The Truck: Taqueria Guadalajara, located in the 76 gas station parking lot; 2421 148th Avenue Northeast, Overlake, WA 98007.
The Fare: Mexican
The Stop: The age-old question of “where to get authentic Mexican food” has me rounding up some pocket change to make the trek over the 520 toll bridge. On a tip from two serious food connoisseurs, I check out the 14-year old truck run by a husband/wife duo that has become a staple at the 76 gas station on 148th just off 520: Taqueria Guadalajara.
The two dudes who provided the tip are both conveniently named Juan Carlos and they also happen to be best mates. The Juan Carli hail from the Guadalajara region where they claim the women are the loveliest and the tortas are the late-night king of food snacks. College and Microsoft brought them to the Seattle area, but that does not mean they have forsaken their roots.
When inquiring about food in their hometown, they both passionately point me to Taqueria Guadalajara, where the non-descript truck sets up shop daily with all day hours ranging from 11am-9pm Mondays-Saturdays and 11 to 8:30 on Sundays.
For more on Mexican fare, see also TNT Taqueria: The Taco Truck Without Wheels.
“Get the torta,” my newfound friends insist. The Mexican sandwich loaded with ham, sour cream, jalapenos, cilantro, onions, cheese and pork is authentic to the Guadalajara region and the Juans assert it is “what we all eat after hitting up the bars in Mexico.” They also send me off with strict instructions not to leave without trying the $1.25 tacos made with handmade tortillas.
The torta, which by the way is the most expensive item on the menu at a whoppin’ $5.50, is a flavor explosion and definitely the type of sandwich I would seek out after a long hike or after sitting in meetings all morning. Filled with flavor from the sauce which starts off mild before allowing the spice to build, the torta gives off the satisfaction of a hearty Cuban sandwich, but with more spice.
One torta and two tacos set me back $7.75. Add the round-trip toll fare of $4.52 and your value meal has a little less value, but the torta is worth the drive.
This veteran truck scores a 9.3 out of 10 Ricardo Montalbans.
First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on October 30th, 2012