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FROM READERS: Pepe's food truck

Thursday, June 21, 2012 | 5:37 p.m. CDT; updated 6:01 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 21, 2012
At Pepe's food truck, photographed just past 11:30 a.m., a crowd was already forming. By the time Robin Nuttall got her food, the picnic table was full and there was a long line.

Robin Nuttall is from Columbia and has been writing the CoMo Whine and Dine blog since its inception in 2007. This story was originally posted on the blog June 12. 

I usually eat lunch at home, but I’ve been hearing great things about Pepe’s and, hey, they were literally right around the corner from me; about a mile from my house. So I decided it was time to give them a try.

What is Pepe’s? It’s a new food truck which moves around to various locations all over the city each day for lunch service. Food trucks are kind of a trend right now, but they’ve always been around; think fairs and outdoor events and you think a food truck. The new food truck renaissance tends to focus on very fresh, honestly prepared dishes served simply, often with local and/or seasonal ingredients. Basically, a gourmet flavor experience at an inexpensive price.

And I have to say, Pepe’s delivers on that theme.

Today, for my first time, I wanted to try several things. So I did an adobada taco (seasoned pork), a chicken taco, a cheese and poblano tamale, and a side of pico. I got my tacos on corn tortillas with cilantro, lettuce, cheese and tomato. My total was $5.75, and it took less than five minutes to fill my order. Since I was close to home, I promptly decamped.

So let me talk left to right. The cheese and poblano tamale was quite spicy. I liked the smooth texture and the heat. I think of the three things on my plate it was my least favorite, which could be because the two tacos were just that amazing; they kind of overshadowed the tamale.

I loved both tacos. It was just the right blend of flavors. Not too much of anything. I didn’t even really notice the cheese, which was fine; I don’t want or need a huge glob of cheese on everything. I am sure it was some type of Mexican cheese (versus the ubiquitous shredded cheddar we see too often). The corn tortillas were incredible. Obviously freshly made, they had just a tiny hint of almost sweetness to them; not sugar sweet, but the real flavor of good corn coming through. And of course I love fresh cilantro. Their salsa lends a deeper more complex note to the fresh simplicity of the rest of the ingredients.

While I really liked the adobada, I have to say the chicken was probably my favorite. If I had one small issue, it was with the size of the lettuce pieces. They were in big chunks which made them hard to deal with in the taco. Smaller shreds might actually work better here.

I realized after I ate everything that I’d totally forgotten about my pico! So it’s in the fridge awaiting tomorrow’s lunch.

The best way to find Pepe’s is to like their Facebook page. They post where their locations are going to be (they’ve posted the entire week for this week). They try to move around to different geographical locations through town. It’s well worth finding them. I can’t wait to try more of their dishes. For those of you who have been, what’s your favorite?

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

This photo shows Robin Nuttall's plate after she added Pepe's salsa and her version of sour cream — plain Greek yogurt.

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