My father is Mexican and I grew up traveling extensively throughout the country, so I'm pretty demanding when it comes to that cuisine. I've eaten it from the furthest corners of Homestead to the most gleaming tables of South Beach nouveau-Mexican eateries, all in search of anything that will take me as far away as possible from the towering sour cream-cheddar cheese-deep-fried-flour tortilla with a fake name like "chalupa"-madness that passes as Mexican cuisine in Miami.
I think I finally found my spot.
I had heard about the Orale Taqueria Mexicana food truck for a while, but could never track it down. Then a friend told me it is usually parked in front of a school near Douglas Park in Coral Gables on weekends. But when I drove by on a Saturday, there was no sign of it. I tracked down wner and chef Francisco Perez, who nformed me that because of parking permit issues he had been searching for other locations. This weekend, it was the Tropicana Flea, a raggedy market in Allapattah where you can find everything from used auto parts to bootleg Honduran music. No telling how long it will be there, though. It's advisable to call the truck before embarking on a wild goose chase.
The seating area consists of a makeshift canopy and mismatched plastic chairs behind a white board menu. It is nothing fancy. But the cooking area inside of the trailer is remarkably clean. Perez,a native of Oaxaca, dons plastic gloves while preparing different meats, and religiously wipes the counters down.
The menu listed horchata, a cinnamon-infused rice milk drink, but I was informed there was none available on that day. Instead, I opted for a tamarind jarrito ($1.50), a popular Mexican soft drink.
I was bummed because I discovered, walking back to the parking lot, that there is another Orale Taqueria Mexicana truck that parks on the other side of the flea market and serves additional food items like pozole and menudo. It had a much nicer get-up with tables covered in indigenous woven tapestries. But no matter, I'll be back.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.