Less than a year ago, as we were driving home down Arrow Highway (probably from Costco – we might be the record holders for annual Costco visits), we passed the same nondescript neighborhood market we’d passed hundreds of times, the one that sells beer, lotto tickets, has a faded Corona girl cut-out leaning a bit asway out front. We’d never gone-no real reason save we don’t do a lot of tiny neighborhood market shopping (did we mention our Costco addiction?).
This time, there was a taco truck.
We happen to like tacos.
We stopped by a few weeks later and tried a variety of tacos. We’ve gone back now many times. It’s a mile walk from our house, which is sort of the perfect distance to both work up a taco appetite and then walk off a bit too much of taco eating, the sort of thing that happens when we get tacos. (It’s literally across the street from the University of La Verne, so it’s even closer from work. I’ve seen colleagues there, picking up orders–we exchange knowing glances.)
Here’s the menu:
We have tried: the mulitas (a mini-quesadilla on corn tortillas; slight, greasy, delicious), the BRC burrito (huge, delicious: we suspect that the beans at Tavos are *definitely* larded; this is good, in our minds); the chicken and al pastor burritos (also great: the chicken at Tavos is the most consistent protein we’ve tried; nicely spiced, big chunks, you can watch the cooks going to town on the meat with a cleaver order by order, and somehow their whack-chopping makes it taste better; the al pastor is non-traditional: well-spiced but not rotisserie; it’s fine); we’ve had all the tacos save chicharron and buche (sorry: we’re lame, but if there were suadero or cabeza or lengua, I’d be all over it): the carnitas is, alternately, the best protein or not, depending on how well trimmed the meat is (they cook it a long time: it’s almost flaky in its consistency, which calls to mind good old Tucson carne seca); the carne asada is tasty but consistently inconsistent, with a bit too much ligature. The salsas are excellent – the rojo smoky and could be a little deeper (roast those chiles!), but the verde is piquant, spicy, savory, fantastic.
We can walk in the evening hour a mile through our odd little burg. We can order a BRC burrito, a couple chicken and a couple carnitas tacos, drown them in verde salsa and lime juice, and then sit back with our neighbors, eating al fresco, drinking a beer from the market and assuming it’s legal, all as the sun sets and the football team practices across the street, their helmets clinking, their voices murmuring, a whistle going off now and again, and the tacos, one bite after the next, going down.
And we are happy.