Adam, returning from a long trip overseas seeks out some traditional American fare: street tacos.
It’s been one lazy-assed summer. At least for me. Adam’s been galavanting around the European countryside eating fabulous food and drinking amazing beer, while I’ve been doing the same…only in my backyard, not Austria. I could have been writing posts about my finely honed BBQ sauce or my kickass loganberry jam, but who’d read that crap? The pictures would surely leave something to be desired. Truth is, I love nothing more than sitting around in the sumer time and doing absolutely nothing. Just ask my neighbors, the kudzu of blackberry and morning glory ominously framing my property has already claimed a few small children. We’re a bit out of practice here at Gritty City food, and what better to knock off the rust than a soft landing at a safe little taco truck on 6th Ave? I mean, it’s in the midst of everything else, conspicuously adjoined to a payday loan carcass like some sort of Frankenrestaurant just waiting for an eager food blogger to expend several hundred words on the glory that is street tacos on 6th Ave.
If you’re into that sort of thing, read on…
Although my European experience is limited to a year in my infancy, I can undoubtedly proclaim that the Mexican food in Tacoma should far exceed your average Euro taco stand…if in fact they do exist, which for the sake of this post we will assume is the case. I imagine a Prague taco would probably involves a lot of gravy, which sounds awful…or delicious.
The truck is appropriately unrefined, as any taco truck should be. Other than the red “Sonia’s Tacos” sign painted in large asymmetrical letters, the truck looks like any other in Tacoma – the attached building being its one distinguishing factor. The interior is home to some kitschy oversized wooden utensils, an atrocious glass painting circa 1991, and a conspicuous teller’s window from the building’s previous incarnation. Accompanying the stunning interior is a rather comfortable seating area, a luxury lacking in most taco stands, which makes Sonia’s a good lunchtime stop for anyone seeking shelter during the “r months”… and let’s admit it, much of the summer too.
The menu is host to all the quick lunch eats you’d expect: tacos ($.99), burritos ($3.99), tortas ($4.25), quesadillas ($4.25), sopes (3 for $5.25), tostadas ($2.50), etc. with all the traditional meats: chicken, carnitas, steak, marinated pork, and beef tongue. The plate selection is a bit limited, but includes some staples like pollo asado, carnitas, and enchiladas.
My favorite truck staple is a carnitas torta, so I ordered one…and for good measure got some mulitas as well, which are essentially taco/quesadilla hybrids. One steak, the other tongue. Adam opted for the carnitas plate and an assortment of tacos. When our orders were shouted over the aluminum-lined counter we retrieved our paper plates adorned with pickled carrots and lime. The tortillas are fresh as ever, and alone make Sonia’s a very worthwhile trek over the pseudo-Mexican offered on the other side of 6th (ahem…Taco Bell and it’s new neighbor Taco Time). The torta was was loaded with fresh ingredients, but was surprisingly light. Perfectly sized for lunch, this torta won’t leave you feeling bloated during an afternoon conference call. The meat – so crucial to the success of these stands – was tender, but a bit lacking in flavor. The carnitas wasn’t chewy at all, as it can be even at some of my favorite places, but was under-seasoned. The tongue too was under-seasoned but tender, the far more critical component for good tongue.
The tacos and carnitas were similarly well prepared but underwhelming flavor-wise. The tortillas were solid, as were the beans and rice, but nothing mind blowing. I regret not trying the enchilada sauce, maybe some kind commenter can enlighten us?
The prices are totally reasonable, although the portions are smaller than most. The menu is average, but has the taco truck essentials most people are looking for. The food is solid, but a touch underwhelming. A mixed bag, Sonia’s at least satisfied Adam’s itch for Mexican, and surely destroys the Euro truck competition.
Although it ranks relatively far down the chain of Tacoma taco trucks, it is such a vast improvement over the taco chains on 6th. Grab the next poor sap you see heading into Taco Time and tell them to expend the energy and walk two blocks down 6th. Their stomach will thank you.
If you aren’t confined to 6th go to the La Fondita taco truck in the Lincoln district. Still the best.
As always, mention us and get…nothing! Just some tender under-seasoned tacos.2516 6th Ave Tacoma, WA