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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tacos from a truck parked in a New York garage

One of the two taco stands inside the Fonda Nolita garage
Nice touch: place for washing hands after getting tacos on them
View of restaurant with the famous red VW 'tacombi' taco truck on the far right
and the counter where meal tickets and drinks are sold on the left
Breakfast taco with chorizo
Seared fish taco
Taco con pollo al tamarindo (chicken and tamarind) with corn
Chef making tacos inside the VW.
LOCATION: Tacombi at Fonda Nolita, 267 Elizabeth Street, New York
CATEGORY: Mexican, taqueria, food truck
DRINK: Tap water
WE THINK: We put Tacombi's tacos to the test on a rainy day marred by a particularly bad hangover. This, you probably think, is giving Tacombi an unfair advantage, considering the hangover-curing properties of tacos. But the curing effect of Tacombi's tacos was balanced out by the amount of labour we put into actually getting them. We entered the big Nolita space (previously a garage) and were about to make ourselves comfortable at a table when we were directed by the waitress to the "ticket counter" where tickets for the two taco stands are sold. We paid for 3 tickets at $4 each, which isn't all that cheap. With our pathetic strip of old-school paper tickets (other customers, we noticed, had much longer strips of tickets), we headed to the taco stand in the back; the one with breakfast tacos and fish tacos. We ordered a chorizo breakfast taco and a seared fish taco, ripped off 2 tickets to pay for them, and joined a few other customers waiting next to the stand. Ten minutes later, we got our tacos which must have been sitting for a while as they were cold. The chorizo taco was nevertheless pretty delicious -- especially with a big daub of fiery green habanero sauce. The fish taco was ok but nothing special. (Hangover cured somewhat by now). The waitress came over and apologised for not telling us earlier that beverages should be ordered at the ticket stand. We poured ourselves some tap water instead and proceeded to the other taco stand: the original Tacombi truck ("Taco" plus "Combi", the name of the VW model) which used to brave the streets of New York. There we ordered a chicken and tamarind taco, this time prepared and handed to us in a matter of seconds. It was good. We wanted to try one of the nice-looking tamales, but had run out of tickets and by now there was a longish line at the ticket stand which we had no passion to join. The verdict? Maybe we were too hungover and grumpy to appreciate the fun, relative ease and convenience which is part of ordering tacos at Tacombi Fonda Nolita. Maybe it's all just a bit silly and unnecessary. We are open to giving it another try in the future. 

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