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18 Catt. 3: In re La Tingeria

2013 March 20
by CATTLEYA, J.

Opinion of JUSTICE CATTLEYA, in chambers.

La Tingeria’s authentic Mexican dishes first graced the lunch table of this court late last year. I was most pleased with La Tingeria’s tinga, quesadilla, and elote loco. The delicious flavors and affordable prices even had me declare that “La Tingeria ha[d] become one of my favorite food trucks.” In re La Tingeria (La Tingeria I), 15 Catt. 3 (2012). I granted cartiorari to try the rest of the items on La Tingeria’s menu, so that the reader may form a more complete picture of La Tingeria’s offerings.

La Tingeria

La Tingeria

As I explained when La Tingeria first appeared before the Cart, the menu is simple. First, “you pick a meat, then you pick a vehicle to contain it.” La Tingeria I, 15 Catt. 3. The meat options are beef, chorizo, and chicken. The “vehicle” options are tingas, quesadillas, tacos, and sopes. At the end of last year, La Tingeria planned to retire quesadillas and sopes from the menu, but they returned this year with the original menu, including the quesadillas and sopes. As the reader will see below, this is a very good thing. The menu may soon expand to include tortas as well. Each menu item is $2.50.

In La Tingeria I, I opted for a beef tinga and chorizo quesadilla. So that I could review for the reader all of La Tingeria’s menu options (as of the date of this writing), I ordered a chicken taco and chorizo sope this time around.

TRUE STREET FOOD

Before I discuss the merits of these two menu items, I must establish who carries the burden of proof in this case. This Cart presumes that all street food should be fully affirmed. If the food before us is properly classified as “street,” then the food may only be remanded for revision if the Cart meets the high burden to prove a severe misstep.  See In re Big Cheese, 6 Catt. 2 (2012). Street food is defined by this court as “the kind[] . . . that can be cooked in front of you and [is] meant to be eaten with your hands, without forks, while standing up.” In re Eat Wonky, 2 Catt. 5 (2011). We have already determined that La Tingeria’s hand-held food offerings are street food. La Tingeria I, 15 Catt. 3; see also In re El Chilango, 12 Catt. 2 (2012) (holding that tacos are street food). Thus, La Tingeria’s dishes are entitled to the presumption of affirmance by this court.

CHICKEN TACO

As an authentic Mexican taco should be, La Tingeria advertises that a taco includes your choice of meat served on two corn tortillas and then topped with onion and cilantro. However, when my chicken taco arrived, it was topped with lettuce, Mexican cheese, and crema Mexicana. The shredded chicken filling was surprisingly flavorful and moist. Cooked with onion, it achieved a nice mix of sweet and spicy. Overall, the taco was tasty, although I would have preferred the more traditional toppings of onion and cilantro to the less traditional lettuce and cheese.

It was a solid dish, but still, the taco is La Tingeria’s weakest menu offering. This is for two reasons. First, while eating La Tingeria’s taco, my mind could not help but wander to another authentic Mexican food truck that serves tacos (and only tacos) and has perfected the dish–from the lightly toasted two-ply corn tortillas to the side of fresh radish slices. I speak of El Chilango. See El Chilango, 12 Catt. 2. Second, the other three options on La Tingeria’s menu (tinga, quesadilla, sope) are so strong and so memorable that the taco cannot compete. For more on La Tingeria’s tinga and quesadilla, see La Tingeria I, 15 Catt. 3. For more on the sope, see below.

Chicken Taco & Chorizo Sope

Chicken Taco & Chorizo Sope

 CHORIZO SOPE

Until I walked up to La Tingeria’s window, I had never heard of or tried a sope. What you get is a thick tortilla that is fried on the outside. It is then layered with a refried bean spread, your choice of meat, onion, cilantro, Mexican cheese, and crema Mexicana. It may not be the prettiest (or least caloric) of foods, but the result was spectacular. The fried exterior of the tortilla provided a nice crunchy texture, while the thick center was still soft. The thickness of the tortilla also functioned to support the weight of the heavy toppings. The ground chorizo was wonderfully fatty and spicy, and the refried beans were flavorful. The onion, cilantro, and cheese finished off the dish nicely. As soon as I ate the last bite, I wanted to run back and order another one. Without a doubt in my mind, La Tingeria’s sope is the star. I plan on returning to La Tingeria for this menu item alone on a regular basis (though for the sake of my waistline, probably every other week instead of every week).

CONCLUSION

La Tingeria has solidified itself as my favorite “everyday” food truck. Cf. In re Red Hook Lobster Pound, 2 Catt. 1 (2011) (describing a “special occasion” food truck). Its menu focuses on delicious, satisfying dishes, and it offers everything at cheap prices. Sure, it’s not without some missteps (e.g., as with my first visit, there were some mix-ups with the orders). But La Tingeria usually gets it right, and when it’s right, it’s excellent.

AFFIRMED. It is so ordered.

2 Responses
  1. March 24, 2013

    I can not get enough of this food! It is all the Mexican holidays and birthdays in a food truck! A lot of these dishes are what a true Mexican family makes on these special days! The service is always very friendly, and very fast! La Tingeria, defiantly raises the bar and the standards for food truck business.

  2. May 1, 2013

    Thanks for the great comments this is just the beginning new stuff soon

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