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05/10/2010

Taco Trucks and So Much More, Right Here in Columbus

5 de Mayo Cake from Taco nazo Last Wednesday I was walking by a bar in Downtown Columbus around lunchtime when I noticed an uncharacteristic hum of activity. Paper lanterns in bright green, pinks, and oranges were strung up around the courtyard. A young woman in an exotic dress stood at the entrance, stamping the hands of the steady stream of patrons walking into the bar.

I stood in the sunshine for a few seconds, pondering the cause of this mid-week celebration before it hit me. The large Corona posters behind the hostess were a helpful clue. These people were here to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

I then indulged in a few moments of condemning thoughts, harumphing that these youths were much less interested in celebrating the victory of the Mexican army over the French militia then they were interested in finding an excuse for a party. I speculated that if I were to march in and quiz every person clutching a cold beer, and ask them what they were celebrating, more than a few would incorrectly tell me that it was Mexican independence day.

I don't generally act this old. My memories of drinking green beer and partying until dawn because of a rumor that a Nostradamus had predicted our campus would go down in flames are still fresh in my mind. But my annoyance with the excitement over this fake holiday was rooted in my fear that by celebrating at a downtown bar, these people were missing out on a much more authentic way of celebrating Mexican culture. Instead of pounding Coronas at a nondescript downtown bar, they could have been tucking into delicious tacos at one of Columbus' 30 Taco trucks.

I only recently learned about the Columbus Taco Trucks. It's just another facet of this town's rich and diverse culinary scene that keeps on taking me by surprise. I sampled my first one the other night: Taco Nazo. The relaxed meal sitting at a card table under the evening sky in the well-lit parking lot was completely different than what I expected. I've been craving their incredibly fresh beef tacos ever since. I now plan on trying as many of the other taco trucks as I can, beginning with the famous roast chicken of Los Potosinos on the West Side.

Columbus has so much to offer for foodies hungry for tastes from around the world. From authentic Japanese at Kihachi to Greek buffets at Anna's Greek Cuisine, it's all there for the taking: a world of food in the heart of Ohio. I just wish more people were interested in waking up their tastebuds and taking advantage of the culinary riches at their fingertips.

This is an original Ohio Moms Blog post. When not dragging her kids to exotic restaurants, Vanessa blogs about cooking and parenting at Chefdruck Musings.

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