Detroit: Jacques’ Tacos Keeps on Truckin’

by Bonnie Caprara

Forget everything you’ve ever known or assumed about food from catering trucks – or tacos, for that matter.

After Chef Wes Holton rolled back into town after serving as executive chef at the now-closed Daniel Boulud Brasserie at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, and with the desire to hop on the gourmet food truck craze that’s sweeping Los Angeles and New York City, he launched Jacques’ Tacos, named after his English bulldog.

“I’ve been cooking French my whole life and we’ve always had a lot of Mexican employees in the kitchen,” Holton says. “It’s a good marriage between the two. With the economy hurting, we wanted to offer something affordable. You can omit the frills and offer a nice quality meal.”

Instead of the $32 hamburger with foie gras and short ribs he used to prepare at Daniel Boulud Brasserie, Holton serves up braised beef short rib tacos for $2.50. Grilled chicken, slow-roasted pork and marinated avocado tacos are on the menu, too. With a small kitchen area on the truck, each of the taco offerings are big on flavors, topped with an avocado sauce and fresh black bean and corn salsa lightened with a splash of lime juice and a sprinkling of cilantro. Seven-way smothered beans and rice and homemade tortilla chips topped with salsa are served as sides.

Admittedly, Holton says, “People tend to get a little confused because we don’t have the traditional Mexican tacos.”

Regardless, Jacques’ Tacos attracts a steady stream of customers who line up wherever he parks his truck to get their gourmet to-gos at fast food prices. Since Holton hit the road two and a half months ago, Jacques’ Tacos makes regular stops in Canton on Sundays, Farmington Hills on Wednesdays and Fridays, and Royal Oak on Saturdays. The schedule changes on occasion to include special events and private parties and is posted on Jacques’ Tacos website, Facebook page and Twitter feeds.