Monday, August 3, 2009

Tacos Plaza Garibali, DF

A taco trailer, W. Airport at Chimney Rock

I posted about Taqueria El Taco Regio a few months back in Quick Bites II, one of the better taco trailers I have encountered, parked at the intersection of W. Airport and Chimney Rock. Not long after that post I noticed this new, smaller trailer move in across W. Airport. I thought perhaps they were hoping to pick up some spill-over business from El Regio, which did a very good business. I was interested to see they not only persevered, they did a very good business themselves; in fact, several times there’s been a crowd at Garibaldi and no one at El Regio so I had to give them a try myself.

On my first visit I went for three tacos, cesina, fajita and pastor. These are small, Mexico City style tacos (4" tortillas) for $1 a piece; as at El Regio, you have the option of lettuce and tomato or onion and cilantro.

The wait was very lengthy although there was only one customer in line ahead of me. I stood back under the shade of a tree in a neighboring yard and couldn’t see anything of what was going on inside the tiny trailer. I got rather frustrated by the wait in the blistering heat but took heart from the regular sound of a spatula slapping against the grill - hopeful that meant my order was being prepared fresh instead of slapped together from ingredients in a warming pan. When I finally got my order I was very pleased.

The cesina, on the left, was undoubtedly the tastiest cesina taco I’ve encountered, juicy and with good beef flavor. The fajita taco, something I seldom order, was likewise very good. The quality of both meats was better than average. I could have wished for a bit more onion and cilantro (and hot sauce) but I was too pleased by the flavors to complain much. I was trying to decide whether I liked the cesina or fajita better but a taste of the al pastor put the question to rest - it was wonderfully flavorful, tender and juicy, quite possibly the best al pastor I’ve ever had, surpassing even the exemplary tacos at Jarro Café on N. Gessner. One of the pleasant surprises was the very flavorful, still slightly chilled bits of pineapple, tasting fresh rather than canned. Sometimes you can barely detect the flavor of pineapple on an al pastor taco and most of the time when pineapple is visible, the bits are quite small, but these were a generous size.

I knew right away I had to go back to try more from this little trailer.

They’re open for breakfast from 6 to 11 according to the sign on the side of the trailer although there is no separate breakfast menu listed. I remembered they offered a couple of platillos and on my second visit I tried the Platillo Alambres, D.F.

I’ve never had anything alambres before so can’t compare this to other dishes by that name but I was very pleased with this. It may look like just a big mess but it was very good. As best I could determine the plate included ham, cesina, salchicha, chorizo, queso, and onion. There was good caramelization of the meats but they were not overdone and dried out; there was a good balance of ingredients and I particularly appreciated that the onions were still crisp/tender, not completely wilted. It was very oily, however. This came with 8 small corn tortillas that were scorchingly hot and I suppose you could, or perhaps are supposed to, make tacos. The refritos were only so-so but I didn’t care.

While waiting for the platillo I had a good look at a Cubano Torta and it looked great, so on a third visit in less than a week, I was determined to try a torta at Garibaldi. The last Cubano I had tried had been a big disappointment so I decided to go for the Capitalina at the last minute. I’ve never had a Torta Capitalina before, although I’ve seen them on menus, and couldn’t remember exactly what it was. I had a vague idea it was something with cold cuts and lettuce and tomato, which sounded good on another brutally hot day, sort of a Mexican hoagie, but I was way off.

Nonetheless it was very good, another one of those over-stuffed Tortas that I have come to love. The Capitalina is a typical sandwich of Mexico City I think although the ingredients may vary. As best I could determine this one included cesina (thin beef steak), suadero (beef brisket), jamon (ham), chuleta (pork chop), salchicha (wiener), refritos, queso (a mild, yellowish melting cheese, possibly Jack), mayonesa and tomate on a toasted seasame seed telera roll. All the meats were in bite-sized pieces. It was pretty tasty but I'll probably try a different one next time. It was only $4 for the whole sandwich which measured 7" x 5.5" x 2.5".


Rubiao said...


Plaza Garibaldi is the hilarious plaza in Mexico DF where all the mariachi bands hang out, so if you were having a party, you could drive over there, hire a band, give them your address, and they would hop in a cab and be over immediately. Or you could go over there and hire a band for an impromptu Cielito Lindo. Or just sit at an overpriced outdoor restaurant and listen to 10 mariachi bands all play at once, one of my favorite hobbies in the DF.

And alhambres, despite sounding like a palace in Granada, are in my experience just whichever taco meat you like thrown into a skillet with whatever else you would like; usually mushrooms, onions, peppers, and cheese. Pineapple if you chose pastor meat. A scramble.

hrushing said...

My son and I just had dinner from there. Great tacos. I am ready to go back tonight for more.

Bruce said...

Thanks for the info Rubiao; I knew where it was but not the other facts.

hrushing - glad you liked it. I need to get back over there and sample some of the other meats.

hrushing said...

Cool thing is that my almost 4 year old will see nothing wrong with eating at taco trucks. Sure to shock his friends when he gets older. He thinks it is cool

hrushing said...

they weren't there today. El Regio was busy though, and they (ER) were closed last week when TPG, DF was open. My son was disappointed.

Bruce said...

I hope they had just gone in for a cleaning - or moved closer. Make a note of that phone # (in the last picture).

T.C. O'Rourke said...

Nice blog, made me hungry!

TAVASCI said...