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Restaurant review: El Comalito offers cheap, tender, flavorful eats

El Comalito is located at 237 King Ave. in front of Vikin Premium Beverage.  Credit: Matthew Lovett / Senior Lantern reporter

El Comalito is located at 237 King Ave. in front of Viking Premium Beverage.
Credit: Matthew Lovett / Senior Lantern reporter

The Mexican-style food truck inspires two feelings: excitement and suspicion. Whether you end up following through with a purchase is truly up to which feeling you hold more, the latter feeling clearly questioning the quality of the food from a vehicle.

I personally get excited. Especially when one of these particular mobile eateries, El Comalito, moved right into my neck of the woods (it’s in closer proximity than just my woods, I can literally see the truck from my porch).

El Comalito’s fare is largely to be expected, similar to that of trucks and restaurants of the like, including big chain cousin Chipotle. The choice comes down to how you want your pile of vegetables, sauce and meat/protein wrapped: taco, burrito, quesadilla, tostada or torta, all of which are arguably the same meal, nuanced by the tortilla’s position.

This spot distinguishes itself from the competition by offering a breakfast menu, which is conveniently served all day. This menu mirrors that of the aforementioned with slight alterations, generally adding eggs to the mix. I chose my first El Comalito meal from this menu: it was one of the day’s specials for $5.

El Comalito Sandwich was basic in composition: carnitas (pork), eggs, avocado and jalapeno aioli were mashed between two toasted pieces of bread. Sounds like craveable, ultra-savory breakfast food, right? Unfortunately, it did not prove to be as aperitive as its ingredients would imply. The carnitas were a tad bland, the avocado seemed to be only a dense filler. The taste of fried egg was the strongest, which I suppose made the sandwich a fitting item for the breakfast menu.

I knew from trusted word of mouth this could not have been a signifier for all of El Comalito’s offerings. Going back, I went for a barbacoa (beef) burrito ($6, which is about as expensive as it gets here) with all of the fixings: lettuce, tomato, cheese, rice, beans and sour cream. Saucing it up with one of their several, help-yourself bowls of varying spiciness, the experience was a 180 from the breakfast meal. The meat was exactly how you would fantasize it to be — tender and flavorful — and all of its toppings introduced themselves nicely without being overbearing. Admittedly, this is sort of superfluous in discussing burritos, but one of these from El Comalito is truly what the body craves.

This stand clearly excels in the traditional realm, and consumers should consider this when going. Regardless, as is standard with food trucks, it is cheap eats and ought to be pursued as such (you get what you pay for). It’s also noteworthy that El Comalito offers a frequent buyer punch card, giving you your seventh meal free. For vegetarian/vegan options, they can make any of their food with a special soy-based protein, so you don’t have to succumb to a wrapped salad.

You can try El Comalito out for yourselves just south of campus at 237 King Ave., in front of Viking Premium Beverages.

Grade: B-


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