In my wandering travels, I’ve come across some great little taco trucks in the middle of nowhere. So at dusk, I’m zipping past one such tattered taqueria in a dusty parking lot (is there any other kind?) in the whistle-stop town of Touchet (Too-chee), on Highway 12, just west of Walla Walla in southern Washington. And I’m thinking and driving, thinking and driving. Until, at about the three-minute mark, I slam on the brakes and skid onto a little side road, the truck driver behind me blasting his horn as he swerves by.
I get back to Chicas Tacos just before it closes for the day and order a little adobada (marinated pork) taco, for all of $1.50. I want to see how it tastes and, just as importantly, to chat with the owners. As I’m piling radishes, onions and homemade salsa onto the double corn tortilla, Elena and her beekeeper husband tell me they’ve been open only a few months and soon will be closing for the winter. Business has been slow—mostly truckers from the secondary highway right in front of them—and they’re hoping to stay afloat.
I hope they do. They don’t have a website or Facebook page. “We’re dinosaurs,” the husband says. But Elena is putting out good, authentic Mexican fare at bargain prices and is willing to put in the hours over a hot grill to succeed. Isn’t this what the American dream (and spontaneous road-trip dining) is all about?
Update: I drove through Touchet in late September, 2014 and didn’t see any sign of the little taco truck in the gravel parking lot. Hope it was just away that day.