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Monday, July 14, 2014

Tasty Mexican Street Food from Milwaukee’s Taqueria Trucks

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Those who happen upon Taqueria Buenavista during their daytime commute should consider making a pit stop at this popular, South Side taqueria truck. Parked near 3118 S. Chase Ave., Taqueria Buenavista serves tacos ($1.50), burritos ($5), tortas ($5) and quesadillas ($5) with traditionally prepared meats and freshly chopped vegetables. But what distinguishes this taqueria from its peers is its red chile sauce and green chile sauce reminiscent of a super-spicy aioli. And although Taqueria Buenavista offers the same standard menu found at other taqueria trucks, one can taste the subtle differences between them, and there is no greater season to explore the best of Milwaukee’s Mexican street food scene than the summertime.

Here are a few other favorites on the streets of our city:

 

Chavas Tacos

Parked outside the El Rey Food Mart (1320 W. Burnham St.), Chavas Tacos attracts a steady stream of hungry shoppers with delicious food and homemade chili sauces. Consisting of typical taqueria truck fare, the menu features tacos ($1.50), tortas ($6), burritos ($6), quesadillas ($3.75), a Bisteca al la Mexicana dinner with rice and beans ($8.50) and even 20 tacos for $30, if you are so inclined. With the exception of the tacos, the torta is arguably the best item on the menu. Rather than smothering the carne asada with globs of sour cream or vaguely spicy mayo, the tender steak pieces are piled on the soft bun with only lettuce and tomatoes as accompaniments, which further accentuates the flavor of the meat. In addition to carne asada, pollo (chicken) and al pastor (marinated, slow-cooked pork), Chavas Tacos’s also offers picadillio (savory ground beef with tomatoes and onions), lengua (braised, chopped beef tongue), carnitas (simmered, shredded pork) and chicharrón (pork crackling).

 

Taqueria Arandas

One of Milwaukee’s most familiar taqueria trucks, Taqueria Arandas (Sixth and Becher streets) has taco preparation down to a science. Tacos ($1.60), tortas ($4.50), burritos ($5.50), tostadas ($3) and quesadillas ($2.25) are all made to order, with choice of pollo, asada, al pastor, lengua or barbacoa (slow-cooked beef cheeks). Served exclusively on corn tortillas with small containers of a smoky, deep red chili sauce, Taqueria Arandas’s chicken and pork tacos are especially tasty, while the quesadillas, tostadas and burritos make for a convenient and filling lunch.

 

El Charrito  

If El Rey Mexican Products is considered the “king of Milwaukee’s Mexican grocers,” than El Charrito (First and Greenfield) has at least distinguished itself as the prince of Milwaukee taco vendors, with a handful of trucks parked throughout the city’s South Side. Tacos ($1.75), tacos con aguacate (fried avocados and beans) ($2), quesadillas ($2.50), tostadas ($3.25), five mini tacos ($6.75), tortas ($5) and burritos ($5.50) are all served with either al pastor, lengua, pollo, chorizo, tripitas (boiled and fried pieces of the pig’s lower intestine) or asada. Two chile sauces (red and green) are included with each order. The green variety complements the savoriness of beef and pork, while the red chile sauce provides a delicious kick to the comparatively mildly spiced meat and queso fresco in El Charrito’s quesadillas and burritos.