As part of our team-building exercise, or merely an excuse to get outside, KB, AM and I decided to take some time this summer to visit the food trucks near our office. First up, AM suggested to try Arturo’s Mexico To Go. The promise of Arturo’s is that its food is fresh, sourced locally, and uses hormone free meat. The recipes are a fusion of Spanish and traditional Mexican food. AM was quite looking forward to this lunch as he had his eyes on them for quite some time now.
Even though they had some specials on menu, I went for one of its regular items, Gringa. It’s Arturo’s original recipe, with rotisserie pork and warm salsa as filling, with rice, beans and salad on the side. You have the option of white or whole wheat tortilla, and mine was with white soft tortilla. It turns out to be quite similar to quesadilla. In fact, it made me wonder how different this is compared to their quesadilla. The tortilla was grilled to be a bit crispy on the edges. The filling was gooey thanks to the mozzarella cheese, and the warm salsa was a bit vinegary and had a lot of caramelized onions. The portion size was quite big, with three generous slices of stuffed tortilla. On the other hand, I was a bit disappointed by the amount of meat in the filling. I opened up each slice to find my meat, and still couldn’t really see much of it. However, with the few bites of meat that I had, it was flavourful and quite moist. We could choose the level of heat in our chipotle sauce; I chose mild because I wasn’t sure how spicy its food is. Mild was not spicy at all. I couldn’t taste any of it.
KB also ordered a Gringa, with whole wheat tortilla. KB rated his Gringa 7.5/10. I would probably rate mine a 7/10, especially with the service I received…more to follow.
AM picked the Beef Burrito, which in his own words, was “like Steamroller’s burritos, but better”. I’m not sure how much of a compliment that is. It seems to have a decent amount of meat in the burrito, at least more than what I could find in my Gringa. Both KB and AM ordered the medium spicy chipotle sauce, and neither of them found it spicy. Based on my observation of their tolerance against spicy food, I do believe on the whole the spicy level of Arturo’s chipotle sauce is on the milder side.
I have some issue with the service here. This is my first time here, so obviously I had no idea how it works; yet the staff in the truck seemed and behaved rather impatiently with me when I failed to specify that I wanted white tortilla (they had to prompt me for that, like “duh don’t you know that?”). Or when it was time to choose what goes on my Gringa. Apparently there’s a bunch of ingredients written in some bright orange colour on this transparent piece of glass/plastic that sits against some colourful pop bottles/cans. Frankly I couldn’t really read what’s written there and it wasn’t clear to me that I have to choose anything because it’s all listed on the menu what goes in my Gringa. So fine, when I was prompted, I just followed the guy in front of me and went with “everything, please”. Whatever that means. Other than the man at the cash register, I found everyone in the truck rather unfriendly (and KB shared the same sentiment) and it seems like they had assumed that everyone would know what and how to order.
While the food was not bad, and offered reasonable value for $9.50 a Gringa, the overall experience got pulled down by the less-friendly staff in the truck. I was also disappointed by the lack of heat in its sauces, which feels like it’s been toned down for the mainstream audience. I’m almost certain that we could find something better elsewhere in town.
Arturo’s Mexico To Go
775 West Cordova Street, Vancouver (Howe & Cordova)