All over town, Mexican restaurant menus offer "street style" tacos. Somehow everyone accepts them as street tacos -- and we don't understand why.
It's time to put the spotlight back on the real street taco, the kind you buy off a taco truck. It didn't take much searching for us to find not only some of the best street tacos, but some of the best Mexican food we've had in a while -- and it all came off a food truck that's been parked near the northeast corner of Broadway and 7th Avenue in Phoenix.
El Lorito is a family-owned truck that is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can expect a wait just about any time of day -- not only because of the line, but because of the time put into each order.
We were surprised to see that the truck offers full-on breakfast meals like huevos rancheros, and eggs and chorizo. The menu also includes menudo, burritos, tortas, sopes, quesadillas, and huaraches. And if you're not too sure what all that is, there is a photo of each dish taped to the side of the truck.
El Loritos' meat selection is impressive. We can't say we've seen birria on many food or taco truck menus before, as well as barbacoa, tripe, and cecina. And of course, they have asada, pastor and chicken.
We settled on a sope with pastor, taco with pastor, quesadilla with chicken, and a huarache with asada. All orders come with red and green salsa, and a small bag with sliced radishes, cucumbers and onion.
The tortillas were fresh and soft, definitely not packaged. The pastor at El Lorito set a new standard, and carried some heat with it, adding some depth to the taco and sope. Tacos come topped with fresh cilantro and onion. (The too-large onion chunks was the only thing we disliked.)
Cotija cheese is used inside the quesadilla and huarache. It was a refreshing take, since the cheese didn't overpower the meats. The carne asada was flavorful and juicy, rekindling our love for the meat that is sadly done poorly at so many restaurants.
As for the setting: Don't expect anything fancy -- the food is more important. You're sitting outside, so brush crumbs off the table and take a seat at the plastic fold-out tables and make yourself comfortable on the iron benches. A canopy and some side netting work just fine to keep the sun away.
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When placing orders, it's more like a restaurant, so line up at the front and give your order to the server. They understand English, so no language worries needed.
Needless to say, it's time for us to get back to basics when choosing where we place our orders for Mexican food. Sure, the creativity at some restaurants is awesome to experience, but it's also refreshing to taste those authentic tastes that come off of taco trucks.
El Lorito doesn't have a website or phone number; just show up on Broadway and 7th Avenue. They'll be there.