Taco trucks using handmade tortillas

An episode of Ugly Delicious featuring LA tacos was dismissive of taco trucks that didn’t make their tortillas by hand. I found their comments amusing because it’s really uncommon to find handmade tortillas in taco trucks in the SFBA, right? Do any of the Oakland trucks, like the ones covered in John Birdsall’s 2016 eater guide, use handmade, or at least decent quality, tortillas?

Off the top of my head, and I’m admittedly out of touch with the food truck scene, I can think of only one:

There’s one other truck, but its mobile abilities are TBA:

The rest I can think of are Farmer’s Market predecessors/offshoots of brick and mortars. Not quite the same as taco trucks, and only once a week deals:

  • El Buen Comer at the Saturday Noe Valley farmer’s market, fresh masa
  • El Huarache Loco at the Saturday Alemany farmer’s market, fresh masa if I recall correctly
  • Primavera at the Saturday Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, an offshoot of El Molina Central, fresh masa

What else, anything late night?

According to Yelp reviews, these trucks have/ may have handmade tortillas. I just look for the term handmade in the search results:

  • Tacos los Michoacanos in E Oakland
  • Mamacitas in Mountain View (outside Target)- their tacos are good btw.
  • La Casa Del Taco in Napa
  • Tacos Don Carlos in Napa
  • Antojitos Chapines Guatemala and Mexican Food in San Jose
  • Century Center Food Corral in Napa
  • Mi Rancherita in San Jose
  • Taqueria Patzcuaro in Sunnyvale
  • El Toro Tacos in San Jose
  • Gutierrez Autentica Comida Mexicana in San Jose

That is actually a pretty good list to go for a taco crawl. What’s with the under-representation from SF and Oakland?

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i can’t find the article i recently read but it said that unless tortillas are made with fresh masa, as opposed to masa harina, you’re not really going to be able to tell the difference between hand-made and store-bought. the article said fresh masa was becoming harder and harder to find even in Mexico, and most people there used masa harina too. I’m going to buy some fresh masa at La Palma Mexicatessan in the Mission soon and try making them at home. I’ve made masa harina ones at home and have always been a bit disappointed that they’re just not that much better than what i get in the stores (unless you get those really thick hand-made ones).

wish i could find that article…

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Interesting. I’ve noticed that some chain Mexican markets make their fresh tortillas from giant bags of masa harina.

I’d like to think I can always tell the difference between masa harina and fresh masa, but the reality is that I’m stumped a lot. Gallardos told me they use fresh masa, but it tastes like masa harina to me and puffs up much more too.

I stopped trying to make tortillas from La Palma’s fresh masa—- their machine rolled tortillas come out better than what I can do with a tortilla press! (I do buy their masa for making pupusas though)

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great idea about the masa for pupusas!

yes, it’s disheartening to think i can’t tell the difference. so not foodie! :smile:

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