8599 W. Bellfort @ S. Gessner, next to a Citgo
Update 11/20/11: This unit has disappeared from it's long time post. In it's place is a similar vehicle dubbed Tacos El Valle with a typical taco truck menu and no mention of pollo asado.
This is one of several new street food vendors I've been happy to see appear in my neighborhood recently and I was eager to check it out. For a couple of years I've been regularly making a trek up to one of the El Norteno units on Longpoint or a yellow and red La Silla bus on Telephone, just off 610, when I've had the craving for some good pollo asado. In addition to the aggravation of the drive there's the aggravation of being driven crazy by the aroma of the food filling the car on the trip home. I've checked out numerous pollo asado providers on the southwest side, perhaps as many as a dozen, both mobile and brick and mortar, without finding any as good but this new unit is very promising.
Pollo Asado is the specialty, of course, though there's a pretty full menu, unlike the El Norteno buses. Mesquite is used, like La Silla, and you get the standard sides - rice, beans, salsa, onions, pepper, tortillas - but there are some pluses besides it being so close by. A problem with pollo asado is holding it until someone orders it and I've had orders from both El Norteno and La Silla (and other places) that had dried out from being held too long on the grill; so far, that fate has not befallen the birds from the Mexican Pollo Grill. Maybe I've just been lucky. The beans,as you may detect from the picture, include chopped up wiener (there are hot dogs on the menu here, too) and are very good, the fiery salsa is chipotle based, and, most importantly, the onions are caramelized rather than just baked or steamed, adding another dimension of flavor.
A very friendly lady presides over the very large kitchen on this former moving van, very fluent in both English and Spanish. I almost expect her to call me 'honey' when I order, like the waitresses at BBQ Inn. Besides pollo asado and hot dogs, there are huaraches, tortas, breakfast tacos, burritos, quesadillas and fajita tacos, plus nachos and nachos grande (for $5, with fajita meat), chocolate cake, lemonade, and .. tada...jello salads!
The sign in the window says they're open 9 to 7, 6 days a week, but they've been missing a couple of times over the last couple of months when I've sought them out.
Prior to the arrival of this unit, the best Pollo Asado I've found on the SW side is the Argueta Pollo Asado wagon reliably parked on S. Fondren at W. Airport which turns out dependably juicy (not dried out) chicken but has mediocre sides (canned beans, I think, maybe instant Mexican rice, if such a product exists).
This unit is unconventional in a number of ways, from the vehicle to the name to the menu and recipes. I'm happy to have it in the neighborhood.