WE CALL IT THE TACO TRUCK
ARMANDO’S HOT FOOD
On a lonely Saturday morning, one wakes up, with remnants of the night before dancing through one’s mind and belly. The self-abuse of the night before, which was sold for $5 a bottle, can leave one in a desperate state of mind. The writhing pain of a hangover can take hold of you for the whole day, if you allow it. Don’t. Armando’s Hot Food, better known by those in the know as the Taco Truck by the freeway, can help you soothe the pain.
Located conveniently on an abandoned gas station lot at the corner of Western and Fountain, adjacent to the 101 onramp, Armando’s is where you can find most all foods Mexican. The mobile restaurant has actually been at this location for roughly three years now, becoming a fixture on the city’s longest continuous street. With Carl’s Jr. and McDonald’s just a block away and in the same price range, the choice is obvious.
One of the more popular items here are the dollar tacos, which you can get with your choice of meat, of which there is plenty from which to choose. The more popular carne asada and carnitas are available, and the more obscure chorizo and cabeza can be had, as well (yes, cabeza translates literally as “head,” and no, I’m not going to try to describe what that is to you).
However, two of the better deals are the burritos and the sopes. The burritos, about the size and weight of a brick, as with the tacos, can come with your choice of meat and add-on’s, including cheese, rice, beans, vegetables, and sauces. A personal favorite is the burrito al pastor, a heavily marinated pork that can beat you up, but in a pleasant, S&M kind of way. Starting at $3.50, you can’t go wrong with a burrito in hand.
The best deal, to some at least, is the sope, which starts with a thick, textured flat bread topped with a small mound of (again) your choice of meat, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, and shredded cheese. A knife and fork is necessary, unless you’re one of those brutes who could care less about making a mess.
If the Mexicaness of all of this is not your cup of tea, there are more familiar foods, such as pastrami and steak, which on any given day can do just fine; but when you go to a taco truck, you might as well go all the way and play by the rules. Just a suggestion.
Probably one of the finer aspects of Armando’s is the ice shelf located on the side of the mobile eatery, where one can make his or her selection of drinks and desserts, which include different types of gelatin cups and pastries. This reviewer suggests going with the dark sangria with your red meat, and the lighter tamarindo soda for your pollo dish.
Last note: for all you snooty bastards who feel that an establishment such as this is beneath you, get over yourself. When you strip away the pretentiousness of your favorite finer restaurants, you pretty much get what Armando’s offers; a group of Mexicans and a grill. Yes, I said it. Do not hide behind your hypocrisy, because in reality, they know how to make good food, and that’s all that really matters when you go eat, no?