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El Tacoman offers street tacos in variety of areas in Gainesville
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Carrillo serves up various tacos. - photo by David Barnes

El Tacoman began setting up at different locations about a year ago, Carrillo said. He said the style of tacos he offers is something he was a part of when he lived in Southern California.

“It’s authentic Mexican street tacos you find at food festivals in Orange County or LA really every day,” Carrillo said. “You’ll see street tacos, food trucks, taco stands, burrito trucks, you name it. The whole taco thing is more popular out there. Nightclubs have them outside of their nightclubs at 3 o’clock in the morning.”

He said he has been asked about setting up a stand during those middle of the night hours and believes he will at some point. But whether he is out at 3 p.m. or in a late afternoon to early evening event at the Left Nut Brewing Company, as was the case July 20, El Tacoman believes he has found something that people will enjoy just about any time.

“Tacos are easy to make; it’s fast food,” he said. “Everything you eat, you can throw away — no spoons or knives — just napkins and a paper plate. It’s very popular now. If you’re out drinking a couple of beers, it’s a good pairing. It goes down easy; it’s not too heavy. You’re not having a big chunk of hash browns at 3 in the morning.”

He said one of the things that makes his tacos different is his meats — steak, chicken and Chorizo, a Mexican pork sausage.

“I marinate my meats with beer and add some extras,” he said, adding that he used one of the beers at Left Nut July 20 to put into the meat. “I pour beer in there. It gives your taste buds a surprise. It brings out the flavor of the meat. When you’re actually cooking, you smell the beer cooking. It gives that extra flavor, it’s juicy.

“Beer has been a Mexican tradition for many, many years,” Carrillo added. “I grew up with my dad pouring beer over the grill.”

He offers both a red sauce made from red peppers and a salsa verde that is milder. Toppings include grilled jalapeño peppers, grilled or fresh onions, cilantro and lime. 

But El Tacoman doesn’t usually serve cheese.

“It’s not the style and cheese melts,” he said. “We don’t put cheese on our tacos, not unless you really, really want it and then we’ll find you some cheese.”

Carrillo said he likes having his mobile taco stand because it gives him more versatility than a food truck.

“The good thing about a taco stand instead of a food truck is you don’t gotta worry about parking,” he said. “You set up anywhere you want, indoor or outdoor. With a taco stand, it doesn’t matter whether you’re inside or outside.”

While he isn’t doing his business full time yet, he says he enjoys setting up at different locations and sharing his style of tacos.

“I like seeing people enjoy my food and just them having something different,” he said. “Everybody wants the authentic stuff. They want the real deal.”

Carrillo keeps those that are interested in his taco business updated his El Tacoman Facebook and Twitter accounts.


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