I caught this place out of the corner of my eye on the way to a poker game up Queen City Boulevard a couple months back. I didn't notice the taco truck at first, just Tienda la Centro Americana next door (a little grocery) - luckily one of the people in the car does some organizing with Latina/o folks in the city and mentioned they had tacos there, and that they were pretty good. So, I've been wanting to go back for a while now, but never could overcome my fear of the unknown streets of the West side until tonight - and I'm glad I did.
The Food: On the side of the trailer there are pictures of tacos, quesadillas, tortas, and burritos, each for $6-7. The woman (could it be Yolandita of Taqueria Yolandita fame?) rattled off the standard list of taco meats available (chorizo, tongue, chicken, etc.) and we ordered 2 barbacoa, 2 carne asada, and 2 al pastor tacos - a grand total of $12.
Sarah and I both agree, the barbacoa choice was the best. The meat was moist and flavorful and wasn't nearly as fatty as what I've gotten used to a Taqueria Mercado (which I still like, but it is a bit offputting). Al pastor was second, with more flavor but the texture wasn't as good. And the carne asada was our least favorite - not horrible, but definitely overcooked and pretty tough, without too much flavor.
All the tacos come traditionally with cilantro, avocado, and onion. The key limes on the side were juicy for the squeezing, and they also put lemon and radish in the carry out container - something we hadn't seen before. Also, both the red and green salsas were quite tasty, adding a nice burst of flavor and kick of heat to all the meats.
The Ingredients: No idea. Hard to imagine organic, local meat was being served - but maybe I'm just a hater (99% probably not).
The Story, Setting, & Service: If you want a TRUE taco truck experience, this is the only one in Cincinnati that we're aware of. I want to like Senor Roy's, but that's just not traditional (and wasn't good when I went). All of the trucks taco or otherwise - at least that I'm aware of so far in Cincinnati, are catering to a more upscale/American clientele. In the original sense, trucks were a cheap way to start a business and often meet some ethnic or working class group right where they're at rather than try to hold down a lease.
Taqueria Yolandita, planted squarely in the middle of nowhere on the near West side, is by all appearances as authentic as they come. Oh, and you can buy perfume from a suitcase off the counter too if you're stopping by on your way to a hot date and need to freshen up. It's also next door to a Mexican grocery that isn't huge, but seems to have a good little collection of foodstuffs if you're interested in more than the "Mexican" aisle at your local Kroger. Hours are 10-6pm every day of the week, although the proprietor said she goes to church on Sunday night, so they close a little early.
This trip left us wondering if there are other gems on the West side, which really isn't far from our house in Northside at all, but we're just too afraid of getting lost to find them. If you've got suggestions, please let us know.
The Last Bite: I suppose we might try a burrito or torta someday, but there doesn't seem to be any reason to stray from the tacos here. Next time, we'll likely get a whole bunch of barbacoa ones and pig out happily, knowing we're part of a very small number of people who even know this place exists (until you go and tell all your friends - which you'll probably want to).