Smile Politely

Get to know the tacos at Taco Motorizado

There are a few places in town where you can get a good taco, but there is only one food truck dedicated to serving a variety of Mexican favorites. Mas Amigos’ Taco Motorizado is regularly parked at Bradley and Prospect Avenues in Champaign, and offers affordable options for lunch or dinner.

Taco Motorizado’s menu is pretty small: tacos, quesadillas, nachos, tortas, elotes, and burritos. The prices range from $2 (per taco) to $8 (tortas and nachos), and the truck takes cash only. Last week I made a quick stop for a late lunch. Despite pulling up to the truck after 2 p.m., there were quickly three or four people who got in line right after me. I heard them order only tacos.

My husband and I ordered three tacos (one steak, two al pastor, $6 total) and the quesadilla suprema ($6), and patiently waited as our food was made to order. It was about a three to five minute wait, which is in line with the time you’ll wait for other food trucks to make your food. If you’re on your lunch break and needing a place to sit and eat, you can do so right there; there are a couple of picnic tables with some cover. When our food was up, we were asked if we wanted hot sauce. There is only one answer to that one — yes, please. Red or green? I’m a sucker for green, and green I received.

We took our bounty home and cracked it open eagerly. The tacos were packaged nicely, snug in tin foil, which kept all of the stuff inside the tortillas. The steak and two al pastor tacos were topped with a healthy dose of diced onion and cilantro. The corn tortillas were chewy, and held up under the heft of the meaty filling. The meat was seasoned appropriately; it was salty but still maintained the flavor of the other seasoning. The toppings were incredibly aromatic, and the heat of the meat warmed the onion and cilantro, causing the smell to waft upward and into the nose. The tacos were great, and totally consistent with the delicious chorizo taco I had at the International Beer & Food Truck Showcase a few weeks ago.

The quesadilla was loaded with beans, chorizo, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. Because it was packaged to go, the grease from the chorizo had no other place to go except for into the tortilla, making the quesadilla a drippy, greasy eating endeavor. And the grease that wasn’t absorbed by the tortilla ended up all over the inside of the wrapping. Extra napkins were essential. Although the flavors were nice and spicy-smoky, the texture of the chorizo and the beans coupled with the hot shredded lettuce was quite reminiscent of a certain taco chain restaurant’s offerings. And if we’re being honest with each other, let’s just say that I didn’t enjoy this quesadilla making an appearance for second, third, or fourth meal. (Nothing some Rolaids can’t fix, though!) On another note, the green hot sauce was refreshing, and because it was chilled, offered a cool heat to the salty, loaded quesadilla.

While the advantage of the food truck is mobility, most of the food trucks in C-U have claimed a location and stuck with it. The Mas Amigos/Taco Motorizado food truck is no different. The tacos were the clear winner on this occasion, and if you’re looking for a quick (and cheap) bite to eat in Champaign, this food truck is it. There is plenty of parking in that lot, and because the truck is parked at the intersection of Bradley and Prospect, it’s easy to access main thoroughfares to take you to and fro.

You can find the Taco Motorizado during the week at the intersection of Bradley Avenue and Prospect Avenue in Champaign.

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