We saw the red wagon being towed north on Route 61 that morning. “They must be setting up at the Fiesta,” I said to Julie.
The red wagon is distinct around Berks County. It’s the center of operations for Aaron’s Tacos, a mobile food business that has been making the rounds in Berks County for the last several years.
The Fiesta was the Spring Fiesta, held at Jim Dietrich Park in Muhlenberg Township on June 8. The event is hailed as having Berks County’s Best Tacos (you may remember our recent visit to the Berks County Taco Fest – a completely unrelated event with a couple overlapping vendors). Aaron’s was one of about 15 food vendors schedule to take part in the event.
We were at the festival early. It was shortly before noon and the lunch crowd was still rolling in while we were there. There was no line at Aaron’s when I walked up to the window to order my three tacos – one each of steak, chicken and chorizo.
As I waited, two things were clear to me.
1. Aaron’s needed one more person.
2. One more person couldn’t fit inside the wagon.
The flat-top grill was between myself and the woman taking my order. She was very nice and went through the full list of proteins available. But she was also responsible for cooking them while a colleague stood shoulder-to-shoulder with her while pan-frying pastelillos and Jamaica beef patties.
She was also the one accepting the money, and with so little room, she had to walk outside the wagon to a table with a cash box. Eventually, a third person came and was on the grill, at least some of the time, which helped the process.
And while I appreciated that my meat was being cooked to order, it felt like an eternity as I watched sevreal people come through and get their ready-made fried meat pies while my tacos remained unfinished on the cook-top.
Fifteen minutes later, they were finished and I paid my $10.50 before joining Julie and Jakob at a table nearby.
(Julie and Jakob enjoyed a meal from Tlacuani Mexican Restaurant in Temple, a restaurant we visited in 2015).
My tacos looked great and – like all tacos from Aaron’s – were prepared in the traditional Mexican style with onions and cilantros. The only additional embellishments were radish slices and limes. The former added a splash of color; the latter, a little DIY citrus flavor.
I enjoyed all three. The corn tortillas were also grilled on the flat-top and were served hotter than any other tacos that I have been served, but they also stayed together better than any other corn tortillas so maybe that’s the trick.
With all of the toppings the same except the proteins, they became the only differentiator between the three. The chorizo was at the top of my list because the spiced sausage has more built-in flavor. The chicken and the steak were both good, as well. I would gladly eat all three again in the future.
But I don’t know that I would wait for them again, at least at an event like the Spring Fiesta where there were 14 other places to get tacos that are just as good without the wait.
Maybe I caught them at a bad time – and I hope that’s all it is – but it just seems like the little red wagon isn’t quite big to do the job as well as it could.
Food: Very Good