San Antonio: Mini Lamb Tacos with Cilantro & Queso Fresco at Tin Can Tacos

by Megan Giller |

One of the best things about food trailers is that they’re on wheels. So if they want to pick up from, say, San Antonio and truck all the way to, oh, I don’t know, Jasper, Missouri, they can say the word and get on the road. That’s exactly what Tin Can Tacos did just a few weeks ago, in order to help feed the tornado victims.

Manny Olivarez, the owner, traveled 1,400 miles to serve his tacos, tortas, and other Mexican delicacies to those in need. I tried his fare when Tin Can Tacos was parked at the Boardwalk on Bulverde, their semi-permanent location; my favorite were the lamb mini tacos, five bite-size homemade corn tortillas filled with flavorful, herb-seasoned ground lamb and topped with fresh cilantro, grilled onions, and a snowy blanket of queso fresco. The carnitas mini tacos were a bit bland, but Olivarez’s homemade pineapple-habanero salsa made up for it: Its consistency resembled a chutney more than a salsa, but the deceptively sweet taste paired with a hot peppery kick at the end made for a flavorful topping.

I had high hopes for the chicken torta but was disappointed by the tasteless chicken and bland avocado-cilantro sauce. The bolero that made up the bulk of the sandwich, on the other hand, was soft, grilled, and delicious, though it didn’t quite hold up against the barrage of chicken, lettuce, tomato, queso fresco, and avocado-cilantro “salsa.” Frankly, for a Mexican food trailer, there wasn’t much happening on the Scoville scale at this location.

The one thing that was hot—piping, even—was the homemade churro with a cajeta filling. Now, it’s hard to mess up a doughnut, but this churro was in a whole different category: a slightly crunchy, cinnamon-and-sugar-dusted exterior, soft doughy breading on the interior, and creamy goats’ milk caramel in the middle.

Tin Can Tacos is planning to trek back to the Midwest in a few weeks with four other trucks. (Their main partner is Wheelie Gourmet, but for the sake of Oklahomans and Missourians everywhere, I sure hope Wheelie leaves their salmon, feta cheese, pickled turnip, and raspberry vinaigrette “sandwich” in San Anton.) They’ve started a fundraiser called Food Truck’s Road Trip for Relief, and on Saturday, June 18, there will be a benefit concert at the Texas Music Theater, in San Marcos, to raise money for the trip. I’m betting that in addition to great bands, they’ll be serving some awesome lamb tacos and churros to boot.

Trailer location: Boardwalk on Bulverde, 14732 Bulverde Rd., San Antonio (210-913-6758). Open Tue–Sat 11–3, 5–9, Sun 11–3. Closed Mon.

Benefit concert: Saturday, June 18. Texas Music Theater, 120 E. San Antonio, San Marcos.