When Pittsburghers think of tacos, they might not be on the same page as what Mexicans think of tacos. For decades, most of the tacos found in the Steel City were the Mexican-American classic crunchy shell filled with seasoned ground beef, shredded lettuce, and yellow cheddar cheese. Those are undoubtedly satisfying, but they don’t really resemble the tacos of Mexico, where the dish originated.
Luckily for Pittsburghers, the taco scene is evolving and many new cooks and chefs familiar with authentic Mexican tacos are making Southwestern Pennsylvania their home and starting new food businesses. One of those to join Pittsburgh is the Tocayo Food Truck, and it has become so popular that readers voted it as this year’s Best New Food Truck.
The team behind Tocayo Food Truck, Gabriel and Jenna Fuerte, is very focused on showcasing those authentic Mexican flavors and delivering those to Pittsburghers. And so far, Gabriel says customers have been extremely pleased.
“I remember in the beginning, people wanted the safe option, ground beef and chicken,” says Gabriel, a native of Mexico City. “But now people know about barbacoa and al pastor, and it's great.”
Gabriel says that pastor tacos — pork shoulder cooked with spices and pineapple — has become Tocayo’s most popular item. It can go on tacos, nachos, quesadillas, and burritos. Tocayo’s tacos come Mexican style: grilled soft corn tortillas, with a choice of meat topped with chopped red onions, cilantro, and habanero salsa.
Jenna says that new this year are Tocayo’s vegetarian options, which have exploded in popularity and give diners options outside of rice and beans. Gabriel, who has 20 years restaurant experience from busboy to manager, handles the food and service side of the truck, and Jenna handles the business side.
The truck is part of the ownership team behind restaurants Tocayo Taqueria & Tequila and Totopo Mexican Kitchen, where Gabriel also has manager shifts and which won Best Mexican Restaurant in this year’s Best of Pittsburgh readers’ poll.
Gabriel says the goal of the truck is to bring authentic Mexican flavors to more Pittsburghers and to ensure that everyone is satisfied with their experience.
“I want to see them happy, that is my point,” says Gabriel.
Tocayo Food Truck. instagram.com/tocayofoodtruck