500 Tacos: Be More Pacific
A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
Be More Pacific
Check mobile locations daily at www.bemorepacifictruck.com. This report comes from the truck’s regular Monday stop at the Arboretum, 9442 N. Capital of Texas Highway (map), 512-814-7423.
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 05.11.15
People inevitably say “Fat Man Walking?” when I tell them my website’s name. I went for clever instead of clear, and so the “Fed” part gets lost, and it sounds like the internet’s laziest fitness blog. The Filipino food truck called Be More Pacific has a case of the accidental clevers, too. A friend who works next door to the truck’s usual Monday location told me, “I don’t like seafood. So no, I’ve never tried it.” It’s the “Pacific” part. More specifically, Be More Pacific focuses on a chain of islands in that vast ocean — the Philippines — and the food truck keeps its wheels on dry land, with chicken, pork, fried rice, longanisa and lumpia influenced by all the cultures who brought their foods to the Philippines over the centuries. Fed Men Sailing. (Fat Men Sailing? ... whatever.)
The taco: Taco Libre
The Fusion Word of the Day is “adobo.” And for this series so far, adobo has meant the red stuff: paprika, mostly, with dried chiles, garlic, sometimes cumin and oregano. It’s a common dress for roasted pork tacos. “Adobo” is less aggressive in Filipino cooking, trading the flinty spark of chile and paprika for soy, vinegar and garlic, a kind of sweet-sour-salty trifecta. Be More Pacific applies that treatment to chicken and adds a fourth element, tossing it with Mang Tomas sauce. The primary ingredient in that sauce is liver, and it lends a deep, fatty, iron taste that lingers even after kernels of crunchy yellow corn have done their best to sweeten and lighten the enterprise. Does “adobo” in this sense translate as good taco fusion? The language is there, but the accent’s off. (2 for $6, 3 for $8)
► Tortillas: Commercial flour or doubled-up white corn.
► Salsa: Neither of the two glowing red squeeze bottles by the window is the wrong choice. One is the devil you know: The green-capped rooster bottle of thick chile and garlic sriracha. But go for the devil you don’t know: chili sauce with a tart vinegar bite and sweetness to balance the heat that loiters around afterward.
► Filipino snack bar: If this were a 500 Maxed-Out Tater Tots Project, Be More Pacific’s Longanisa Tots would be in the Top 5, made with mild crumbled pork sausage sweetened with pineapple over crispy tots covered with melted white cheese and sweet chili sauce ($4/$6). I was underwhelmed by bacon fried rice ($6) that was dry and got its only flavor from an inadequate payload of bacon that had gone rubbery anyway. And if these little fried lumpia are the Philippines’ ambassadors to the world of eggrolls, they need more tasteful diplomacy and less greasing the palm (2 for $3).
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)