Smile Politely

Los Hidalguense taco truck is way more than tacos

There’s a new food truck in town. Los Hidalguense parks daily in the Hunter’s Haven and Bargain Bins lot on Bloomington Road in Champaign. This black truck is simple with no pictures or characters: just the name, phone number, and the words “Tacos” and “Tortas” on the side of the truck.

Los Hidalguense taco truck is a black taco truck parked in a parking lot in Champaign. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I am always down for tacos. I like corn tacos, flour tacos, crunchy tacos, and soft tacos. Beef tacos, chicken tacos, fish tacos, pork tacos, veggie tacos. Give me all the tacos. I went for the tacos, but when I saw the menu, I knew I wanted to try a little of everything.

A spread of Mexican food: a taco, a burrito, chalupas, nachos, corn, and cups of sauce on a black table. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I ordered a taco, nachos, chalupas, a burrito, and a side of Mexican corn.

A pastor taco on a corn tortilla is overflowing with pork, cilantro, and onions on a white plate. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Since I came for the tacos, I will talk about the taco first. I tried the pastor taco Mexican style ($2.50). The taco had two soft, thick corn tortillas wrapped around pastor pork. The corn tortillas were the best I’ve ever had: so thick that the taco didn’t fall apart when I ate it. The pork was sweet, salty, and meaty with two sweet chunks of pineapple. I ordered it Mexican style, so they added lots of chopped onion and lots of cilantro which was great because that’s how I like my taco.

A large, square styrofoam container holds a lot of nachos covered in cheese inside. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I also ordered steak nachos ($8). They gave me ground beef instead of steak, but I also like ground beef, so it was fine. The nachos came with corn chips, cheese, beans, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, and sour cream. I ordered mine without jalapenos, and it came with no jalapenos.

A side shot of nachos featuring crispy corn chips with lots of cheese and sour cream. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The chips were plentiful; they had layered three or four layers of corn chips. The chips were thick and crunchy, even after driving 15 minutes home in a closed styrofoam container. A few in the middle were soft, but most chips were still crunchy, and I bet it’s because of how thick and solid these corn chips were. The nachos had a good amount of meat, ample sour cream and cheese, and just a bit of tomato, onions, and lettuce.

Three chalupas sit on tin foil inside a styrofoam container on a black table. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I tried the chapulas (3 for $6.50). They came open faced on grilled tortillas with chicken, mashed potatoes, lettuce, onions, queso fresco, and a green sauce. They definitely didn’t look as appealing as the nachos or the taco, but I dove right in.

A single chalupa on a white plate. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The chicken is shredded chicken, and honestly, it was quite plain; the chicken had no flavor. The mashed potatoes were a fun surprise and added a good texture to the chalupa. The green sauce is good and packs a small punch. It’s a thin, fresh tomatillo sauce with a little kick. The lettuce is minimal. The chalupa really needed more flavor, and thankfully, they provided three tiny cups of green sauce and three tiny cups of red sauce which I used generously. 

A tower of three small cups of red salsa stands next to a tower of three small cups of green salsa. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

They probably knew it needed sauce, and I’m grateful they provided it on the side instead of on top where it could make the chalupa mushy on my drive home.

A large burrito rolled lays on a parchment paper on top of tin foil. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I also wanted to try the burrito ($8). I ordered it with ground beef. It came rolled in a flour tortilla with ground beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, cilantro, rice, beans, and sour cream. It was huge — as all good burritos are. The flour tortilla was warm and soft with some brown marks from where it was cooked.

A burrito is sliced in half to reveal the inside of the burrito which is rice, ground beef, cheese, lettuce, onions, and sour cream. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The ground beef has lots of flavor: meaty and oily. The grilled onions gave an awesome sweetness that went well with the beef. The cheese had melted throughout, so I didn’t have any chunks or grated cheese: just had cheesy flavor. The rice had a nice texture with the refried beans. They went light on the lettuce and tomato. This burrito is mostly rice and meat, and I’m here for it.

A styrofoam cup of Mexican corn looks white with red powder. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Lastly, I got the Mexican corn ($3.50). The corn was covered with mayonnaise, queso cotija, and chili powder.

A cup of Mexican corn all stirred up. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I stirred it around and mixed it all together. The corn side dish was really creamy with a strong mayonnaise flavor. It finished with a chili spice. The corn was probably canned, but it was still a good texture alongside the little granules of the cojita cheese inside the super thick sauce. It’s a great creamy, spicy side.

This taco truck is big, but you can easily miss it. It’s on Bloomington Road near the Prospect Avenue, but it’s a bit more west. If you drive past Popeye’s on Bloomington, it’s three driveways down. If you miss it, the same parking lot has another driveway entrance, so if you pass the truck, you can still pull in without having to turn around.

There’s ample parking in the lot for Hunter’s Haven/Slot & Wings. The workers in the truck were all wearing masks, and they had hand sanitizer available for customers. You can order by phone at (217) 369-4371, or you can order in person at the truck. Bring some cash because you can’t add a tip to your credit card order.

Take a look at the menu. It’s simple, but it’s worth visiting this taco truck. I would recommend the tacos, the nachos, and the burrito.

A lime green menu of Los Hidalguense offerings. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Los Hidalguense
1040 W Bloomington Rd
11 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily

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