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Taco trucks: Convenient and cheap
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LATHROP – Once I became a junior in high school there wasn’t a week that went by that I didn’t eat at a taco truck with my friends.

Back before the lot at the corner of Union Road and Yosemite Avenue became the new home for Cabral Chrysler Jeep, it was the everyday home of what quickly became my favorite dining spot – affording broke high school students great food and an even greater price.

But like anything, that lot was transformed and eventually the Manteca City Council passed an ordinance that allows mobile vendors to operate for only 10 minutes in any given spot in the city.

So much for my favorite lunchtime destination.

On Thursday evening, however, when Editor Dennis Wyatt suggested I head to Lathrop and have lunch at one to gauge the experience, I was kind of shocked that I hadn’t considered doing it on my own before.

I mean, I’ve drive to Modesto and partaken in the row of trucks off of I Street that seem to operate every single time I’m in that part of town. I’ve driven to Pleasanton just to get a cheesesteak. I’ve even gone as far as Santa Cruz just to get my favorite calamari and a bowl of minestrone soup.

I know – it sounds crazy.

Sticking close to home seemed like a much more logical way to feed a craving that started building after he first mentioned it, and also provide an inside glimpse into the establishments that have become a hot-button issue in Lathrop politics.

And after a short drive down Louise Avenue, I found the place that would get my business – El Jaliciense.

For less than $10 I was able to order a carne asada super burrito and two asada tacos – enough food for two meals – with money left over to buy two Pepsis to help stave off the burning that comes with the hot sauce.

One bite later and I was 16 all over again, flashing my off-campus pass to the monitors and I made my way towards Yosemite Avenue and rolled my El Camino straight into that dirt lot.

I deliberately chose to skip breakfast so that I was extra hungry when lunch came around, and I was able to polish off the burrito with little problem. The two tacos – flavorful and warm – were just icing on the cake.

The best part of the entire experience was I wasn’t the only one who was happy to be enjoying my afternoon with some of the most underrated Mexican food on the planted.  The gentlemen in line behind me told me that every Friday he comes down for lunch, and I responded that I would probably have to start doing the same.

I still love the taste of a traditional sit-down Mexican meal – chili relleno, enchiladas, tamales or tacos – and I’m not going to give that up anytime soon.

But for the price and the convenience, how can you turn down quality and convenience?

My point exactly.