Food Truck Chasers

One of the adventurous parts of food truck eating is that it is remarkably difficult to FIND the food trucks! But we love the fact that we can get gourmet food on a fast-food budget, even if we have to eat it at a picnic table or in the car. The trucks are a moving target, literally. We follow blogs and Twitter to try to track them down, but their posting is sporadic and often last-minute. It seems like we’re the storm chasers of this Nashville culinary subculture — always waiting for the perfect storm of foodtruckery.

So when we saw Riff’s food truck post on Twitter that they indeed were going to the Urban Flea Market in East Nashville, we were there! Even better? They were serving stuffed French toast.  Not just French toast, but STUFFED French toast! Doesn’t Saturday morning seem like the perfect time for stuffed French toast? ‘

We GPSed our way down to the Urban Flea Market, we spotted Riff’s food truck, but we immediately realized that there was a parking problem. We had to circle around, dodge cars coming down now one-lane streets due to traffic overload before we finally found a place to pull onto the grass on the side of the road.

We made our way through the Urban Flea Market: vintage clothes, handmade jewelry, someone playing guitar. Yeah, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah. Show me the food truck.

We finally ducked under a tree and stepped up to the parking area where Riffs was parked. Or HAD been parked. In the ten minutes it had taken us to find a parking space, Riffs had packed up and left. WITH the stuffed French toast!

Oh the humanity!

We stood there dazed and confused, wondering where to turn to next. Lacking Divine inspiration, Twitter was our answer.

Mas Tacos Por Favor had just posted their lunch menu. We Googled their location. Even though they started out as a food truck, they now have a brick-and-mortar in East Nashville. Perfect.

We once again GPSed our way over to McFerrin Avenue, but the address we had seemed to be wrong. We only saw a barber shop, and a deli.

Wait. There was a chalkboard on the sidewalk with “Mas Tacos” and an arrow. We were headed in the right direction.

We found a place to park on a neighborhood street, hid our valuables, and prayed that Jesus would protect our car. We walked to where the arrow was pointing. There was a guy with a baby sitting out on a patio area behind the deli, and we asked him, “Pssst. Where is Mas Tacos?”

“Right around the corner,” he whispered, “The sign is just next to the door.”

Sure enough, the place that we had designated as the deli (because of the giant DELI sign on the roof) was indeed Mas Tacos. Bars on the windows. Cars crammed in the parking lot. A paper bag with hours scrawled in pen hung next to the door. We couldn’t see inside.

We entered the restaurant, not knowing for sure if we were going to be encountering a restaurant or a crime scene. The interior looked like a little of both. It was clearly a clandestine culinary operation. No frills. No ambience. Only 82 degrees and packed with customers in food-stuffing silence, even though it was 11:30 on a Saturday morning, which is typically much too early for tastebuds to be awakened by tacos.

This food must be REALLY good. 

We stumbled through our order, like all good rookies do. We were thankful that we didn’t hear an exclamation of “No tacos for you!” as we attempted to order a combination of classics and specials. Ken ordered the breakfast taco and pulled pork taco. I went with the fish taco and the carne molida. To drink was a watermelon aqua fresca for me, and horchata (cinnamon almond milk)  for Ken.

We made our way to the last available table with our drinks while we waited for food. My drink was like drinking pure watermelon: delicious. I realize now that in the past I’ve only had drinks that are watermelon-flavored, which are okay, but this was actual watermelon in my drink! Yummy. I didn’t try Ken’s almond milk because I wanted to live (and have an anaphylactic allergy to almonds), but he agreed that it was cool and delicious too.

When our food arrived, we decided to proceed to a more oxygen-rich environment where we could keep an eye on our car: outside on the patio.

Our tacos were indeed delicious, though a bit on the spicy side. I love spicy heat, but only if the heat compliments the flavor, rather than overpowering it. Still, the meat was tender and delicious, the slaw fresh and crispy, and the double-layered corn tortillas provided a thoughtful way to keep me from dumping the ingredients in my lap.

We were very thankful for our drinks.

All-in-all, the tacos were very good — not necessarily life-changing, but good. We’ll definitely remember the experience, and if we happen to be in the neighborhood of their brick-and-mortar, or their food truck, we’ll find it hard to pass up.

After all, that’s what Food Truck Chasers do!

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