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No matter where I travel in the U.S., I keep an eye out for catering trucks, you know, those trucks that visit business parks, construction sites, and places where food is not readily available.  By 2007, many of these catering trucks can now be called "taco trucks," as many of them prepare tacos and other food, geared toward the taste of those who love Mexican food.  Since the U.S. has many rules and regulations that regulate the restaurant industry, street vendors, which are the norm in Mexico, are quite rare, and they have been largely replaced by catering trucks, which meet all U.S. standards.  But when you cross the border into Mexico, how many catering trucks do you see? In all of my trips south of the border, I have seen exactly one catering truck, and that was Don Tiki Tacos in Sonoyta, Sonora, Mexico.

Photo:   As two guys work on the engine, Rico cooks my taco, and Juan relaxes in a chair, just watching the action.

Photo:   Rico is hard at work cooking my carne asada taco.  

Tuesday afternoon, March 13, 2007, found me staying the night in beautiful Sonoyta, and I'd been spending the afternoon wandering around the town, getting to know the friendly people and their beautiful town.  I'd passed the intersection of Ave. Altar and Calle Americas many times, as it's a major intersection, right in the heart of the town.  It was almost sundown when I made the trip back to my motel room, and I discovered that I was out of beer, which in my case, generates a critical alarm.  It was only a two block walk to a liquor store, located at the corner of Ave. Altar and Calle Americas, so I decided to take a walk, and replenish my depleted ice chest.  So at 1700 in the afternoon, I left my motel room and made the hike to the liquor store.

It wasn't there an hour before when I was in the area.  It was something that I've never seen before in Mexico:  A taco truck!  I stared at this contraption, bug-eyed, as I approached the corner of Ave. Altar and Calle Americas, as Don Tiki isn't your joe-average taco truck that you see in the 'states, as this taco truck is custom made.  Don Tiki Tacos is truly a one-of-a-kind operation, as Rico's truck is custom made, on the chassis of a Ford F-350.  I kid you not, as I verified this from Rico, the friendly owner, operator, chief cook and bottle washer of Don Tiki Tacos.

Photo:  These guys are working on an electrical problem.  Notice that the engine is a Ford 300  straight six, probably early 1980's vintage

Photo:  Rico cooks my taco on the griddle of this custom-made taco truck.

Don Tiki Tacos as only one mission in life, and that is to sell fresh, delicious, carne asada tacos, cooked from the custom-made taco truck.  Yes, this thing is actually road-worthy, as it has a quite open cab, complete with a seat and the controls necessary to operate a vehicle.  Behind the engine and the small cab, it's all restaurant as the vehicle features cold storage area for meat and vegetables, a work area, where meat, vegetables and salsa are prepared, and a grill and griddle, where the food is cooked.  Rico is the owner, and the friendly, English-speaking cook, and Juan, is assistant, cuts vegetables, prepares salsa, and makes change.  As Rico cooked my carne asada taco, I asked him about his operation, and he said that he generally shows up around 1600 in the afternoon, and has been operating in the same place, from the same custom vehicle, for the past 10 years.  He was quick to point out that he operates six days as week, as he takes Sundays off to attend church and spend time with is family. As he was cooking my taco, I wandered around and took photos, and he asked me why I was taking so many photos. I told him, simply, that I was a tourist, and that I was taking photos to help remember my visit to Sonoyta.  He replied, "Bueno, bueno, bueno."  That's good enough for me!

The hood of the truck was up, and two guys were working on the engine.  I asked Rico what was going on, and he told me that there was an electrical problem, and that his buddies were looking into it.  That didn't diminish his taco cooking ability, as he cooked my taco as his buddies toiled under the hood of the truck.  Juan took a break, and sat down at one of several chairs positioned around the truck and just watched all of the action that was unfolding before his eyes.  By the way, the truck is parked at a shady corner...

Photo:  Corn tortilla and carne asada are cooking on the griddle.

Photo:  My finished taco is all decked-out with condiments of my choice, including a slice of key lime to squeeze on the taco.  Mmmmmm good!

Rico assured me that Don Tiki Tacos produces delicious carne asada tacos, and I wasn't disappointed.  For the price of AMEX $10.00, I enjoyed a delicious, custom-made, carne asada taco, cooked on the most unique taco truck that I've ever seen.  Like most small restaurants in Mexico, Don Tiki offers separate condiments  that you can put on your taco; in my case, I chose red salsa, diced tomatoes, diced cabbage, salsa crud, and guacamole.  

When you're visiting Sonoyta, I would highly recommend a visit to Don Tiki Tacos, not only to visit a unique operation, but to enjoy a delicious taco, at a highly-affordable price.  Don Tiki Tacos is highly recommended by the author!

Don Tiki Tacos
Ave. Altar and Calle Americas
Sonoyta, Sonora

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