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Ricos keeps on truckin'

The taco truck is back on Center

RICOS TACO TRUCK: Grab some tasty sopitos at Center and Orchard in Tacoma. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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Ricos Taco Truck

Where: 5015 S. Center St., Tacoma, 253.202.8197

Hours: Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Scene: Authentic Mexican fare and a few Americano dishes

Drinks: Canned Coca-Cola products and bottled sodas including the rainbow array of Jarritos.

Prices: $5-$10

If you want a tasty taco from Ricos Taco Truck, you have to want it. Bad. It's easy to miss. It sits on the Union 76 gas station property at Center Street and Orchard, an intersection full of frustrated folks trying to enter and exit businesses or dodge the speeding guns of the Fircrest police. Unless you catch site of the brightly colored banner hanging from an outdoor tent hovering over a two-table dining area, you could easily mistake the taco slinging RV for something abandoned until gas money is raised to move it.

The banner does read "Grand Opening," but it's really a Grand Re-opening.

Ricos Taco Truck has re-parked at the gas station after several issues. Having built a hearty clientele of authentic Mexican food lovers since opening in April 2012, the owners of Ricos experienced a couple of setbacks during the summer, including a car accident totaling their truck. Ricos dream of expansion was smashed with the smash; Ricos Taco Truck II was garaged until the original truck could be rebuilt.

This is a food column, not Google maps. Let's talk tacos.

Ricos menu selection excels compared to other local food trucks. You may dine on tacos, mulitas, burritos, tortas, quesadillas sopitos, mulitas, quesadillas, carne asada and breakfast staples such as huevos rancheros - perfect for their early birds since they are open in the morning - all at affordable prices ranging from $5-10.

Ok, OK, Tacos. Yes, it's the first testament of taco truck greatness. I opted for its taco special - four tacos and a can of soda for a mere $5. The small, corn tortillas are filled with your choice of chicken or pork, punched with minced onions, cilantro and lime. Super yum. The pork bits were tender and moist, though I would have enjoyed more spice. Spicy pork should be spicy pork. The flavor was intact.

For those looking to bump up the spice there's a salsa bar with red or green salsa, pickled carrots, radishes and lime wedges stored on ice.

I also dove into the sopitos. The thick crispy corn shell laid a solid, delicious foundation for refried beans, fresh shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and crema. Pick your meat, add a mandarin Jarritos, check for the condiments of marinated carrots, and you're in Ricos heaven.

For those who don't love Mexican food, but want to dine at a taco drink next to a gas station, Ricos features a few Americano options. Chicken nuggets shaped liked dinosaurs, a burger, club sandwich and grilled cheese sandwich. That's fine. The side fries are the star. Ricos' seasoning has a bit of zestiness likened to a classic seasoned fry flavor.

Bar a car crash, Ricos is back on the taco scene with quality and tasty authentic Mexican fare. It's only a matter of time before the line backs into the two tables.

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