I have long wanted to do a comparison tasting of some of Salt Lake City’s cheapest eateries: the taco stands. Taco carts started appearing on corners around town several years ago, but up until Friday, I had only eaten from the street vendors once. I had reason to head downtown, so I tweeted up a taco cart meet-up to try out a few new ones.
For mysterious reasons that would warm the dead heart of Adam Smith, the greatest concentration of taco stand are arrayed around our nearly-downtown Sears department store. Four different purveyors of tacos, none costing more than $1 (tripe or beef tongue extra), set up their rolling shops at intervals on State, Main and 800 South.
Five of us, packed an overstuffed burrito, spilled out of Harley’s car as he parked at Sears. Over the years, I had noticed that the stand across the street from the department store had the longest lines, even late at night, so that’s the one I wanted to try. I didn’t make any photos of my three delicioso shredded beef tacos. Harley and Scott enjoyed theirs too, but the taco lady ran out of tortillas, so we trundled over to stand #2 rather than wait for more to be delivered. By the time Rich and Nicole got their plates, Harley had ordered a second round and the taste test was on. At stand #3, Rich upped the competition by asking the taco-maker to select the meats. Taco lady #4 thought it was all completely amusing, especially that we didn’t have enough sense to get out of the weather and eat in our car like everyone else (she must have missed the arrival of the circus clown act). She also produced the favorite tacos of the day.
Our winner of the day: Tacos El Toro on 800 South between State and Main.
However, the taste test won’t end there. This is a multi-round competition, with the rules being invented as I get hungry. Watch for twitter and/or Facebook updates for the next convening of the judge’s panel. More testers are always welcome. And please recommend your favorite too–a full sampling of all worthy taco carts is the goal.