Back in 2010, I commuted to Hoboken once a week to work on a software development project. Our team would lock ourselves in a tiny conference room and fight about discuss project details, user interface, and what should happen when you hit the back button. Gripping stuff. A key motivation for making quick decisions was that we knew, when we wrapped up for the day, that we were only moments away from experiencing the most amazing taco deliciousness ever. We would pour out of that conference room and run to the tiny Taco Truck Restaurant. It was so good – the homemade corn tortillas, the totally fresh ingredients, the funky feels-like-a-truck décor. I was hooked. I was a total TTT junkie.
The project ended. I moved on to different companies. I became more rooted here in Hopewell, which is an amazing town. But one that has no tacos.
Now, I fall squarely in the “absence makes the heart grow fonder” camp and am a card carrying member of the “nothing is impossible” brigade. So last year I made it my goal to bring tacos to Hopewell. The Taco Truck’s Tacos Carnitas to be absolutely specific. I quickly discovered that bringing the actual Taco Truck food truck to my house was way out of our household party budget. So I cooked up a little event called Food Truck Friday. Some might say that I convinced the Boro to host a food truck party for thousands, because I missed The Taco Truck’s guacamole.
As I was working with TTT’s catering manager on the food truck event, she mentioned something about the Taco Truck opening a restaurant in Princeton. My heart skipped a beat. I tried to pry out more information. She couldn’t tell me the location. She couldn’t be more specific about when the restaurant would open. All she could tell me was that it was in the works.
And then, late fall, word began to spread. I saw some buzz on social media. Then I got an email from the catering manager. It was happening, The Taco Truck was putting down roots at Princeton Shopping Center.
On December 27th The Taco Truck opened at Princeton Shopping Center, taking over the space where The Learning Express used to be. My taco dreams came true!
The restaurant isn’t big, but it’s clean, shiny, and very cool. Like their other restaurants, when you go up to order, you feel like you are ordering at a food truck window. There’s a big garage door that can be opened up to the center courtyard and combination of high tables with stools, counters, and regular tables. My kids, of course, insisted on sitting at the stainless steel counter, because sitting on stools where your feet don’t reach the floor is pretty exciting when you are 6 and 8.
As for the menu. Well, it’s delicious. And filled with a few new options. Like burritos. And salads (with pumpkin seeds). And their fountain sodas are made with cane sugar. The Polo Asado Tacos ($7.00) with grilled chicken and pickled onion, have edged out the Caritas Tacos as my new favorite. Oh, and did I mention the corn on the cob? It’s magical.
They have a kid’s taco for $3.50, which is 1 flour tortilla with chicken or beef and queso. My kids prefer to order the Polo Asado Tacos with ONLY chicken. No Salsa. No Cheese. Definitely No Pickled Onion. My guys prefer these because they come with three tacos on soft corn tortillas. My picky, Franco’s pizza loving, only chicken nuggets or mac and cheese at home kids, devour these tacos. Bringing the whole family isn’t cheap. But it’s delicious food made with good ingredients, by some pretty nice people.
We felt super special because we were invited to their pre-opening Friends and Family event. It gave The Taco Truck staff an opportunity to practice before opening day, and it gave us an opportunity to get to know the folks behind the scenes. They’ve got some local-ish roots and are excited to become a part of the community. On their official opening day, patrons paid what they wanted, and all proceeds ($3,500) went to Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.
We’ve been back twice already. Same great food, same nice people. A bit quicker on the orders coming out. Central NJ sure just got a whole lot more delicious.
Contributor: Susan Gross Pollara has been on a life-long quest to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. Currently, her business card reads Marketing Manager, mother of 2, Foodtruck Friday founder, and adoring fan of Hopewell Boro.