If you salivate over the words "tacos," "food trucks" and "temporary pop-up," then you're surely headed over to 400 West Commerce St., just past Chicken Scratch, where three food trucks just opened in front of the West Dallas RV Park.
The food trucks include the returning snow cone trailer from LaGrange (of Deep Ellum fame) and City View Tacos, a shiny new red food truck concept from Raul Rios, founder of the El Tacaso taqueria chain. Oye Cuban Sandwiches, a third Cuban-themed food truck, is also slated to open. It's a perfect meal: You get your taco, your Cuban sandwich and finish off with a snow-cone.
The trucks are part of a retail strip that sits in front of the trailer park which was purchased a few years ago by Cienda Partners. That park will eventually become an apartment development. In the interim, developer Monte Anderson has orchestrated a temporary food truck park.
"Across the front of the RV, we're lining up trailers which could be a retail office or restaurant," Anderson says. "For now, we're pretending that the trailers are a retail shopping center."
Rios' participation adds the kind of grass-roots flavor in which Anderson specializes. Formerly employed by the Dallas police department, Rios began doing food trucks and gas-station tacos way before they were discovered by the foodie brigade.
"I liked the idea of doing City View because I'm one of the pioneers of the street taco in Dallas," Rios says. "We did that back in the '90s. I was the first to do a taco in a gas station before the city shut us down."
Rios helped set up the taco stand at Fuel City, which is operated by his sister-in-law. He owns El Tacaso at 902 Westmoreland, which has not only tacos but also enchiladas, chile rellenos and the like, and he is in the process of opening another branch on Main Street in Duncanville. His son owns Chilito's in Cockrell Hill, and his daughter owns Burritos Express in DeSoto.
"At City View, we'll be doing the same tacos – fajita, picadillo, barbacoa – using the same family recipes that we've been doing for the past 10 years," Rios says.
He says he's spent a lot of money on his trailer, but he wants to show that it can be done, and that he's the right person to do it.
"I'm doing it for the opportunity to show the city that this is a good concept," he says. "I'll be the first one who did it. There's talk that the new owners may want a retail strip in the front. If that happens, I want to be there. If it doesn’t happen, then we tried.
"This takes me back to my roots," he says. "I think if city allows them and lets us stay, we'll do real good for the city. When I was first starting out were having those meetings with the city about food trailers, no one thought it was a good idea. Now they have food trucks in the most prestigious locations."