Monday, April 15, 2013

Mariscos Linda Truck (Vernon)


About a month ago, I noticed a new shrimp taco truck on the way home from el jale.  Fried shrimp tacos are the rage right now.  Spawned by the popularity of Mariscos Jalisco, everyone seems to have jumped on the gravy train.  While most of these guys have been successful in replicating the adored shrimp taco to a certain degree, the best version can only be had at Mariscos Jalisco.  Don't believe me?  Try them for yourself.  Mariscos 4 Vientos, Mariscos el Jato, Mariscos el Hermano, Sazon Nayarita...are just a few for reference.    

The truck.

My latest shrimp taco came by way of the Mariscos Linda truck.  It is situated on the northwest corner of Sante Fe and 55th in the city of Vernon.  As far as I can tell, they serve there more times than not on weekdays.  Speaking to the guy inside, they do tend to travel around Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium before day games.  Perhaps, that's where they've been when I've missed them.  So if you plan on checking them out, it might be wise to check the baseball schedule as well.  But I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole around those venues, if I were you.

Tacos dorados de camaron.

See, for .99¢ you get 1 fried shrimp taco.  It's the cheapest shrimp taco that I have come across, to date.  But, it also happens to be the tiniest.  Needless to say, I was immediately disappointed.  1 bite, 2 bite, 3 bite, done. Huh?!  Good thing I ordered 2.  Still, the portion sucked.  The dude asked if I liked my tacos and I couldn't help but be honest with him.  He told me he makes them that size to make them affordable to all the workers nearby that make minimum wage.  Hmm, I'm not buying it.  If you are on a diet, if you will only eat 1 taco, then score, I suppose.  But nobody orders just 1, so assuming you're buying a pair, that puts you at 2 bucks.  If memory serves me right, all of the other fried shrimp taco vendors serve similar sized tacos.  2 of these paltry things might equal 1 taco elsewhere.  And how much do thee tacos cost at the other trucks?  1.50-1.75.  So where's the value in that .99¢ taco now?  Exactly.  But size doesn't account for everything, right ladies?  Right????  Whatever.  Anyway, the flavor was good and the tacos were nicely crisped.  Aside from the size, the other glaring difference with these tacos is that they come topped with minced cabbage and a separate jalapeño and tomato based salsa.  Usually, the cabbage comes as part of the sauce that has no visible trace of jalapeño.  This tacos came with a standard all-purpose salsa that they slathered over the taco.  It was fine but deviated from what you'd come to expect.          

The menu.

They also sell a bunch of standard tacos here.  Though it wasn't on any visible menu, they also sell tacos and burritos de carne asada, al pastor, carnitas, chicharron, etc.  I don't know that I've ever had land meet sea on a Mexican food truck.  Typically, seafood trucks specialize and feature just that.  As it turns out, this truck belongs to the same people behind Mariscos Linda in Huntington Park and Los Angeles.  They don't really specialize in anything, as far as I'm concerned.  They advertise their .99¢ tacos via a banner and a girl flipping a sign but it's more of a ploy to get you to buy into the thought that you're getting a great deal, when really, you aren't.  This truck is an extension of the restaurant and seems to be more interested in selling, selling, selling than putting out great food, in my estimation.  That's fine and all, but nothing I had really stood out to me enough to make me wanna return.  So try as you might to sell, sell, sell; eventually the curious people will hear word of the average tacos and not be as interested and go elsewhere. 

Menu cont.

Another reason to not seek them out near a ballgame; they jack the prices of their tacos up by 100%.  Shit, I would be pissed off if I spent 2 bucks on 1 taquito.  If anything, check them out in their Vernon outpost.  But I'd only do it to compare or get a decent tostada.   

Tostada mixta. 

 I wanted a fish taco, baja style of course, but they were out.  More like, they weren't serving any that day.  They're rarely busy and it was only 3pm so I doubt they had run out.  I also wanted a couple of different beverages on their menu but again, they were all out.  Fine, gimme a Coke.  Well, to gage more of their fare, I asked for a tostada mixta (fish, jaiva, shrimp, octopus).  As I had hoped, I got a towering tostada meant to be eaten with a fork to start.  I'm glad it came with avocado slices as well.  The tostada was good and considering the price, this was a great value so I'll give em that.  

I might return to try their fish taco one day, but right now I feel like I'd only do it to [knowlingly] get a bad product, just so I could tear into them some more.  But that wouldn't be right.  So, I'll wait til I'm craving a fish taco and I'm over the puny tacos dorados de camaron I got here, just to be fair.  Told you I was nice      

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