can look over the ingredients and choose which ones you want in the cocteles, so if you don’t like raw oysters or scallops, for example, you can leave it out. Also noteworthy are the fish tacos, NOT Baja style. Here the fish is lightly breaded and grilled, there is no white sauce, and the fish is accompanied by a tomato onion sauce not too dissimilar to salsa de Veracruz.
Deliciosos del Mar – When I first ate here a few years ago, this truck had no name; they would just put out a sign that read “caguamanta,” which I found out is soup made from dried salted sting ray from the Sea of Cortez. The soup tastes much like a good Manhattan clam chowder with a tomato based broth, celery, onions, carrot slices and pieces of the fleshy fish. Tacos de pescado and tacos de camaron are also served, but the breading is not quite crunchy enough for my tastes. This is one of a group of taco stands arranged, as Kirk observed, like a food court. Most are only open at nights in season; the only one I have experience with is Tacos Lucy, which serves good asada tacos.
Mariscos El Nayarita – this place, located out in the middle of fields close to where D intersects with 8th St, has an attached ramada and rest rooms and is slowly transforming itself into a restaurant. The seafood cocteles and tacos are good here, but not great. My favorite things here are the empanadas, half moon shaped corn meal pockets colored with achiote (annatto), stuffed with ground up shrimp, deep fried to crispy crunchiness, and accompanied by fiery salsa verde that seems to be just ground green chilies. The whole fish (deep fried) is also good, but a real treat is the pescado zarandeado, a half fish (sold by the kilo) flavored with Mexican spices and grilled on an outside barbecue. Note: this dish is only available at the height of the season. And last time I checked, the restaurant seemed closed for the summer. Hopefully, it will reopen.
Juanita’s – this is another taco truck transforming itself into a restaurant. The location, just beyond A on 8th is ideal, and there are rest rooms and a ramada. Fish or asada tacos are available and tasty, and the seafood cocteles, particularly the campechana ($10 including tax) is excellent and packed with seafood. While not containing the range of mariscos that one can sometimes get at Tio Juan’s, Juanita’s cocteles can be superb with just plump shrimp, sweet scallops, and slightly chewy octopus. Even better when they toss in a fresh oyster. Excellent home-made salsa is available to add fire to the tomato water liquid. And this place is open every day except one (Thursday, I think) even now when it is 114 degrees outside.
Mexiburger – this is not really a taco truck, but is a to-go only window attached to the Flower tortilla factory at 8th and B. Good tortas and my burger loving friend tells me that the burgers are delicious as well.
El Toro Meat Market – this market (between 4th Ave and A) has a taco stand outside that features wonderful al pastor, succulent lengua, and tasty cabeza tacos. You order, go inside to pay (and they will give you excellent salsa, so-so guacamole, onions & cilantro, and cabbage), go back outside and pick up the tacos.
On 24th St:
Bacanora Tacos – as the El Toro Market has its taco stand, this is the taco stand for Coronado’s market at Kennedy and 24th. Decent tacos and burritos. Cabeza here is very good.
Tacos El Jarocho – located in the parking lot of a convenience store at the corner of 24th and Pacific, this taco stand is only open from around 7 pm until 1 or 2 in the morning. Truth be told, I don’t usually frequent taco stands during those hours, but this stand is connected with one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, El Jarocho. Therefore, I would expect the tacos to be excellent and inexpensive.
Last November Kirk of the wonderful food blog Mmm-yoso visited Yuma and tasted at many of the taco trucks on this list. To see pictures of many of the places and read his report on taco stand dining, as well as his general observations on Yuma go to
( http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/y... ).