El Sabroso: The “31 Flavors” of Taco Truck Fare

The lure of a vividly decorated trailer and the prospect of authentic Mexican food have me bouncing over to Beacon Hill to check out five-month old El Sabroso.

Conveniently situated next to the Beacon Hill light rail station, El Sabroso is semi-permanently located in the corner of the El Centro parking lot on 2524 16th Avenue South, just north of the station.

The impressive menu line-up is the “31 flavors” of Mexican truck fare or 32 in this case: 9 tortas, 10 types of tacos, and 13 variations of quesadillas. For more on taco trucks, check out Taqueria Guadalajara’s Torta Is Worth a Drive Over the 520 Bridge.

I definitely get a familiar whiff of energy and enthusiasm as I approach the truck, which is a common feeling I encounter when encountering non-brick-and-mortar businesses. I also pick up on a laid back confidence that only comes with years of fine-tuning your craft.
It all makes sense when I learn the owner at the helm is none other than Daniel Pérez, the executive chef of the 12-year old Capitol Hill restaurant Tango.

Although Tango’s focus is Latin tapas, Perez pays homage to his Mexican roots with El Sabroso. Perez is mighty proud of his $5.50 chorizo torta and rightfully so. Hugely satisfying, this meaty flavor powerhouse would satiate the appetite of a foodie sasquatch.

Since gluttonous eating makes me feel good for about 10 seconds, I shrewdly add another torta to my order: La Seattlena. This non-Mexican variation of a Mexican sandwich is filled with turkey, bacon, butternut squash, pickles and Dijon mustard.

The beef taco is also an eyebrow raiser. For $2.50, this “no skimping on the protein” taco is filled with beautifully shredded, impeccably seasoned, tender meat .

Another bonus of Perez’s veteran status: He is amenable to custom orders and will help customize your order like Kate Middleton’s personal shopper. Where else can you get service like that on wheels?

Local’s tip: Although not on the menu, regulars know to ask about the Oaxacan tamales.

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First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on November 6th, 2012.

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