Sunday, November 27, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Rico's Tacos is a taco stand, or really a taco cart, sitting along Avenue A, right around the corner from Calle Segunda, within the first blocks after you cross the border into Algodones, Mexico.
Look closley at the picture. He is a fixture at this location. There is always a line, which includes both day visitors and locals. Now, I will admit, his tacos look good.
“Are they really the best?” I inquired.
A lady standing near the cart turned. “Yes!” she said. “We have eaten tacos all over town, these are the best.”
“I never turn my nose down at authentic Mexican food,” said my traveling companion. I guess we will try them and see.
“How many,” Rico asks.
“Tres,” I said, trying to remember my best Spanish from high school, even though it was not really necessary.
In a few seconds, I was holding a small styrofoam tray of tacos. Along the front of the cart there is a wide array of toppings including grilled hot peppers, guacamole, cucumbers, and salsa lined up from hot to mild. I topped each taco a little differently.
Rico has been selling tacos off of his taco cart in Algodones for 20 years. He grills carne asada over coals right on his cart from 11:00am until the border closes at 10:00pm.
There is another guy who is the “money man.” You pay him. “I never take the money,” says Rico.
I asked the “money man” how much I owed. I don't know what I expected, but I did not expect it to be $3.00. The tacos were big, well worth the value.
A third guy came over and asked if we wanted something to drink, well specifically if we wanted a bottled Coca Cola. In Mexico, Coke is made with real sugar. It tastes like coke used to taste in the US twenty years ago. For another dollar we bought a Coke.
We just stood in front of the stand and ate. Now, I have eaten a lot of tacos. I happen to really like tacos from taco stands. But my experience is with taco stands in Ohio. Rico's tacos were good. Really good.
We finished them quickly, and started to leave. “Excuse me,” said the drink guy. “My bottle.”
I did not understand.
“My bottle,” he said again, handing me a plastic “top go” cup.
“Oh, you keep the deposit,” I said. We guzzled the rest of the Coke and gave him the bottle.
We continued our walk around looking at the stalls and venders each saying, “It's almost free!”
“Those tacos were almost free,” I joked to my companion. “They were really good, too”
We made a circle around the block and found ourselves back at Rico's Tacos.
“How Many?” Rico asked.
“Three more,” I said.
Are Rico's Tacos the best in town. Well, I did not try every taco in town, but I will tell you a secret. The next day, went back across the border just to go to Rico's taco cart for lunch.