The United Lunchadores Street Gourmet food truck (formerly known as the Luncha Libre food truck) is known for its menu of inventive quesadillas, street tacos, and aguas frescas served in mason jars. The concept proved so popular, owners Tim and Kim Cobb opened a brick and mortar extension of the food truck, The Taco and Dilla Parlor, last May in a north-central Phoenix strip mall near Northern Avenue and 13th Street.
If you enjoy the United Lunchadores and the Parlor's gourmet take on Mexican street food, chances are you'll love the Cobbs' latest venture, Calaveras Snack Shop, which opened in January next door to The Taco and Dilla Parlor.
Calaveras offers a revolving menu of traditional Mexican antojitos ("little cravings"), which are intended to be consumed as a kind of pick-me-up in the hours between lunch and dinner. The Cobbs say the space is a bit of a culinary laboratory, and snacks that prove to be popular at Calaveras may eventually find their way onto the United Lunchadores food truck.
On the current Calaveras menu, you'll find tacositos (small, hard-shelled tacos), sweet elote topped with fresh crema, cotija cheese, and cilantro, and an assortment of house-made dips and salsas served with thick, crispy tortilla chips.
There's also a whole menu dedicated to gourmet Mexican-inspired desserts, including cajeta-filled churros, chocoflan, and a luscious banana pudding topped with candied banana chips. You can wash down your snacks with the house-made Mexican cold brew coffee (which is steeped for 36 hours) or the homemade horchata. Better yet, try the "Red Burro," a 50/50 horchata-and-coffee concoction that is sweet, cinnamony, with a nice caffeine kick.
Most items on the Calaveras menu are priced under $5, a bit of a bargain considering pretty much everything is made in house with fresh ingredients. The space is also bright and appealing, decorated with lots of quirky Mexican folk art, and you can knock back a couple of churros and coffee while listening to the shop's well-curated Mexican-inflected soundtrack.
You won't find traditional seating at Calaveras — there is only one table in the space, plus a couple of vintage chairs in front of the shop. But it's well worth a visit for a quick take-out snack. Calaveras Snack Shop is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m.