This blog is devoted to highlighting restaurants of Memphis, Tennessee.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Taqueria Express #5

A New Beginning

Now that I'm working in a new job, I'm getting acquainted with my new dining options. While I will eventually get around to reviewing popular eating spots like Elwood's Shack and Bryant's Breakfast, I first want to talk about a taco truck on the corner of Summer and Perkins. Its location is very convenient for me because it's only a half a block from my job so walking to it is easy. In addition to that, one of my Flying Saucer drinking buddies highly recommended the food truck because of its tacos, so it was hard for me to resist. So, I found time to check out some of the offerings from "#5" that proved to be very tasty, for the most part.

Burrito al Pastor

One of the first things that I got from Taqueria Express #5 was a burrito with pork ("con pastor" in Spanish). Although the menu labeled it as spicy, I didn't get any sense of that but it was good nonetheless. Given the lack of spiciness, I added some of the food truck's salsa verde that made the burrito much better. With onions, lettuce, refried beans, rice and cheese, this turned out to be an excellent burrito that is much better than anything offered by Taco Bell. At $5.45, it's a great value that I hope more people learn about.


The torta (a Mexican sandwich) I got with beef tongue didn't quite measure up. My biggest beef (no pun intended) with it was the amount of mayo in the sandwich. There was so much of it in the torta that I wasn't sure if it had meat in it. Speaking of that, the tongue wasn't as seasoned as I'm accustomed to. I could be wrong about that, for it was difficult to ascertain due to the excessive mayonnaise. Still, it wasn't terrible, especially after putting some of the food truck's delicious salsa verde on it. If I get a torta again, I'll make sure to get it without the mayo.


For those looking for a more formal Mexican meal as opposed to street food, Taqueria Express #5 has that covered. One of my favorites is the carne asada that comes with traditional refried beans, rice and corn tortillas. Despite the skirt steak not being tender, it didn't matter once it was in huge tortilla wraps with the entrée's other components that made aggressive chewing a must. In the end, it was worth it, for it was a very good meal at an affordable price ($7.65). Compared to a Double Whopper that I can get at a nearby Burger King, the carne asada is a superior meal that I look forward to getting often.

SIDE NOTE: I got the carne asada in spite of my original intention of getting the "#5" from the menu (given the food truck's name, I thought about having some fun with it.) The "5" consists of mulitas (a variation of quesadillas) that are cheesy and easy to eat for those on the go. In choosing the meat for the filler, you can't go wrong with chorizo sausage. By the way, whether you're getting mulitas, carne asada or anything else from Taqueria Express #5 (including aguas frescas such as my favorite Mexican beverage, the horchata), you will be wise to phone in your order as opposed to initiating it at the food truck. The carne asada takes twenty minutes to prepare, time I can't afford to waste on a thirty-minute lunch break.


The best product offered by Taqueria Express #5 is its salsa verde. I like it because it is made with fresh jalapeños, cilantro and a wonderful mix of other ingredients. Unlike those from other Mexican restaurants, I can really taste all the elements of a jalapeño in the spicy sauce, including the seeds. The sauce goes well with just about anything, including soups, chili, cheeseburgers and salads. Its only drawback is its short "shelf life" of about a week. I didn't find this out until recently, when a plastic cup of it exploded inside the refrigerator that I use at work. One thing's for sure: it doesn't have preservatives in it. Without that, the natural chemicals (whatever that is) in the sauce produces gases as it spoils. So my advice is use the salsa verde as soon as you get it for an experience that is worth the trouble.

By the way, the tacos are pretty good, too. My favorites are (clockwise from the top) lengua (tongue), chorizo, tripa (tripe) and chicken. "Pollo" (aka chicken) is a word that I usually screw up when I say it in Spanish because the "ll" is used as a "y" (Italians pronounce it the "right" way).

Overall, just about anything (other than tortas) from Taqueria Express #5 is a good bet for delicious eats. It is obvious that the owners of the food truck know how to put together great Mexican food for people on the go. In my limited experience, I will go out on a limb in saying Taqueria Express #5 is one of the better places in Memphis to go for good Mexican food. Of course, given the number of Mexican restaurants in Memphis' Berclair neighborhood (including four within walking distance of my job), any restaurant serving Mexican food has to be on the top of its game if it wants to succeed. That said, I see a lot of success in the food truck's future.

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Taqueria Express #5 on Urbanspoon

LabelsCash Only, Food Truck, Mexican, Nutbush/Berclair, Sandwiches, Steaks, Summer Avenue, Tacos







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