Food & Drink
Amigos Food Express
June 30, 2011
Food Trucks are now part of the quintessential foodie experience. As much as fine dining is on the gourmet checklist, finding a great food truck is a foodie's best underground adventure.
In Wailuku, the Amigo's Express boxy food truck sits quietly on the corner of Vineyard and Market Street, under the shade of a giant banyan tree. There are no mariachi horns acknowledging its Mexican heritage—just pictures of plates of food, and black felt pen-filled stencil type on the side of the order window announcing fresh tamales and chile rellenos.
While food trucks are enjoying a surge of trendiness on the Mainland, Mexico has a long tradition of selling great food out of little stands and trucks. Puerta Vallarta taco vendors sell Baja Cameron tacos, while in Tijuana ladies push carts selling tamales in hot little squares wrapped in leaves. The stands laden with al pastor meats on a rotisserie offer some of the best flavors you can experience while eating in Mexico.
These kind of food vendors spill over into California with plenty of corner food trucks selling amazing homestyle burritos and tacos, all at very cheap prices. With our economy in the tank, eating amazing handcrafted food without the overhead of sit down dining is chic. There is an element of mysteriousness that surrounds these mobile eateries, too—Who knows what goes on inside the truck or how all of this deliciousness is prepared in a 6-foot by 4-foot space? For the most part, though, we don't care because we are hungry.
The menu plastered on the Amigo's Express truck boasts specials everyday, and they aren't kidding. On Thursdays $5 gets you an enchilada plate with rice and beans. Mondays and Tuesdays offer tacos—veggie, chicken, carnitas, al pastor and beef—for a buck. Just pay attention to little white board on the side of the order window. It will tell you what you need to know.
The tacos are served soft on hot corn tortilla disks and filled with spiced and roasted meats (or beans and rice if you go veggie). They top them with cabbage or lettuce and onions and cilantro if you are ordering al pastor, as well as hot or mild sauce, which is their proprietary blend of tomato, cilantro and spice. Lawyers, students, drifters, office ladies, writers and baristas are usually lined up for these treats.
If tacos aren't your thing, the chile relleno is stupendous. I have no idea how they can make such an amazing chile relleno in such a confined area, but it comes out frothy and hot, full of melted Monterey Jack underneath a perky green chile blanketed in a comforter of fluffy egg. Their salsa soaks into the egg blanket just enough to embellish it with juicy tomato finish, which is accompanied by a dollop of guacamole and a bit of cabbage crunch.
They also serve tortas, quesadillas, tostadas, burritos, nachos and tamales, with canned soda and Jarritos to wash it all down. All that in a little yellow truck. They're open Monday through Friday 10am to 4pm. ■
Got a hot food scoop? Contact Jen Russo at 808-280-3286 or fax to 808-244-0446.