I'm always glad to see a good food truck make the move into a regular restaurant. I'm doubly glad when it's one of my favorite taco trucks, triply happy when it moves into a fixed location within walking distance of my home, and four times as thrilled when there's delicious beer being served.
1517 30th Street, South Park
So imagine my lazy, lazy joy when I found out Tacos La Mezcla had made a deal to take over the restaurant half of my neighborhood brewery, South Park Brewing Company.
South Park Brewing has served food from the very beginning, initially operating as a fish market counter. But that concept never really took off, and over the past couple years its menu has shifted, and its service area remodeled, as it tried in vain to establish a culinary identity to complement a block already in possession of great Italian food, vegan fare, and burgers.
Enter La Mezcla. Back in August, owner Francisco Moreno celebrated the fourth anniversary of his truck with a day of pop-up service at the South Park brewery. Following that successful collaboration, brewery owner Scot Blair and fellow South Park resident Moreno decided to make a symbiotic relationship out of it, and in January La Mezcla started serving its food at the brewery full time.
Tacos La Mezcla the truck is still out there, turning up at other breweries and spots like the Cross Border Xpress bridge at the Tijuana Airport. But here in South Park, I have only a short stroll to stock up on Mezcla's tacos, nachos, or one of my new favorite's: a hearty barbacoa beef bowl served with rice, pinto beans, guacamole, crema, and pico de gallo for $8.75.
But what's got me writing about this whole new arrangement is the addition of a Sunday special: pozole.
I can't imagine the logistical headaches of trying to serve soup out of a tiny truck kitchen, and it's the surest indication that moving into the South Park kitchen has allowed Moreno to expand Mezcla's menu.
A chili pepper-infused broth has long made pozole my favorite non-noodle soup, and the chicken stock here runs a rich red, teeming with warm not hot smoky pepper profile. Along with the namesake pozole (hominy), this soup is packed with chucks of pork belly, and baby back rib, falling off the bone.
I never imagined such porky, soupy decadence would be available so close to home, and any remotely chilly, rainy Sunday, this hefty $8.75 portion of soup will now be the first option to warm my gullet. The rest of the week, I'll settle for tacos.