Thursday, July 2, 2009

Taco Truck Taste Test

Mark Baratelli at the Daily, organized a spontaneous taco truck taste test for avid readers of his blog. This Taco Truck is located in front of Trinidad Auto Repair Center at 815 South Sermoran Blvd. Mark had wonderfully colorful bumper stickers printed up and a small color program and menu. Since the Orlando Sentinel wanted a photo of me sketching they were going to send a photographer to the TTTT to shoot me while I worked. I figured this was a great chance for the alternate media in this town to get some traditional media coverage.
Then it rained starting first thing in the morning and lasting all day long. The Sentinel decided to cancel the photo shoot but I went to the taco truck site anyway hoping that there might be a break in the rain. When I arrived there was no one in site. The rain was a fine mist and it slowly stopped. I saw Mark drive up and park behind the Auto repair shop where the taco truck was parked. Then slowly people started to arrive. Logan Donahoo was the first to place an order so I placed him front and center in the sketch. In all perhaps 10 people showed up for the taste test and they were rewarded with some very fine food. I worked frantically on the sketch trying to keep the few rain drops from destroying the lines as I put them down. Once in a while a huge drop would fall from the power pole I was leaning against and it would slap down on the sketch giving me a fright. With the truck filling my field of vision I didn't get to sketch everyone waiting in line, but trust me there was a line that flowed off the sketch to the right.
Mark interviewed people after they finished eating to compile an in depth review of the samples offered. I was still placing watercolor washes on the sketch as people started to leave. The cook running the truck speaks no English so ordering was a challenge, I asked a few people for advice as to what was good and I settled on Arepas with Camarones or shrimp. They came in a soft corn shell cooked with salt and olive oil, packed on top was plenty of Swiss cheese. For a drink I had a Colombiana soda which had a vanilla kick and was quite good. As I was eating I spoke to a Spanish woman who had ordered the exact same menu items as me. She travels all the way from Apopka to come to this little mobile stand. She said she comes here several times a week. I decided to show the stand owner the sketch to see what he thought. He made a scribble gesture with his hand and pointed to me and I nodded yes. He smiled and handed the sketchbook back. Good food and art are universally understood.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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