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New Food Truck Power

A big name chef's new food truck more than lives up to expectations: Houston's new best tacos contender?

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Taco Nuts food truck Houston May 2013
Taco Nuts food truck is "in the house" at D&T Drive Inn. D&T Drive Inn/Facebook
Taco Nuts food truck L.J. Wiley menu board
The menu board...and a few tacos to go Happy Endings HTX/Twitter
News_Marene_L.J. Wiley
L.J. Wiley at his former Yelapa Yelapa Playa Mexicana Restaurant
Taco Nuts tacos in foil
Sure-to-be-yummy surprises from Taco Nuts Taco Nuts/Twitter
Taco Nuts food truck Houston May 2013
Taco Nuts food truck L.J. Wiley menu board
News_Marene_L.J. Wiley
Taco Nuts tacos in foil

It was finally beginning to cool off on the back patio of D&T Drive Inn on Saturday evening when my friends and I realized we were suddenly starving. Like, so hungry that we considered skipping across Cavalcade for a Honey Bun and a bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos from the convenience store to stave it off until we could find a proper meal. 

Just then, a bartender began conspicuously unwinding a bright orange extension cord. As if in answer to our growling stomachs, Taco Nuts had pulled up in the parking lot, paint still wet on the squirrel decorating its exterior.

This food truck is the latest endeavor from chef L.J. Wiley, formerly of Yelapa Playa Mexicana fame, who recently returned to Houston after a two-year stint in New York City. After testing the menu during a popup dinner at Kitchen Incubator, and weeks of fixing up his second-hand truck, he was ready to roll.

 As if in answer to our growling stomachs, Taco Nuts had pulled up in the parking lot, paint still wet on the squirrel decorating its exterior.  

The crew seemed to still be working out the kinks when we queued up outside, the first customers of the night: Queso was still warming up, one employee still had to be talked through the intricacies of a temperamental card reader. 

Of course, the foibles were well worth it. Three-for-$8 vegetarian tacos — filled with avocado and roasted tomatoes, tossed with spicy lime aioli, Thai basil and a handful of Fritos (a woefully underutilized chip, in my opinion) that might have looked like an afterthought but provided a crucial and satisfying crunch — were, as I described to my tablemates in a frozen shandy haze, everything that's right about Thai food and street tacos inside of one perfect corn tortilla. 

The salsa was spicy, the queso was creamy and one friend went back for seconds on the 'El Sancho' Don Chancho carnitas. I'd say that's endorsement enough.

Follow Taco Nuts on Twitter for its current location.  

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