“When are you going to review Bistro Box, Renton’s only food truck?” asked my Renton Twitter foodie friend. Have patience, Alex, I will.
But, only food truck, you say? Hardly.
Taqueria El Asadero on Rainier Avenue N. has had my heart and stomach for years, not to be confused with the Tacos El Asadero bus in Rainier Valley. The prowess of certain taco trucks inspires great debate in the foodie community, but I'm proud to have bragging rights to Taq.E.A flanking the Renton Municipal Airport.
Restaurants named El Asadero (meaning roaster or broiler) can be found throughout the country, but this Taqueria truck saves me the trip to my old Seattle favorite, Los Potrillos. In fact after my aneurysm a few years ago, this truck inspired me to drive again—NOT a small feat.
Tired of incessant microwavable dinners for lunch, I got a hankering for an Adobada (chile-laced pork) taco and finally got up the nerve to get back behind the wheel. My husband had been leaving the car at home for me for months, hoping I would make the step back toward my old self. Little did we know that tacos would be the motivating factor.
Sadly, I do not know the owner’s name, but his smiling face and patient manner has always made this truck a favorite. Year round, there sits a white tent with picnic tables beside the truck which reminds me of warmer days when I like to dine al fresco, with a squirt bottle of green and red salsa at my side. Their salsas hold just the right amount of heat for my taste, picante but not 'where's-the-fire-hydrant-hot.' Should you like things really fiery, there are complimentary grilled, then salted serranos available, along with radishes and requisite limes.
Food amenties and a welcoming atmosphere are two things that set Asadero apart from the rest of the taco truck scene. You’ll find a crock pot of complimentary pinto beans available, and cooling flecks of sweet pineapple might appear on your spicy taco at the cocinero's whim.
Choices are many, including paper-plate-posted-specials. Last night I ventured out of my usual taco rut, getting a full Platillo. The Carne Asada plate is a mere $8, and is escorted by a healthy serving of creamy refried pintos with a dash of melted cheese (not the orange American sludge treatment), Mexican rice, lettuce, fresh tomatoes, avocado slices, three pieces of slender flank steak, and four steamed corn tortillas wrapped in foil. I’d never ordered the steak on its own, and at the dinner hour, my pieces were a little drier than I would have hoped. But add some salsa, avocado, and tuck them into a tortilla...for $8 I’m not complaining much.
It’s a pretty gringo thing to order, but I often crave the Carne Asada Quesadilla for lunch (I've read that the Carnitas version is out of this world). The tacos are a ridiculously cheap authentic treat at $1.20 a piece, and I will often go for a trio of Asada (steak strips) Adobada (spicy pork), and Pollo (chopped chicken). True Carne-lovers seem to revel in the Tongue and Beef Cheek tacos, which lets you know this truck is autentico.
Enjoy a coral-colored Jarritos Tamarindo (tamarind soda) with your comida and savor a genuine South of the border moment, even in the dark of winter. While waiting for your order, pop into neighboring Marilyn’s Produce, another favorite Renton find of mine for: a bag of tortilla chips, Filipino longanisa, incredible deals on assorted chiles, avocados (as low as 50 cents at times) and the occasional ultra-deal such as organic white peaches for half the price elsewhere.
Mi amigo at Taqueria El Asadero Autentica Comida Mexicana, keep doing what you do and thanks for humoring the occasional Quesadilla-lover. Stick around por favor, you heat things up in Renton nicely—and if you’ve been driving by for years, pull on over.
Taqueria El Asadero
257 Rainier Ave N, Renton, WA 98057