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Melanie Wong | Mar 28, 202103:06 PM    

Tacos El Grullense #3, a new truck from Taqueria El Grullense, launched on March 17. I noticed it passing by the neighborhood a couple days later and stopped to check it out. I actually ate here two times that weekend to verify that it was up to snuff . . . the sacrifices I make for my fellow 'hounds!

Truck #1, parked on Kern Street, might be the best known of several loncheras (taco trucks) operating in Salinas. #1 is a day time truck with hours from about 11am to 6pm. So I was happy to learn that #3 will operate daily from 3pm to 10pm. No more reason to be deprived of tacos from El Grullense.

First visit, I ordered a round of tacos, one each of tripa, lengua, carnitas and cabeza, for a total of $9 plus tip. The El Grullense style is to temper the small corn tortillas in a scant amount of oil on the plancha so that they release more roasted corn aroma and flavor, as well as a slight crispness around the edges. Since I had my tacos packed para llevar to eat at home, whatever subtle texture or flavor element from tempering was lost after steaming in transit. Still, I can report that each of the meats were as flavorful as I've come to expect from El Grullense. Added garnishes were sweet braised onions, lemon wedges and a roasted Serrano chile pepper. The legendary green salsa is as wonderful as ever. Dressed with everything, meaning diced onion, cilantro and salsas, this was too generous on the raw onion and I'll ask them to lighten up when I return.

Next visit I went for the tostada de camaron, $3.50, and an horchata, $3.00, plus tip. This spanking new truck is actually outfitted with an agua fresca drink dispenser on board. The horchata was too sweet for my taste and I'll probably get a different flavor next time to find something less sugary. Not wanting the crunchy tostada base to soften, I devoured this immediately in the car. Very nice job with sweet and tender shrimp cut into bite-sized pieces, cucumber, diced red onions and tomatoes, and slices of ripe avocado, making it easy to eat out of hand and as good as my memories of past orders. A bargain lunch, for sure, and one that the nutritionists and clients at the neighboring Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) office would probably enjoy without guilt.

Tacos El Grullense #3
632 South Pearl Street
Salinas, CA
(next to the WIC office)

Previous posts for Taqueria El Grullense, Tacos El Grullense #1 and the salsa verde
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