When Tyler Bennett was growing up in Las Vegas, he took a liking to the tacos he'd find from street vendors. Such a liking, in fact, that he taught himself some basic Spanish so he could learn how to make them himself.
More than a decade later, Bennett is making those tacos and selling them out of his King of Tacos truck. He keeps them simple and true to the Southwest or Mexico — meat, onions, cilantro, lime and a little verde sauce — and serves them up all around the Inland Northwest.
"I keep my tacos about as authentic as they get," says Bennett, adding that he doesn't include cheese. Unless you ask for it, of course.
Bennett and his wife, Kim, took the business mobile after several years vending at local events. About four years ago, Bennett found a truck and spent two years gutting it and getting it into shape. During that time, though, things changed in the region's culinary scene.
"When I got the truck, I thought I'd be the only mobile [taco] guy around. By the time I got it finished, that wasn't the case," says Bennett, who nevertheless is collegial with other food trucks, working with other vendors to keep the culture and laws in the region supportive of mobile eateries.
In addition to street tacos (two for $5 or $7 with chips and salsa), King of Tacos also serves burritos, nachos and quesadillas, but overall it's pretty basic, and intentionally so, he says.
Bennett doesn't keep a regimented schedule of where he'll be on any given day, but he's made a habit of appearing at local breweries that don't serve their own food, like Perry Street Brewing, Iron Goat and 12 String. It's a natural team effort, he says.
"They are just like I am — trying to keep it simple. They can just eliminate the kitchen and have a food truck. It's a win-win for all of us," says Bennett. ♦
For King of Tacos' location and hours, catch them on Twitter @1kingoftacos