We've only written a hundred times or so about the Zambrano family's taco carts, Soho Taco. They show up pretty regularly at events around the county, they have giveaways to drum up business, and they launched a truck to get even more people hooked on them.
You could be forgiven for thinking they're a luxe lonchera, or at least a luxe taco table meant to serve the public. The point of Soho, though, is not the food truck but the catering business. It's easier to serve well when you're the ones calling the shots (meaning determining the menu). What about Soho as a caterer, where they're one part of a larger plan for a party?
I hired them on Cinco de Mayo for my daughter's birthday party, hoping to avoid the tedium of cooking for 50 people. After a couple of emails and a phone call, we ended up ordering carne asada, chicken, those insanely good vegetable tacos, quesadillas rice, beans, chips, and salsa for 35 adults and 15 kids.
Let's review what I want in a party caterer:
- On time and prepared
- Good selection of food
- Enough food
- Competent cooking
- Pleasant people
- Reasonably priced
what this means is that I want the “black box”, where I give
requirements for the party, it happens without my having to devote a ton
of attention to it, and at the end a fair amount of money leaves my
Right on time, the Soho guys showed up in their van with their portable taco cart and everything they needed. Plates, silverware, napkins, salsas, chiles, tortillas, meat, dressings, chips. The only slight snag was that the stupid gas meter blocks part of the width of the back gate, so we had to help the guys lift the cart and take it through the house–no big deal.
We had a couple of genuinely awesome guys serving the tacos, who were good with the kids and quick on the draw with the tacos. Everything tasted just as good as it always does, and when I went around letting people know it was last call for tacos, there was a sudden and familiar line in the backyard. As they served the last person, they ran out of food. Perfect.
The guys didn't bring enough business cards, so I spent the next few
days answering Facebook messages and e-mails with, “What was the name of
that taco company again?”
While our family has hired the more usual taqueros, who show up with a steel-drum looking contraption and a table, this was maybe a 20% markup over those folks, with more food, better salsa, and the ease of being able to do this electronically.
The verdict: they get my stamp of approval. As they say on eBay, A++ WOULD HIRE AGAIN. In fact, the only thing I wish they
had is a charcoal grill–charcoal- or mesquite-grilled carne asada makes
for the best beef tacos on the planet. And maybe next time I'll splurge on the tortillas hechas a mano.
Find Soho Taco online at sohotaco.com.