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Gringo Maniac

Illustrative image

What drives a man to brave heavy rain and freezing temperatures? Love. Love for the tortilla. Love for the taco truck. And love for you, the fellow tortillaphile.

I also wanted to love Gringo Maniac — still do — but they aren’t making it easy.

There are a lot of things to respect about this taco truck at least. The menu truly is out there, with Thai satay tacos, Southwest Philly tacos, and egg foo yung burrito being just a few examples. The proprietor is friendly and gave good recommendations on which hot sauce — there are about fifteen to choose from — to use in my burrito.

So that is all good. This is clearly a shop run by tortillaphiles. Execution-wise, though, I can’t say the burrito did it for me.

I tried the tri-tip with garlic-butter rice which sounded like it could have some potential. You don’t see basmati rice in burritos too often after all. Maybe there’s a reason for that, at least if this was anything to go by. The rice was a mushy mess, with no trace of any garlic.

The preparation of the vegetables, too, left a little to be desired. There were multiple cilantro stems thrown in with the stuffing, which isn’t exactly pleasant to chew on. On a more positive note, the steak was tender and cut into proper sizes.

Image of truck

The true nail in the coffin was the lack of flavors. This would have been pretty tame had I chosen not to go with a sauce. The purveyor’s recommendation was Porki, a very good sauce, but not something that should be the only flavor.

Adding insult to injury, the burrito wasn’t particularly well wrapped and proceeded to leak almost straight away. Oi.

But you know what? I’ll be back. I am hoping this was just an off-day. This is a place I want to love. The menu is inspiring and the service friendly enough for Gringo Maniac to deserve a second chance.


This post is part of Tortillaphilia, a category for those with a special relationship with anything tortilla related!