Restaurants & Bars 5

Taqueria La Joya - Vallejo

josquared | Aug 13, 2006 06:43 AM

An anonymous tip Melanie had mentioned she received regarding this place was put on a previous Vallejo thread, especially their chicharrones tacos. I had already been here twice, so that gave me an excuse to visit for the third time today.

This place technically isn't a taco truck; rather, it's a trailer (like something you'd find at those county fairs) that's been more or less stationed in the parking lot of the One Mile House Pub. They're doing quite well, if the crowds I see there regularly and the new elevated street sign they've placed at the parking lot entrance are any indication.

One nice touch is the canopied area beside the trailer which provides shades for some tables and benches. In addition, I noticed bottles of what I presume to be their green and red sauces on the tables.

They have your "standard" taco truck menu of burritos, quesadillas, tortas, horchatas, tamales, and a not so traditional offering of a hamburger (hand-scrawled on paper off to the side of the main menu.)

But the real reason to go here is the tacos. For one thing, they're $1 each, not the standard $1.25 at their fellow taco truck competitors in town.

Secondly, they have one of the larger meat filling offerings of any taco truck place. They're the only taco truck in this area I've seen with chorizo tacos. Other offerings include cabeza, carnitas, buche, tripas, pastor, asada, pollo, lengua, chicharrones, and perhaps a couple more that escape me.

All the fillings I've tried (pastor, carnitas, asada, buche, chorizo & chicarrones) have been good to very good. The chicarrones, which I tried today, are probably the standout per the anonymous tipster's mention. Nice combo of crunch, chewiness and flavor, and wayyy better than the ones offered by one of the more well known taco trucks in town, Tacos Jalisco, whose chicharron texture reminded me a bit of stale pork rinds. Finely diced red onions and cilantro accompany the meat fillings.

An additional touch I like is the slight crisping of the outer tortillas on the grill, which added a pleasant crunchiness that I don't recall on other taco truck taco offerings and keeps the fillings in place better.

They'll ask if you want any sauce with your tacos - the red sauce is decent; the green sauce IMO is better, with a nice vinegary tang. Something new today that they didn't offer in the past was a very small bag of tortilla chips. I thought these would be stale, but actually turned out to be crisp.

This easily jumps into my top three taco-truck-type places around Vallejo. The best taco-truck pastor IMO still resides with Tacos Guadalajara on Sonoma Blvd & Ohio St; the addition of smoky-flavored beans makes the tacos at Dos Hermanos on Sonoma Blvd & Sereno Dr. stand out. But for just both good all-around value (c'mon - $1 tacos!) and good all-around taste, Taqueria La Joya is definitely a new favorite.

Taqueria La Joya
1120 Broadway St
(parking lot of 1 Mile House Pub)
Vallejo, CA

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