Lets Taco ‘Bout the Tacos El Rodeo Truck

My intention was to pick up some groceries at the Italian Market, but I didn’t see a single thing that tempted me. I kept walking down Washington Ave. A brightly painted truck came in to view and I remembered hearing about an elusive (no website, no twitter!) newer South Philly taco truck. Tacos El Rodeo Mobil Food Catering Truck does tacos, tortas, burritos, quesodillas, and sincronizadas with whatever filings they have that day. These might include chorizo, tripe, or even cabeza.  Tacos are $2, so I got 5 (sin cabeza).

2 al pastors, 1 carnitas. 

1 beef, 1 chorizo. 


Al pastor close up. 

Carnitas close up.

Here, “everything on it” means a little lettuce, tomato, an avocado slice, a lime slice and a pickled carrot. Spicy red and green sauces come on the side. Meat for the al pastor taco, or trompo, is sliced off a rotisserie spit. The crispy,tasty little pieces impressed.  The beef filling came as small, charred bits and the chorizo had just the right amount of grease and spice. But the carnitas may be my favorite, the barely seasoned pork was so tender and porky, it needed little else.

Compared to Taco Loco, further east on Washington, these dominate. The issue with cheaper taco places is often an obvious lower quality meat with bits of inedible fat and gristle. And that was not the case with El Rodeo. They nail it on quality, taste, and price, with even more points for the cheerful mural.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  •   Top of the line tacos for $2

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  •  How will I know if they aren’t there on a given day?

Tacos El Rodeo, 10th and Washington



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    Thanks for the writeup. This place has late night hours, and i’ve been curious about it for a while. I will have to check it out

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    The thing I miss most about Northern California (never journeyed south of San Francisco when I was living in Oakland) and Oregon is probably taco trucks. They were everywhere (not to mention the hole-in-the-wall Mexican groceries and meat markets and guisado vendors, etc), they stayed in place for the most part, and they were seemingly always open!

    I think I walked past these guys once, they’re on Washington at 12th, right? Noticed tripas on their menu, and I went right for it (tripas would be my alternate desert island food, I think), but they didn’t have it that day. Wasn’t really hungry (there’s always room for tripas, though!) so I skipped it and said I’d be back as soon as I could. That was like November, I think. Oops Should give them another try.

    Though I hope I can get them in just meat, onion and cilantro form? $2 is fair ($1.50 per taco in, say, Oakland, is pushing it out there, but of course their taco truck culture is much more competitive), and I wish more sit-down places around here did something other than the $8 for 3-tacos-of-one-kind thing. I’m sure there’s a reason for that, so I won’t complain. I just don’t eat tacos nearly as much as I used to these days, which admittedly is probably a good thing. Heh. For a while in Portland, I was eating off taco trucks like three days a week.

    Anyway, thanks! Nice to hear they have a trompo. Now if I could find somewhere to get my old ’2 tripas, 1 buche, 1 lengua’ order I would be quite pleased!

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