Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Gourmet truck trend is rolling, but El Mariachi is grounded

Gourmet trucks are all the rage right now -- but sadly, El Mariachi is stuck in park.

Although loncherias have a long, noble history in Denver, Jesse Morreale and Sean Yontz were the first to get on board the tricked-out truck concept, creating El Mariachi, a hipster taco truck, for Mezcal four years ago. "It amuses me, all this truck stuff," Morreale says. "I came up with ours after seeing an ice cream truck for sale in Grand Junction. I had never heard about all these hipster trucks cruising around the Coast."

But it was a rough ride for El Mariachi, which was held hostage at one point (read Jason Sheehan's hilarious account here) and then put in park by the management switch at Mezcal in late December.

Today, Morreale and Yontz have their hands more than full with El Diablo, their ambitious restaurant (a big menu, and bigger hours) that should open within the month at First and Broadway. And when it does, it will feature tacos and other Mexican street food that will leave their former truck fare in the dust.

Meanwhile, Denver's gourmet truck trend keeps picking up speed, and plans for an official gourmet truck gathering in Denver -- inspired by the Portland pods -- are progressing. Truck owners are exploring options right now; look for a public launch date sometime in August.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun