Peggy's #1 Pick: Gourmet Tacos (Think Tilapia) From a Truck in Woodbury


View and purchase photos

Just across the street from Woodbury’s star restaurant, Carole Peck’s Good News Café, a vintage, silver, 1973 step van with a broad orange stripe across it appears in the big open parking lot every day but Thursday. From the open window on one side of the van, founder and owner Haig Leonard is serving up tacos, burritos and quesadillas to a constant stream of happy eaters. What’s the big draw here? Two things ... taste and price.

In the case of taste, for me it is the fish taco that is Peggy’s #1 Pick. Fresh white fish (often tilapia) is marinated in coconut milk and lime, crusted with corn meal, fried on the spot and served with mango salsa, coarse-cut slaw and a drizzle of sour cream all packed neatly into a warm tortilla—and all for $3.25. The combination of flavors, temperatures and the crunch make this the perfect snack, or have two for a perfect meal.

In terms of price, Mr. Leonard was striving to enable his customers to have a great meal for under $10. One can easily eat two of his tacos, add a beverage (sodas and waters are offered), leave a tip and be at the $10 mark. Now how wonderful is that!

Mr. Leonard also serves up a beef taco that is marinated flank steak slices (marinated in red wine with balsamic vinegar, soy and spices), grilled, served with tomatillo salsa, slaw and sour cream ($3.25) and a chicken taco, which is chicken in a margarita marinade, grilled, served with pico de gallo, slaw and sour cream ($3.25 as well). A cheese (blend of jack and cheddar, $3.25) or a cheese and chicken quesadilla ($3.75) comprise the rest of his menu.

Rice, beans, soups, salads, desserts and more drinks will be added to the menu when he moves the truck to its next location (check his Web site, www.el-camion.com, and Facebook for updates) later this summer. That will be at 308 Sherman Hill Road on the site of the former Pete’s Drive-In Restaurant. After settling into the restaurant space, the main business will operate from there and the truck will be used for off-site catering events.

Now in his mid-40s, this Connecticut native has worked in the restaurant business for years both here and in Chicago and New York City. He says it was at Zoë restaurant in New York City that he came to appreciate food of quality and distinction. He felt this truck could be a natural in Woodbury, a town with no Mexican food around.

“With a food truck, the dining is so immediate that you really get to see very clearly how your audience reacts to your food. That has been the best part of my learning process here at the truck,” said Mr. Leonard.

He remains remarkably calm and easygoing inside his taco truck as he and his co-chef prepare and serve each and every piece of food. It is handed to diners through a window on whose shelf rest four containers of hot sauces (which range in degrees of hot), and other things that add to your amusing experience—a candle, some sunscreen, some Purell, a toy taco truck and some metal knot puzzles to solve while waiting. Oh, and did I mention that the music wafting out from the truck, causing all to shake their hips, curl a smile and liven up, is a mix of salsa and merengue. n

If you have a Peggy’s #1 Pick idea for Peggy to check out, please let us know by sending an e-mail to news@countytimes.com.

El Camion Continued...

El-camion.com

Located in parking lot near intersection of rtes 6 & 64 on Main Street South

917 608-8484

Hours:

Mon, Tues, Fri, Sat: 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sun. :

11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Accepts all major credit cards

Phone orders

welcome
Just across the street from Woodbury’s star restaurant, Carole Peck’s Good News Café, a vintage, silver, 1973 step van with a broad orange stripe across it appears in the big open parking lot every day but Thursday. From the open window on one side of the van, founder and owner Haig Leonard is serving up tacos, burritos and quesadillas to a constant stream of happy eaters. What’s the big draw here? Two things ... taste and price.

In the case of taste, for me it is the fish taco that is Peggy’s #1 Pick. Fresh white fish (often tilapia) is marinated in coconut milk and lime, crusted with corn meal, fried on the spot and served with mango salsa, coarse-cut slaw and a drizzle of sour cream all packed neatly into a warm tortilla—and all for $3.25. The combination of flavors, temperatures and the crunch make this the perfect snack, or have two for a perfect meal.

In terms of price, Mr. Leonard was striving to enable his customers to have a great meal for under $10. One can easily eat two of his tacos, add a beverage (sodas and waters are offered), leave a tip and be at the $10 mark. Now how wonderful is that!

Mr. Leonard also serves up a beef taco that is marinated flank steak slices (marinated in red wine with balsamic vinegar, soy and spices), grilled, served with tomatillo salsa, slaw and sour cream ($3.25) and a chicken taco, which is chicken in a margarita marinade, grilled, served with pico de gallo, slaw and sour cream ($3.25 as well). A cheese (blend of jack and cheddar, $3.25) or a cheese and chicken quesadilla ($3.75) comprise the rest of his menu.

Rice, beans, soups, salads, desserts and more drinks will be added to the menu when he moves the truck to its next location (check his Web site, www.el-camion.com, and Facebook for updates) later this summer. That will be at 308 Sherman Hill Road on the site of the former Pete’s Drive-In Restaurant. After settling into the restaurant space, the main business will operate from there and the truck will be used for off-site catering events.

Now in his mid-40s, this Connecticut native has worked in the restaurant business for years both here and in Chicago and New York City. He says it was at Zoë restaurant in New York City that he came to appreciate food of quality and distinction. He felt this truck could be a natural in Woodbury, a town with no Mexican food around.

“With a food truck, the dining is so immediate that you really get to see very clearly how your audience reacts to your food. That has been the best part of my learning process here at the truck,” said Mr. Leonard.

He remains remarkably calm and easygoing inside his taco truck as he and his co-chef prepare and serve each and every piece of food. It is handed to diners through a window on whose shelf rest four containers of hot sauces (which range in degrees of hot), and other things that add to your amusing experience—a candle, some sunscreen, some Purell, a toy taco truck and some metal knot puzzles to solve while waiting. Oh, and did I mention that the music wafting out from the truck, causing all to shake their hips, curl a smile and liven up, is a mix of salsa and merengue. n

If you have a Peggy’s #1 Pick idea for Peggy to check out, please let us know by sending an e-mail to news@countytimes.com.

El Camion

El-camion.com

Located in parking lot near intersection of rtes 6 & 64 on Main Street South

917 608-8484

Hours:

Mon, Tues, Fri, Sat: 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sun. :

11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Accepts all major credit cards

Phone orders

welcome


ADVERTISEMENT


Social Wire


Community Calendar

October 2014
Su M Tu W Th F S
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31

Legend:

No events

Events listed

Recent Activity on Facebook