The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

August 9, 2012

South Lake Union Food Truck Project, Day 9: Tacos El Tajin

Filed under: Food, Seattle — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 10:38 pm

To be honest, I kind of hesitated to do a review of this truck, mostly because it’s largely a known quantity for a lot of Amazonians and other people who work in the South Lake Union neighborhood.  Nonetheless, I feel like if I’m going to be reviewing the food trucks in the neighborhood I should include it, because the list certainly wouldn’t be complete without it.

The Basics:

  • Food Truck: Tacos El Tajin
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Website: None
  • Facebook: None
  • Twitter: None
  • Yelp: 4.5 stars, 20 reviews
  • Location:  Corner of Boren and Republican in front of the Amazon Fiona building
  • Days: Daily
  • Payment Methods: Cash, cards (Note that a $0.25 fee might get added for using a card)
  • Sales Tax included in menu prices: Yes

Food Ordered:

  • Taco salad, Carne Asada: $6.00
  • Total (with tip): $7.00

Speed:

  • Time to order and pay: About 7 minutes
  • Time to receive food after ordering: 1 1/2 minutes

A bit of a slow day at Tacos El Tajin…

One might be tempted to say that this taco truck, which parks every day in front of the building I work in, is one of the South Lake Union neighborhood’s best-kept secrets, but by now it’s pretty clear that it isn’t much of a secret.  If you happen to wander by this truck during the lunch hour, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to be seeing a pretty long line in front of it.  This might scare off a few potential customers here and there, but the line here isn’t nearly as scary as it looks.  They’ve got the whole operation practically down to a science, and the line moves very quickly.  There’s a guy at the first window who takes people’s orders as they arrive, after which the food will arrive at a second window within a minute or two, and payment is handled at a separate table next to the truck.  It may not be as fancy or as slick-looking as some of the other trucks I’ve been to over the course of the nearly two weeks I’ve been doing this project for, but it’s fast, it’s reasonably priced, and it’s tasty.  Which, when you think about it, is pretty much everything most people will be looking for in their lunch  It’s not surprising that quite a few people seem to consider this taco truck to be their default lunch option.  This is so much the case that back in June when the taco truck disappeared for a few days due to a mechanical problem, half of the elevator graffiti (it’s an Amazon thing, long story) was people wondering where the heck the taco truck went.

I’ve been through most of the highlights of the menu by now across a number of visits to this truck, but my favorite item remains the steak taco salad.  Served in a flour tortilla bowl with a foundation of rice and beans, it comes with a generous serving of meat, and is topped with lettuce, tomato, cilantro and cheese.  After you order and pay, the sauces are found on another table off to the side.  There’s a fairly mild green sauce, a somewhat hotter red sauce (that also adds a nice flavor to the mix to go along with the heat) and a slightly orangish Habanero sauce that is reputed to be quite hot, although I’ve never actually tried it to confirm this. In addition to these, there’s also a bottle of what appears to be Crema Agria (basically a thinner version of sour cream) provided as well.  The portion sizes here are generous, and even with relatively low prices compared to a lot of the other food trucks, it’s unlikely anyone will be finding themselves hungry after lunch here.

I suspect that for a lot of people in the South Lake Union neighborhood, none of this will come as any surprise.  At least not if the lines in front of the place are any indication. 

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