Taco Dawg: Better on the Latter than the Former

The Taco Dawg
The Taco Dawg
Vickie Chang/OC Weekly

Second entry in our series where we promise to review, for better or worse, every "high-end" roach coach that visits the Weekly's world headquarters. Piaggio on Wheels visits us next Monday--when will YOUR mobile food truck come? Inquire with Jessica Ford at jeford@ocweekly.com!

I once saw a strip mall sign promising a Taco Dawg years ago that never came to fruition. That wasn't the current Taco Dawg rumbling down the streets of Orange County. That one has a better chance of survival--if only it drops the tacos and sticks with the dogs.
The tacos they sell that uses actual tortillas instead of a hard shell of indeterminate origins are small, overpriced at three bucks, and not even that good to warrant the high price. Their idea of fusion is the namesake taco dawg: a regular hot dog buried underneath ground beef, lettuce, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, and sour cream; stale tortilla chips are on the side. Do the owners not know that the only Mexi-style hot dog people care about in Southern California is the Sonoran variety, that glorious length of wiener wrapped in bacon, spruced up with Valentina's and mayo?

Instead, this taco dawg feels like a special sold for Little League baseball games in Dallas circa 1978. The ground beef is more salt than bovine; the lettuce, wilted. Instead of having the chips on the side, the workers (not the owner, who decided to talk with customers outside the truck instead of helping the Mexican ladies inside the truck prepare orders) should've crumbled them up and put them inside the hot dog to follow through on the promise of a taco dog.

It just doesn't work...but the wiener's flavor manages to trump the detritus that nearly buried it alive. And my co-workers raved about the hot dogs they ordered as well--if I see them again, I'll stick to the hot dogs and probably eat happy.

The Apple Taco
The Apple Taco
Vickie Chang/OC Weekly

Dessert is better, but also underwhelming. Their apple "taco" is really just a take on a buñuelo, and not a particularly imaginative one at that: a fried tortilla dusted with sugar and cinnamon that hides sauteed, cinnamon-spiked apples; the sweet dream hides underneath a cloud of whipped cream. Gourmet this is not; this reminds me of that fried ice-cream fraud White-Mex restaurants like Acapulco's use to please unsuspecting Iowans. But I cannot deny: the apple "taco" is pure sugar, does the job--but if I wanted a sweet-tooth overload, I would've gone to 7-11 and buy a bag of Reese's Pieces at one-quarter the cost.

Taco Dawg, www.tacodawg.com; follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/thetacodawg.


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