Taqueria Goodness: Adobada (and a Mexican food Primer)
We're part of an international street food festival at DropoutDiaries. We thought we'd share the goodness that is adobada, at taqueria trucks all over the Pacific Northwest.
This food truck is located in Toppenish, Washington. Located in the south central part of Washington, off of Highway 97. Toppenish is on the Yakima Reservation. Get off the highway and head into town. It located in a parking lot, near Safeway. There are several Taqueria trucks in town – you can’t go wrong with any of them. The Taqueria trucks aren’t seasonal (although there will be more during crop season) – there should be at least 3 or 4.
Toppenish has a huge number of migrant workers, because of the large amount of fruit grown there and agricultural work. There are a plenty of good Mexican places to eat in Toppenish. The truck owners are bilingual, with Mexican Spanish being the main language. This particular food truck is popular because it is open late.
The prices are very reasonable. The food is savory and delicious.
The taqueria trucks are there for everyone – people just roll up and then get what they want to eat, and then go about the rest of their business. The orders go quite quickly – maybe 2 or 3 minutes to make your food, because everything is prepped. It’s fast and easy and delicious. Usually the burritos are wrapped in paper and then tinfoil, but occasionally it is packaged in a Styrofoam container to hold the extra supplies, for a quick meal on the go.
There are many flavors of Mexican Jarritos sodas for sale and even delicious Mexican Coke, in the coolers. Also in the coolers will be salsas, hot sauces, pickled jalapeno mixture, and limes.
My favorite, Adobada, is a style of meat, usually pork. The Adobada is typically simmered with red chilies, vinegar, and oregano, and then shredded.
You can get the meat on tacos, on a torta, in a burrito, or whatever form you’d like. At this truck, my adobada burrito came with a pickled jalapeno, a few chips, and some salsa roja, (red sauce). In the burrito, there are rice and beans, lettuce and chopped onions, and meat. Flavorful and delicious, like you’d expect it to be. Nice and hot, mouthwatering. The tortilla chips are homemade, crunchy, and salty. The jalapeno is a nice touch.
The tacos are served on two corn tacos each stacked flat, meat, a little beans and rice and vegetables (shredded carrots and lettuce or cabbage), on the top. Usually the tacos come in threes. People gather it up into a ball and start munching on it. This is served with small containers of sauce, quartered small limes, and raw radishes on the side.
The Meat (and a recipe):
Barbacoa is a spicy barbecue style meat. Sometimes it is saucy like bbq ribs, other times just spiced up with bbq spices.
Carnitas (this is almost always pork) - is shredded pork shoulder that is fried up again in its own cooking juices (and fats).
Here’s how to do it: I made carnitas at work in January. I actually used pork loin instead of shoulder. I slow cooked it in the crock pot. In said crock pot went: 1 bottle of Mexican Coke, one tetra pack of chicken broth, sliced up onion, mexican oregano, cumin, coriander, garlic, chili powder, black pepper, lemon juice. It cooked for maybe 4 hours. Then I shredded it. Lastly, I refried it all in the juices and the fat. Sizzled until CRISPY, but hopefully not dry...
Asada - usually spiced steak.
Al Pastor is achiote pepper and citrus based, with vinegar.
Lengua is tongue (um, I just haven't tried this one yet).
Tripa is tripe (see above for experience tasting this traditionally "delicious" "meat").
Milanesa is (like) chicken fried steak/ country fried steak.
Pollo is chicken.
I love chile rellenos, queso blanco stuffed poblano chiles, dipped in egg and breaded, then fried.
How it’s served:
Tacos, as above
Burritos, as usual, but the Mexicans tend to griddle fry them lightly to produce that awesome crunch.
Tortas are sandwiches (on a big roll/bun), often with lettuce or cabbage.
Sopes/sopas are fried rounds with one's choice of meat on top + veg.
Huaraches are the same as sopes but thicker and often square/ rectangular
Flautas are rolled up corn tortillas with whatever in them and then a sauce.
and Tamales. oh Dear Baby Jesus in your tiny manger crib, Thank YOU for tamales. Put whatever goodness appeals into the middle and steam, baby, steam.
For more information on authentic Mexican food, please see
And if you're driving through Toppenish, be sure to stop by and eat well.
All photos courtesy and copyright Ben Voigts
This is also part of Wanderfood Wednesday at Wanderlust and Lipstick - head over to see great food from around the world!