Cheap Eats

Box of Chacos: Asian and Latin Flavors Create One Hell of a Taco

It’s safe to say there’s a food truck for just about anything simple you might crave. But what if you were looking for something a little more complicated, like a Chinese-inspired taco? You’d be in luck if you tracked down Box of Chacos. Created by former Tap 42 chef David Peck, the Asian/Latin cuisine is yet another example of how South Florida’s food trucks are a step ahead of the curve when it comes to fusing cultures.

After working in high-end eateries like Mark’s Las Olas, Nobu Dallas, Morada Beach Bay Café, and most recently Tap 42, Peck wanted to do something different.

“It had a lot to do with being in Texas, around all of this great Mexican food, but working in Nobu, which is Japanese,” Peck says. “A bunch of us would play around with different combinations. Some of it really worked and some of it didn’t, but that’s how it all started.”

From there, Peck got to work developing recipes, solidifying a menu, and getting the truck on the road. Since its debut in 2013, Chacos has covered ground from Jupiter to the Keys.

At first glance, the menu appears small. But the handcrafted combination of tastes and flavors in each tortilla guarantees that no matter your choice, you can’t go wrong.

The menu includes specialties such as chow mai chicken, made with ancho-glazed chicken, Mexican corn salsa, and Korean ranch; Tio Tsao’s five-spice pork, featuring tender braised pork, cotija cheese, and spicy green salad; the Pink Chaco, with seared ahi tuna; and the Shaolin Veg, with crisp avocado and veggie quinoa. Peck makes it seem easy by saying the result came from “simple trial and error,” but we know some serious skill when into crafting this menu. Mixing Mexican salsas and Korean ranch isn’t something you would think to do, but your taste buds will thank you.

If tacos don’t get you going, Peck has something else: a kimchee burger with seasoned Black Angus, fried cheese, house kimchee, and special sauce. Or check out his not-so-typical quesadilla with pork, jalapeño kimchee, three-cheese blend, and special sauce.

Peck says you can never eat just one Chinese taco, so they're not available individually. You can order two for $10 or three for $13. He hopes to one day take his  truck concept — which last year won Best of Broward/Palm Beach — to a local storefront. Until then, catch him and his staff at various locations around South Florida.

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Clarissa Buch Zilberman is a writer and editor, with her work appearing in print and digital titles worldwide.
Contact: Clarissa Buch