Home » Mobile, Restaurants, Tacos

Taco Truck Triumvirate

Posted by DNR 4 Dec 2008 14 Comments

You know those buses on Hillsborough Rd. that appear late at night? The ones decked out with string lights and neon, surrounded by picnic tables and an idling pickup truck or two? They’re our beloved taco trucks, and although we’ve already done a few sporadic posts about them, hopefully this one will cover many of your 2 am taco options.

Taco Riendo Lopez #1 (across from Kroger)

Taco Riendo Lopez #1 (across from Kroger)

First up is Taco Riendo Lopez,  which I assume is owned by the same people who run Taqueria Lopez. Of the three taco buses I’ve found on Hillsborough, Lopez is my favorite.

Pastor and campechanos tacos from Taco Riendo Lopez

Pastor and campechanos tacos from Taco Riendo Lopez

It may have been the novelty of the campechanos (beef steak and Mexican sausage), but the tacos at Taco Riendo Lopez #1 are the late-night food to beat. They’re lovingly made with double-layered tortillas and come with sauteed onions, lime wedges and radish slices. No surprise there, but overall they’re some of the freshest and most delicious tacos around, late-night or otherwise.

Taco Riendo "Las Delicias"

Tacorriendo "Las Delicias" (across from Rubio, below)

 A little further down the road is Tacorriendo “Las Delicias,” which, despite its name and the fact that it was way busier than Lopez, was a major letdown after Lopez.

Barbacoa taco from Tacorriendo "Las Delicias"

Asada taco from Tacorriendo "Las Delicias"

The asada taco was fatty and strangely flavorless, they only use a single tortilla, and the roasted green onion on the side was baffling. However, you can’t really judge a place based on the asada alone.

Taqueria Rubio

Taqueria Rubio (3148 Hillsborough Rd.)

Taqueria Rubio, on the other hand, is a gem. Besides having the coolest bus by far, the tacos, and especially their homemade salsas, are delicious and definitely on par with their waking-hour counterparts.

Asada, pastor, and pollo tacos from Taqueria Rubio

Asada, pastor, and pollo tacos from Taqueria Rubio

I’m dying for another pollo taco from Rubio after looking at these pictures again. If you’re out late this weekend, take the long way home and pick up some tacos.

Taqueria Rubio (map)
Thursday: 8 pm – 2 am
Friday: 12 am  - 3.30 am
Saturday: 7 pm – 3.30 am
Sunday: 7 pm – 2 am 

14 Comments »

  • MikeP said:

    I’m a Rubio fan myself, and have never been to Las Delicias, but I think it may be a bit unfair to judge a truck on their asada. In my experience, asada quality can vary wildly at the same restaurant day to day (I’ve had some pretty mediocre asada at Rubio and La Superior). A better test would be their al pastor, which is more consistent.

    [Reply]

  • TSQ75 said:

    for the record…”Tacorriendo” is a bit of a play on words (esTA Corriendo) essentially saying (he/she/it)is running”…or “on the run” which serves its purpose here, i suspect…lol

    [Reply]

  • Phil said:

    Thanks for this great coverage. I was sniffing up the Lopez truck last night after dropping off some Blockbuster, but I didn’t get any. (Part of my whole eat less meat thing, sigh. I’d love to find a taco stand that works with meat substitutes.)

    TSQ75 beat me to the use of my limited Spanish, but I’ll at least mention that “rubio” means “blonde”. According to this forum, “blonde” and “red” share a Latin root, but the story gets confusing PDQ:

    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1118477

    [Reply]

  • TSQ75 said:

    LOL sorry phil, It’s my other first language. :D

    I’ll add about Rubio: It’s a common Surname…which is what I always thought it referred to?

    TSQ75

    [Reply]

  • nick l. said:

    Tacos are $2 apiece at each truck, right?

    [Reply]

  • Derek said:

    Speaking of Durham food trucks, it seems that the Onlyburger truck has had a mishap. I haven’t yet heard how bad it is or when it will be returning, but my mouth is already watering for those fries.

    [Reply]

  • jwolfe said:

    Please add one of these trucks to main st. downtown (like near the Fed) on weekend nights! I bet there would be a ton of people who would eat this stuff up.

    [Reply]

  • TSQ75 said:

    hell, how about downtown by Pinhook and Marvell? hell yeah

    [Reply]

  • Robust McManlyPants said:

    One of the trucks – but I don’t remember which one – was at NC Pride in September. So very, very tasty. One can do a lot of marching on a taco truck taco.

    [Reply]

  • jwolfe said:

    Yeah, Main St. anywhere. Drunk people need food, too, you know!

    [Reply]

  • JI said:

    I hit up the Taqueria Rubio truck last night and ordered a boatload of goodies. Here’s my synopsis and list of items:

    taco de chicarron
    taco de chorizo
    taco al pastor
    taco con asada

    and finally

    la torta cubana (Cuban “torta”/sandwich)

    There were a lot of different flavors and textures going on between the different items. My top picks are the same as my past experience at Taqueria rubia. In my opinion the tacos al pastor and tacos con asada are incredible and the best items that they offer! The other items were variously tasty but not as good as the aforementioned types of tacos. I must admit once I looked up exactly what chicharron was I had more trouble enjoying it. For your information chicharron is pork rinds. This version has a soft sliced texture. I think they purchase the pig skins and boil/fry them. Not my top pick based on my aprehension of eating solely the skin. I love barbecue but not pork rinds. The chorizo was tasty and good and deserves to be eaten by chorizo fans but was not mind blowing. As far as the torta, the torta is $7 and very LARGE. I am a HUGE fan of the torta cubana sold at Chubby’s tacos and it definitely remains my favorite! I would say that the Rubio version of the torta cubana is maybe 30-35% larger than Chubby’s but as far as taste it does not compare. Chubby’s has a hearty satsifying flavor that is not matched by Rubio’s also the bread at Chubby’s seems to me to be crunchier. SOOOOO, the best items at Rubio’s for me are the taco al pastor and the taco con asada (bistec/steak), which are both on their own level as far as authentic style latin-American tacos in Durham.

    [Reply]

  • JI said:

    Just had the taco al pastor and taco asade from tacoriendo lopez. Just wanted to say I thought the asada at lopez was actually better than the taco asada from rubio, although the one from rubio is amazing in itself. The lopez asada was even better! The al pastor from rubio definitely is better than the al pastor from lopez though! The green salsa from lopez has a nice habanero base and is delicious and brings the perfect amount of heat for my taste preference, which is spicy!

    [Reply]

  • Full Frame Recommendations « Carpe Durham said:

    [...] New Visions of Africa (”soul food”), Green Leaf Indian, Costa Azul (Honduran/Mexican), taco trucks on Hillsborough Rd. (late night), Guglhupf (lunch and especially breakfast), Hog Heaven, Thompsons [...]

  • Grayson said:

    Tacorriendo Lopez has been my spot for a while now. Their tortas with salsa verde are godly. For my during-the-day fix, I hit up Super Taqueria on Roxboro Rd.

    [Reply]

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.