Are taco trucks Roadfood? They serve food, often delicious and always affordable, and they are on the road. Sounds like Roadfood to me. In many ways, taco trucks were food trucks before food trucks were what we know now as food trucks. It’s part of American culture, where items begin on the fringes, the outsides, and in ethnic communities, before crossing over and becoming a part of popular culture.
Taco trucks have been operating and thriving in Des Moines for about ten years now, and about twenty have been operating in Central Iowa over the past year. A few more only do special events and catering, and a few new ones open or close every summer. Some stick it out and serve through the polar vortex winters, others head south for the border area and return when it warms up. These are not rolling social marketing and brand identity mobiles, these are simple trucks serving simple foods that have to be rediscovered each season.
Birria al estilo de Jalisco MX, is goat meat in the style of the state of Jalisco in Mexico. Jalisco is the birthplace of several cultural markers of Mexico, including Mariachi music and tequila. The birria here is stewed in peppers and spices and made into an orange stew of dark meat. The tortillas are soaked in the orange stew while being grilled to a crispy texture, and a lime wedge is thrown in when the tacos are plated. This is the good stuff.
Tacos La Barca has changed locations almost every summer over the past few years. Its now beside a coin laundry behind a Casey’s General Store on East 14th St in Des Moines. This also puts it into the rarefied category of Laundromat Food, where you can eat well with the change left over after changing a five and paying for a super cycle from the Speed Queen.