During our last trip to California’s capital city, Sacramento, we read a Facebook update with an announcement of a mini lunch round-up Downtown, including one of our favorite trucks, Wicked ‘Wich. Serving along side the ‘Wich were Volkswaffle, with its authentic Belgian waffles and El Matador, serving up a unique twist on the taco truck.
This was our chance to see for ourselves what everyone’s been raving about – El Matador, the bull fighter.
Draped in its red muleta, the El Matador truck parked bravely in center ring. Since we were only in town for the day, we decided to order about half of the menu, and we were more than pleased (and stuffed).
We couldn’t possibly have eaten all of the food that we ordered, but we were able to sample it all. We spent less than $35 for five items and two drinks – I’d call that a bargain!
Joseph Looza, Chef / Owner at El Matador uses only canola and extra virgin olive oil for cooking, and his meats are sourced from Harris Ranch, which produces some of the highest quality beef in the world.
Harris Ranch cattle are fed with pesticide-free corn and grass, with no proteins or other additives on sustainable ranches in Central California. Harris Ranch is a family owned business that takes pride in raising beef to be as pure and great tasting as nature intended.
Chef Joe serves both authentic Mexican fare, as well as some incredible Mexican/Asian fusion dishes from his El Matador food truck throughout the Greater Sacramento Region.
El Matador stands out from traditional taco trucks – this isn’t your typical lonchera truck, by any means. Not only does El Matador serve some of the most creative Mexican/Asian fusion dishes we’ve tasted, his “quasi secret menu” includes accommodations for a variety of dietary needs.
“We offer an amazing meatless fajita burrito with beans, rice, grilled peppers and onions, cheese, sour cream and salsa. We also have vegetarian nachos, tacos and such. The beauty of how we do things is that if a customer comes up to us with special needs; we can pretty much accommodate them as we control the ingredients being put into their meals. We do this right on the spot,” says Chef Joe.
Chef Joe makes his salsas and Asian slaw daily from scratch, and it shows. These are some very complex dishes – it’s not only about the meat. All too often do we encounter chefs who take their meat-based dishes to the highest level, but fail to deliver on the other ingredients. Chef Joe obviously makes a priority to focus on delivering the highest quality in every ingredient in his dishes.
Beef lifter meat is just above the rib eye on the cow, and is a choice cut beef particularly useful in fajitas. It’s a very tender and juicy beef that really delivers on flavor. But, what is “Matador Style,” Chef Joe?
“Matador style is a way I like to eat, instead of the normal tortilla, meat, cilantro and onion, I like to finish the taco with fresh pico de gallo and a sour cream drizzle for a real fresh flavor!”
When it’s all said and done, this was a spectacular bounty of traditional Mexican food and inspirational Asian fusion done perfectly and creatively. Chef Joe’s team delivered spot-on, without a doubt, and we know we’ll visit this mobile kitchen again. Joe’s passion shows in every dish – it’s consistent and it’s deliberate. Each dish that came through the pick-up window shined with Joe’s passion, talent and pride. There is no question that the El Matador Mobile Mex truck is a rising star that deserves its weight in accolades.
Service was outstanding and fast, and the presentation of the food was impeccable. I think the quesadilla could have used a little more cheese to offset the substantial portion of meat, but all of the dishes were outstanding.