Earlier in the day, I was over at Steve’s house in Springdale and Steve said “Oh, we missed PGH Taco Truck at Inner Groove yesterday.” I sadly looked to the floor. The first time I had tacos from PGH Taco Truck was at the Pittsburgh Taco festival two years ago and I still remember my first bite of the spicy jerk chicken taco with the rich avocado lime cream. My second visit to PGH Taco Truck was quick and unexpected at Allegheny City Brewery. Now, I had a hankering for a third visit so I could finally dedicate a blog post to their tacos.
Fast forward a few hours, and Steve was telling me about how he had to go into work at the Leaning Cask Brewery. Before his shifts, Steve always pulls up the list of food trucks scheduled to be at the brewery for that week. The taco gods must have heard me because Steve’s dinner during his shift (and mine) was going to be PGH Taco truck.
I walked into the brewery around 5:30 pm and claimed a spot at the bar by the locals before getting tacos. PGH Taco Truck options included ground beef, grilled chicken, spicy jerk chicken, Thai peanut chicken, and pork chorizo verde.
Although I really wanted three tacos, including the spicy jerk chicken taco, I remembered that the tacos were hefty in size and that two would suffice. In another hour or two, I probably could have eaten three. The first taco I ordered was the ground beef taco with cheddar jack cheese and mild salsa. Sour cream can be added to this taco and to the grilled chicken taco if you remember to request it. I even read the sign and still forgot to ask about the sour cream. A bar mate did the same thing so we ended up going back to the food truck and splitting a cup of sour cream for our ground beef tacos. The ground beef is locally sourced by Clarion Farms (who also provides beef to La Palapa). Their ground beef is exceptional and high quality. The beef provided amazing flavor to this taco. The beef and cheddar jack cheese were the predominant flavor components. Cheese, sour cream, and tomatoes were the toppings on this taco; the addition of lettuce would have been a nice touch, and would help balance out the quantity of beef. The taco meat could have come out of the kitchen a tad warmer. Overall, I would give this taco a solid 3 out of 5.
The second taco I ordered was the Thai peanut chicken with sweet chili slaw. When I first bit into this taco, the slaw and peanut flavor took charge. This taco was loaded like the last taco. Deep beneath the slaw, laid perfectly marinated chicken. I absolutely loved this taco. The only thing I would change is the toughness of the corn shell. This taco comes in at a 4 out of 5. I loved the nontraditional twist of peanut sauce and chili slaw making it an unforgettable taco; a taco that I would surely order again and suggest to anyone.
Later on in the eve, I met the owner, James, who graciously took the time to talk to me while he was in the truck and in the brewery. I sampled his verde chorizo and pique sauce. I think the ground beef and grilled chicken tacos listed first on the menu would benefit most from this homemade Puerto Rican style hot sauce.
Speaking of the pork chorizo verde, Steve ordered the pork chorizo taco along with the Thai peanut chicken and spicy jerk chicken for dinner. He did what I could not do in one sitting, which was to take down three tacos. During his break, I asked him his thoughts on the tacos. His go-to choice was the Thai peanut chicken taco. He also liked the spicy jerk chicken and did not have one bad thing to say – other than it left his hands messy. Steve was not going to get the chorizo taco because it was usually too greasy for him, but he wanted to try it after he saw my sample. Steve liked this taco because it was not like any other chorizo he tasted before. Steve said the chorizo had flavor and a lot more going on than just mild, spicy sausage. The onion also added crunch. His final thought was that the taco could probably use one more topping on it, but maybe that change would ruin its simplicity and balance.
In case you were wondering about my beer selection, I paired my tacos with the Ruff Day IPA. The west coast style IPA worked well with both tacos I sampled.
All in all, the Thai peanut chicken taco really stood out to me. If I had room for a third taco, I would have ordered the jerk chicken taco. I guess I will have to save that write up for another day, once I track down the taco truck again. At least next time, I won’t have the locals in shock, since it won’t be my first time blogging about PGH Taco Truck tacos.
Price: $4 per taco.