Saturday, July 31, 2010

Taco Truck Taste Test

Mark Baratelli of hosted the 5th Taco Truck Taste Test near Tacos Del Rio (9785 South Orange Blossom Trail). As Terry and I drove down OBT it started to pour. We had the usual difficulty in trying to see any numbers on the strip malls, dealerships and the bright riot of signage. We found one building number that was close and pulled into the parking lot. We then hop scotched up one parking lot at a time until we found a lot filled with a whole bunch of taco trucks. Thankfully the rain subsided. As we walked up to this truck we found a small crowd gathered and Mark was there holding a corrugated cardboard sign with The Daily City written in black Sharpe. Mark had asked a friend to work as an interpreter and the whole group started walking from truck to truck with the interpreter explaining the menu items.
I stayed behind at the first truck to finish my sketch. Several times Brian Feldman breezed by to fire a joke my way and then he was off again. Terry let me know that a group of people were going to go into the brick and mortar Tacos Del Rio so they could sit down. When I finished my sketch I went in to join them. Matt, Amanda, Terry and Mark were sitting in a booth at the back of the restaurant. There was an empty seat so I joined them. Terry was still finishing her meal. I tried to sneak a bite but she wouldn't stand for it.
I decided to get a few tacos myself. The line was short but when I got to the counter to order the guy shouted that he had to go to another building. He disappeared out the back door. A group of us waited for like 20 minutes. I should have gone out to the taco truck but I had already committed so much time to this line. The food wasn't that great. The meat was bland and they were running out of every topping. When I was eating Terry suggested I get some sour cream. When I got up to get it she snatched one of my tacos and tried to devour it. Amanda's loud laughter gave Terry away and I caught her red handed.
Later Mark Baratelli started video taping Sultana describing the finer points of marketing an Improv Festival. Matt, who was sitting behind Sultana started flexing his biceps theatrically for the duration of the interview. Amanda who was sitting behind Matt was leaning forward in embarrassment, trying to hid her face as if she didn't know Matt. Of course Sultana couldn't see what was going on behind her, and Mark behind the camera didn't notice. It wasn't until he played back the video that he noticed the hilarious background action. I laughed harder than I have in a long time.
The proprietors of Del Rio must have thought we were having too much fun, because they turned on the flat screen TV above out heads and blasted the audio of the cheesy Spanish soap opera. We left soon after.

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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