|The only place on the truck where the name & logo are easily visible|
To be honest, my loved ones don’t understand my fixation with truck food. Especially my girlfriend. I guess that’s fair, since I don’t really understand their desire to eat at places like Taco Bell. So, I usually hit up trucks alone or with my sister who, while not particularly fond of restaurants on wheels herself, loves getting out of the office at lunch time. I’ll usually get her a chicken taco for her troubles. I’ve been to most of the trucks in what I think of as the “upper Boise area”, meaning downtown and the Garden City fringe areas are excluded. Taco Veloz, in front of A-1 Pawn on Fairview in Boise, is kind of in a class of their own.
First of all, they take credit and debit cards, which is a huge plus for people like me who don’t carry cash. Second, they have combo meals, and even some more Americanized fare (the “super taco” comes with lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream and salsa, for example). Sounds kinda like Tacos Mobile Primo so far? Okay, then let’s add that their tortas not only come in some interesting varieties (including one bathed in a sauce?!), but that they’re actually pretty decent too. This is a big difference for me. And the combo meals here come with a drink, a first for any of the trucks I’ve seen in Boise. How about a look at the menu?
The first time I went to Taco Veloz, a little confusion between what I intended to order and a menu item I was just curious and asking about led to my being served what is likely the most horribly evil thing they produce: the Torta Veloz. If you’ve never had a torta, shame on you. If you have, then you know how big a standard one is. A standard torta (in my experience) usually has meat, lettuce, tomato, avocado, jalapeños, onions, and mayo. Some places will add beans to this mix. To this behemoth of a sandwich, the Torta Veloz adds: sausage, egg, ham, breaded steak, chorizo, and cheese. It’s the kind of sandwich that you would never discuss with your doctor. You feel almost dirty afterwards, like you need a shower. And I only finished about half of it. It took me some time to talk myself into returning to try their saner options, but I finally made it. As tempting as the five taco combo with rice, beans and drink sounded, I opted for my old reliable combination: a carnitas torta and an asada taco.
|Carnitas torta & asada taco|
Looks good, no? How about a little perspective?
Now we begin to see why the tacos are only a dollar. That’s a tiny little three or four bite wonder there. Truck tacos are never exceptionally hearty, but this is small even by those standards. It would be very easy to be dismissive here if it weren’t for the fact that the tacos are so damn good. They come pre-sauced, with a red salsa that’s hotter than the verde that most of the trucks use, and the flavor and quality of the meat is definitely a notch above most of their competitors. And if you really consider the logistics, I’m betting Veloz’s five taco combo comes out with a pretty equivalent amount of food to Primo’s four taco combo, and when you add in a drink is roughly the same price. Now let’s take a closer look at that sandwich…
|Carnitas torta cross section|
The torta, on the other hand, wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I don’t know if it was the way the sandwich was built or if the bread wasn’t as fresh as it could have been, but it got a little dry towards the edges where the filling started to thin out. I just worked around it, since I rarely finish an entire torta anyway. Still odd to basically eat around a crust like a kid with a peanut butter sandwich. And even though it wasn’t mentioned on the menu, there is definitely some shredded cheese in there. This is a little different than what I’m used to, and I’m still trying to decide how I feel about it. A return visit might be in order, especially since I think it likely the bread might just have been a little off that day, and how can you not be intrigued with such a wide variety of interesting selections? And the tacos alone are definitely worth a follow-up trip, even if they are a little “fun-sized”.