Written by Kon-Tiki Taco
From star-studded celebrity fundraisers and corporate launches to ... Beach Boy concerts, taco catering carts can be found everywhere you look.
Gourmet tacos are apparently the newest wave of pedestrian products – think little burgers and specialty pizzas – to go high style. Evidence of that are dozens of recognized restaurants featuring new interpretations of the taco in New York, Chicago, Louisville, Miami (of course), Denver and San Francisco. Their offerings include gluten-free and vegetarian tacos, plus grass-fed beef, pork, chicken, duck, and seafood fillings.
From the world of food trucks, where many get their first taste of this most traditional of Mexican dishes, tacos have come a long way, baby. Ingredients borrowed from the Caribbean (e.g., island-style whole black beans), and fold in seasoned tofu, mixed vegetables and sustainable fish stocks (e.g., tilapia). Chopped limes, onions, cilantro and salsa all keep many menu items tongue tantalizing and heart healthy.
But in Southern California, this infinitely adaptable and universally loved food isn’t restricted to one location. Mobile taco catering companies bring gourmet tacos to the venue – self-contained food carts can access just about any party location. With a traveling party set up (mobile margarita bars and entertainers are optional additions), the pan-cultural appeal of quality tacos fit a wide swath of occasions:
- Entertainment industry productions and premiers
- Sports pre-game parties
- Retail openings
- Fundraising events
- Corporate launches
- Museum parties
- Auto dealership promotions
- Private club occasions
- Schools and universities
- Real estate open houses (commercial and large-scale residential)
- Weddings, anniversaries, bar mitzvahs and birthdays
But tacos aren’t the only thing to go high-end. Mobile taco catering teams are expected to deliver friendly, competent service, and able to relate to broad spectrum of clients, from reserved CEOs to celebrities, boisterous sports fans or a must-be-perfect wedding party. The theme is an interpretation of the traditional fiesta – it’s food with a side of fun.
Why are better-quality tacos so popular now? Perhaps because tacos have gone fully international: some taco catering companies feature ingredients found in the Middle East, Australia and Africa. But even within the Latin American realm of ingredients, there is tremendous variety to what a taco can hold. For health- and weight-conscious diners, it’s possible to pack in healthier ingredients (vegetables, beans, fish, chicken and lean beef) that don’t pack on the pounds.
Some might liken a taco to a type of sandwich, but that comparison dies quickly: sandwiches are for school lunches and a workaday lunch break. An on-site taco cart is an occasion!
That lime wedge squeezed over a slowly-simmered carnitas taco might have a sibling in the neck of a cerveza bottle or a sangria recipe. And the hand-held nature of eating a taco, absent the inconvenience of forks and knives, allow a hearty meal without a complicated dining room setup. The party host with a mobile taco cart caterer can keep guests focused on each other, on a presentation, on products, on an honoree or a speaker – all while they enjoy fine food prepared fresh in their presence.
The taco needs to please, but just as important it supports the event. In stylish Southern California, it’s the accessory that pulls everything else together.