By Juliana Appenrodt
I see it parked on Hoover Street all the time, hugging the curb at the halfway point between Starbucks and Denny’s in the UV: Calbi Fusion Tacos and Burritos. Though I’ve walked or biked past it a dozen times, I never paid it much attention, probably because nothing about the truck or its concept stood out to me. Last Tuesday, however, I was on my way to Starbucks for a little pick-me-up in the form of an iced Chai latté when I thought, what the heck, I might as well see what this new-age taco truck has to offer.
Unfortunately, what it had to offer wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. At the top of the truck’s menu is a selection of tacos and burritos: beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, tofu or vegetarian. Though I suppose it’s not often that you see tofu as the filler in a taco or burrito, I also suppose there’s a reason for that, which is why I did not order anything with tofu. The tacos, $1.99 each, are served on corn tortillas, while the burritos, $4.99 each, are served on flour tortillas. Once again wanting to pay homage to the almighty ancestors of the food truck industry, I ordered a couple of tacos—one chicken, one beef.
As soon as I had placed my order, however, something else caught my eye: the quesadilla selection. I had never eaten a quesadilla from a truck before, so I immediately regretted my decision to test out the tacos. They even offer a kimchee quesadilla—the one intriguing item printed on the side of the commonplace Calbi mobile. A white vehicle with flames painted yellow, orange and red across the back, it is neither a sight to see nor a truck to be tried.
While the tacos were by no means bad, they were simply nothing special. Smothered in cheese, both the beef and chicken tacos were spicy with a hint of Asian influence, the beef more so than the chicken. The only thing that MIGHT bring me back to the Calbi truck is my sheer curiosity about the kimchee quesadilla—and even that’s questionable. I guess I’ve been so spoiled by the high caliber of curbside cuisine that cruises the streets these days that a mediocre taco fusion truck simply just doesn’t cut it anymore.
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