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Wednesday, March 14, 2007, in late afternoon in Tucson, Arizona.  Temperature:  Almost 95 degrees.  My state of mind:  Tired, as I'd been trekking for the last 6 hour around the Pima Air/Space museum, enjoying their displays of historic aircraft.  My stomach:  Sort of hungry.  My other state of mind:  Head back to motel, take a nap and maybe a swim in their pool, and the prowl the streets of south Tucson for the perfect Sonora-style hot dog. However, as I was driving down Irvington Rd, I spotted a taco truck, with tables and chairs set up under a shady dining canopy, with a sign on the truck that read El Tiburón, which implied that they serve mariscos, which would be the perfect snack on a hot, dry, March afternoon in Tucson.

Photo:   El Tiburón has a rather modest operation, along busy Irvington Road.

Photo:  The menu, as posted on the side of the truck, left of the order window show its an all-seafood restaurant.

In Spanish, the word marisco, translates to English as a seafood dish, such as a shrimp tostada, or a crab cocktail, the key thing to remember about the term marisco is that the entrée is served cold, unlike a fish taco. So when I spotted El Tiburón, and I saw the word marisco, I knew that I'd be enjoying a cold, delightful, seafood dish.  

Photo:  The lone operator of the restaurant, a young, shy girl who spoke only Spanish, prepares my delicious shrimp tostada inside of Tiburon's taco truck.  Note the Mexican currency posted on the wall, left of the Pepsi machine.

El Tiburón, is truly a low-budget operation, as they operate out of an early 1970's vintage catering truck, that sports faded paint, and has seen many better days.  Located near to the truck is an awning, made of steel verticals, which support a corrugated steel roof, to shade customers from the blazing Tucson sun and occasional thunderstorms.  The canopy shades several plastic tables, along with their accompanying plastic chairs, the establishment seems to be semi-perminant, and its located along a busy street, and there's ample room to park for Tiburon's customers.  Since I'm a lover of mariscos, especially on a hot afternoon, I was drawn to El Tiburón, like a moth to a flame.

Photo:  This is El Tiburon, consisting of a taco truck a couple of tables, a few chairs, and a corrugated steel canopy, which provides for a modest operation.

At 4:00 in the afternoon, I was the only customer, as I parked on the dusty corner, at Irvington Rd. and 9th Ave., where El Tiburón  sets up shop.  Tiburon has their menu posted on the side of their truck next to the order window, and you can choose from their menu that only includes Mexican seafood entrées, hence the name of the place, which translates into English as "The Shark" and the stylized shark logos that adorn the menu and the truck. The menu includes such items as cokteles de camarones, seafood tostadas, platos de cahuamantas, bottled water, and various types of bottled soft drinks.  For the small price of $2.99, I chose a shrimp tostada, and then I sprung for $1.00 more for an ice-cold Pepsi, in a 22-oz plastic bottle.

Photo:  My delicious shrimp tostada, complete with pico de gallo salsa, and halved, key limes.  Note the corn tortilla has been fried so you can actually pick it up and bite into it without the tostada falling apart.  Or, you can eat it using the plastic spoon.  Whatever way you choose to eat it, El Tiburon serves a delicious shrimp tostada.

I mentioned previously that El Tiburón is a low-budget, low-tech operation, as nowhere could that be seen more in that the place was staffed by only one, shy girl, who appeared to be about 20 years old, who preferred Spanish over English.  Spanish versus English is not meant as a deterrent to El Tiburón, as many authentic Mexican restaurants located in the U.S. favor Spanish over English.  Language aside, I switched over to Spanish, and ordered a Tostada de Camaron for the price of $2.99, and a Pepsi for an additional $1.00.  As previously stated, the girl, who was the only employee at the time, enjoyed the role as chief cook and bottlewasher, as she took my order, took my order, washed her hands, prepared my shrimp tostada, and finally presented it to me on a paper plate, for me to enjoy under her corrugated steel canopy.  This shy, beautiful girl, didn't speak English, but that wasn't a problem, as I speak enough Spanish to get my order, and my point across.  She seemed amazed that I was taking photos, but many young girls who work in restaurants are shy of photographers.  Maybe they think that the paparrazi is about to descend upon Tucson?  Well, me, a 55 year-old, bearded dude, wielding a digital camera, and a huge smile on his face, friendly talking in often-murdered Spanish shouldn't pose a threat to anybody?  Well, maybe just the camera and the digital voice recorder.

El Tiburon
Corner of Irvingon Rd. and 9th Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85714
520 272-3405

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