I wnet on a gruop ride Friday night called Night of 1000 Tacos. It was a 20 miler around the northeast side of Columbus Ohio and there were four stops at Taco trucks. It was great.
It started at 7pm at the Studio 35 Theatre on Indianola Ave http://www.studio35.com/. Studio 35 is a very old neighborhood theater, the last of it's kind in town. It's always been a popular spot with the collegiate crowd, it's clientele is a counter-culture/hipster type bunch. It's a fun place.
30 riders rolled out, and rode a few miles to the first destination, a taco truck on Morse road. I had two steak tacos and a Mexican bottle Coca Cola (cane sugar not corn syrup!). For the uninformed, Taco Truck tacos aren't your Taco Bell crap. Taco Truck tacos are small, maybe 3.5 inch soft tacos with a nice portion of meat mixed with fresh veggies and cilantro, served with a side of a couple cucumber slices, radish slice slices and a wedge of lime. See the picture?
Columbus has about two dozen of these trucks around town. I used to see them and wonder about them, imagining filth, dog and cat tacos and ptomaine poisoning. A few months ago I got one at work when some guy made a run and was astonished at the taste and freshness of the food. All the trucks have a Green Sticker from the Columbus Board of Health, and that's a clean bill of health. On the other hand my favorite Chinese/Korean restaurant was shut down for awhile due to bad kitchen practices.
So every one had a nice little feed, we must have hung around for a half hour then moved on.
Columbus has become a very metropolitan town. Lotsa of Mexican businesses, Somalian businesses, and it's a nice place if you like variety. Some folks I know hate all this influx, I don't.
Well the next taco truck was probably 1/2 mile away on Cleveland Avenue. A little too close if you ask me. I just ordered a small bottle of Senoral Sangria, a non alcoholic Sangria. It's good stuff. The vendor actually gave it to me for free. All the trucks owners were great, gracious and gave us a respectable discount on our food.
Rolling on, we went a few more miles to the next truck, on Dublin Granville Road. We went past Northland High School, where the football team was playing my old alma mater, Brookhaven. That was neat to see.
These guys at this truck were great. I ordered a Torta Hawaiian. It was a homemade bread/bun type thing with ham, pineapple, jalapenos and other great tasting stuff. It was big, I took half of it home to my wife. They also had two homemade mexican cakes with peaches on the top and free beer. So it's 10 o'clock at night,and 30 riders are standing around swilling Modelo. Great time. By this time there are no more stangers in the group, everyone was mingling, talking and having fun.
We pedaled on to the last truck. The truck was called the Taco Nazo. I thouht it meant taco nazi like the soup nazi (no taco for you!) but found out that it meant the top, the best, the king of. Similar to being the nazz. the Taco Nazz. Good food, I had a single chicken taco and a Mango Aqua Fresco. It was a huge drink made of water and powdered mango. None of the processed, High Fructose corn syrupy crap an American corp would put out, but it tasted like mangos that had been dried and powdered. It was good. This truck was in the parking lot of the Garden Inn on Cleveland Ave. So we ad a place to run in and pee. The drinkers inside were friendly and interested and wanted to tell us their bicycling stories.
All along the ride we were cheered on. People would honk their car horns and holler encouragement, we went past a party and they all yelled, "That's going green!" I never heard a grumble from anyone.
So after the Taco Nazo, we made the final ride home, about half the distance. It was nice, everyone was talking and chatting, and rolling on. Only one accident all night, toward the end when some girl hit a curb and skinned herself.
Finally about midnight we all pulled in back at Studio 35 and there were about 50 scooters out front. It was also a scooter mania night. We admired their scooters and they they admired our bikes and good time was had by all.
I rolled off on my own and took a leisurely 3 mike trek back home. I clocked just over 25 miles for the night. I got home just as my wife let the dogs out, so I had a joyous reception.
Here's the website: http://tacotruckscolumbus.com
If any off you are in central Ohio, they are planning another ride on October 9th, this one followed by a movie at Studio 35.