Above is the Pombazos
Last night we visited two of the six Vendy Award Finalists. I was shocked when we visited Nina's stand. Juan's Tacos el Galuzo Truck was what I expected... A big truck manned by 4 people inside, but Nina's setup was very small and low key. These two vendors are in the top six vendors out of the hundreds of regular taco trucks and the dozens of gourmet food trucks.
The vendors were so nice to us, it was ridiculous! Get this... (Juan the owner) only wanted to charge Gary $1 for TWO tacos that were some of the best on the planet! He only charged me $3 for 3 tacos and a can of soda! WTF??? Gary refused the low price and paid him more! Oh get this... the system is you order, you eat... THEN you pay.... I order a trio of tacos... my standard favs I ordered are the chorizo, carne asada and the al pastor. All of them were fabulous. Those little meat bombs of pure awesomeness!
Then we went to Nina's and OMFG, the deep fried quesadillas with the hand made tortillas were heaven! We split a Huitlacoche aka Mexican Truffle aka Corn Mushroom (fungus) and a Carne Asada deep fried quesadillas and while we were waiting for them to cook, Nina comped up a "Pombazos" a Bolillo dipped in a guajillo chile sauce and then made into a sandwich with potato and chorizo in the middle... OMFG... OMFG... another fantastic morsel from heaven. Nina's food is straight from the streets of Mexico City. Her stand was surprisingly modest. Basically one 6ft table of ingredients and condiments, the cooking table, deep frying wok and that's it! I was shocked that her operation was not much bigger than Ricky's cart.
At Nina's for awhile her daughter (who fortunately spoke perfect English) was helping work the stand and she had one guy working the deep frying while Nina would make the fresh flour tortillas and then add the filling and then either hand off for deep frying or else would cook the tortilla before adding ingredients if someone wanted one cooked on the grill. Next time, I have to try the non-fried one.
I've heard the Breed Street vendors were cleared out recently, we were lucky Nina was there. If you are planning to check out Nina's check her Twitter page or call her (323) 807-6813
The huitlacoche quesadillas or any dish made with huitlacoche is hard to find as it is considered a delicacy and relatively expensive ingredient. The corn fungus is a strange looking fungus that some marketing genius renamed Mexican Truffle!
The pictures of it in it's natural state all look very different from other samples I found floating around the net.
Or find canned product
Sweet baby Jesus! This is another ingredient I'm gonna have to try out. I'm gonna see if I can find some freshies first before trying the can stuff, but tonight I had the can stuff and it was quite delicious!
My final solo stop was at a corner cart in a residential area and this cart had the rotating al pastor roasts, but then I spotted soaking in the cooking oil, a sausage that was not bright orange like most chorizo and it was in a natural casing... not that commercial chorizo for a buck for a plastic sleeve of sausage. So being I alread had 3 tacos, 1/2 bombasa and I was full, I just ordered the one taco for a buck and I swear, that was the BEST Chorizo taco I've ever eaten! Unfortunately I might never find them again. Plus they had those big onions sauteeing and they had a lot of condiments and several hot sauces and one habanero sauce that put a serious hurt on me for about 15 minutos... it hurt soooooo goooooood!!!
Another kick ass East LA dining adventure, tasting some of the best of the best ELA street food and two of the 6 Vendy Award Finalists. I certainly hope one of them wins it all this weekend. So get this, no lines at any of the vendors and I totally managed to stuff my face silly for a grand total cost of... $7.00!
So at the Vendy Awards this weekend, you can buy a ticket for $50.00 and for that privilege wait for hours in lines to get to the food... I stopped and ate at 3 vendors, shopped at a local Hispanic market and bought some produce, chatted with our members and with the vendors, hopped in the cars and we drove about 12 minutes away to Nina's and all in less than 1 hour and 45 minutes! That's how much time some people will probably have to wait to get any food this weekend at the Vendys...
Superstar find of the night! - Pombazos de papa y chorizo (potato and spicy sausage between two slices of bread that have been dipped in chile guajillo sauce and grilled).
Edited by Darrell on May 12, 2010 11:54 AM