The strip of Occidental Avenue running past CenturyLink Field and into Safeco Field is a strange place. Cars drive lazily by people cutting across the street as though it didn’t exist. Motorcycles rev their engines when they see familiar faces. Food stand after food stand pop up from the backs of trucks and the edges of industrial garage doors. It’s the perfect mix of fast paced life meets slow down and have a bite in Seattle’s Sodo.
El Camion’s newest food trailer has joined the crowd; their other two locations are in Ballard—5314 15th Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98107—and North Seattle—11728 Aurora Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98133. With some places I would tell people to steer clear of this dish or that dish. At other joints, I’ve been known to say you must order the “X.” At El Camion, I can’t decide. I want it all. Yet, I can’t eat it all. I have already proven that to myself. Even giving way to the top of my pants didn’t make enough extra room.
If I had to tell you to skip things, I’d say the Torta and the Tamales. While the Mexican sandwich is filled with flavor, the loaf of French bread it’s served on is larger than my head and leaves little room for anything else. The Tamales, while good, are a little mushy for my taste. Even so, if you pick one, the chicken-mole is a spicy bite of deep richness.
The Gorditas are like little Mexican pizzas from heaven. The handmade tortillas are thick and spread with Cotija cheese. They come covered with grilled onions, salsa, avocado and your choice of meat.
As tacos go, I think El Camion might now have my favorite. They are definitely more expensive, but they’re also bigger and have more complex flavors than most taco trucks. They are topped with a fresh tomato salsa, cilantro, and freshly squeezed lime. As with all good Mexican joints, you get your choice of meat and the list is long: carne asada (grilled top sirloin), pollo asada (grilled chicken), carnitas (traditional pork), cochinita pibil (seasoned pork), adobada (marinated spicy pork), chorizo (fresh Mexican sausage), lengua (tongue), tripas (boiled and grilled), cabeza (beef cheeks), and veggies. For an additional cost, they offer fish tacos made with unbreaded white fish and topped with a cabbage slaw.
By far, the best bang for your buck is the burrito. It’s at least a foot long and, unlike most burritos which are dominated by rice and beans, this one is full of meat. There’s plenty of sour cream and the salsa is spread so you get a little in nearly every bite.
Special platters include chicken smothered in chipotle or mole sauce. But, the real specialty is the civeche. Packed with shrimp swimming in red onion, chiles, cilantro, tomato, and lemon and lime juices, it comes topped with avocado and served with chips.
They also serve breakfast all day, filling flour tortillas with scrambled eggs and various concoctions of veggies and meat.
To follow the trucks, check out their Twitter handle: @elcamionseattle. They frequently offer daily specials, new menu items and twitter web discounts.
Tacos: $1.45 each (Fish: $2.00)
Burritos: $6.85 (Veggie: $6.15 & Fish: +$0.50)
Plato Mexicano: $8.00
Plato Mole: $9.00
Shrimp Civeche: $6.50
Posole (Soup): $6.00
Huevos con Jamón: $6.25
Huevos con Chorizo: $6.85
Huevos con Verduras: $6.25
1021 Occidental Ave.
Seattle, WA 98134