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Email Eric 

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Did you know in Mexico, there are many varieties of tacos, but the main categories are divided along the lines of breakfast and dinner tacos?  Yes, tacos are a very popular breakfast food in Mexico, especially birria de res and cabeza, and very popular with Mexicans from every walk of life.  However, one of the little taco stands I visited on Wednesday, March 14, 2007, during my visit to Sonoyta, was a little taco stand located along Mexico Federal Highway 2, on the eastern side of town that seemed to cater to highway traffic, particularly truck drivers.  It's a mom and son operation, located just west of the corner of Blvd. Fco. Eusebio Kino (highway 2) and Av. 2 De Enero, on the south side of the highway.  It doesn't have a name, so I like to remember it as Truck Stop Taco.

Photo:  This telephoto shot illustrated the Truck Stop Tacos, located under the blue tarp.

Photo:  A trucker orders menudo, as I snap a photo the taco stand.  Yes, that's about all there is to the operation.

Truck Stop Tacos is nothing fancy, as its just a small wooden stand, with a built-in griddle with a couple of side burners, a work table, a stand where the ice chest is placed, and a plastic table and a few chairs where you can sit and enjoy your fantastic meal.  To shield you from the elements, its covered by a blue, plastic tarp, the kind you can buy at any WalMart store.  The restaurant basically operates out of a faded green early 1970's Ford Econoline van, which is used to haul the food, pots and pans, ice and everything else to the restaurant location. The wooden stand, containing the grill, and the tarp seem to stay in place all of the time, but the remaining items are hauled home at the end of the business day.  In Mexico, if you operate a small taco stand, nobody will steal your things or vandalize your place of business, which contrasts sharply to the ethics north of the border.

The menu of this taco stand is... what menu?  "Tacos de Cabeza" and "de Res" are painted on the front of the stand, and when I ordered "birra" (which was scratched out) the lady operating the stand let me know that they only serve tacos de cabeza.  Pues, no problema, as I love tacos de cabeza, so I ordered two of them for my breakfast.

Photo:  Mom places my tortillas on the griddle.

Photo:  The lady stirs the pot of cabeza, as the corn tortillas cook on the griddle.

I watched mom place corn tortillas on the griddle and start heating them, while son just stood around and watched. From watching them, it was quite apparent that mom cooks, and son chops vegetables, buses tables and takes the money.  I also noticed two pots on the burners; one medium-sized, and one quite large, the size of a stock pot. When the tortillas were ready, mom filled them with steaming meat from the medium pot, which must be the pot containing cabeza.  By watching all of the action, I concluded that the cabeza must be prepared at home and brought to the restaurant site in the Econoline van.  Considering that it was around 0700 on a Wednesday morning, the staff of this taco stand must start the day rather early.

After making these observations, I asked mom about their hours.  She told me that they make the products at home, and open up the restaurant just before dawn, as there's no electricity on-site, and they don't want to bother lighting a camping lantern, like many of their competitors do.  They're open until they sell out of food, which is usually around 0900 to 1100.  I'm glad I got there early.  By the way, it was a little hard to communicate with these folks, as they have "Southern" accents, which are difficult to process to my "gringo" ears and fumbling mouth, as I'm used to the Spanish that's spoken in Baja California, mainly in Tijuana.

When my taco was ready, it was delivered to me on a plastic plate, and the condiment tray was placed on my table. Condiments include diced onions, cilantro, chopped peppers, sliced cabbage, and naturally, for breakfast, salsa verde, with radishes on the side.  The cabeza was not spiced nor grilled; it appeared to have been steamed, and it was very finely chopped.  Naturally the tortillas were cooked perfectly, the cabeza was moist, hot and steamy, the garnishes were fresh and cool, and when you bit on the thing, the juice came out, and at that time, I knew I was savoring a delicious breakfast taco in the lovely town of Sonoyta.

The price of admission to breakfast taco heaven was a mere MEX $16.00, which could barely purchase a cup of coffee at a fast food joint north of the border.  Such outstanding cuisine for so little dollars!

Photo:  Mom starts to prepare my tacos, as son stand in the background and looks toward the highway.  The dining table and chairs are located to the rear of the photo.

Photo:   Tacos de Cabeza, loaded with diced onions, diced cabbage and cilantro.  This makes a delicious breakfast.

As I was munching on my tacos, a Kenworth 3-axle rig, pulling a single trailer, pulled up in front of the restaurant. The big rig driver got out of his cab and headed up to the stand, and I noticed mom pull out a bowl and begin to spoon menudo out of the big pot!  What a moron I was for not asking her what was in the pot before ordering tacos de cabeza!  You learn new things every day, so take my advice, if you love menudo and you see a bit pot, ask if they have menudo and you might get a pleasant surprise.

Truck Stop Tacos is the kind of place that I love to visit during my trips to Mexico.  When you visit beautiful Sonoyta, check this place out.  Highly recommended by the author.

Truck Stop Tacos
Blvd. Fco. Eusebio Kino and Av. 2 De Enero
Sonoyta, Sonora

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