El Chilango in Arlington, VA

I was seriously, seriously *SERIOUSLY* EXCITED about eating at this place. When I say, “place,” I really mean FOOD TRUCK! As I’m typing this, my mouth is watering as I remember a time last weekend when I was in Mexican taco heaven. (cue in the harp music.)

Let me rewind a bit.

Typical weekend out with the family when suddenly hunger hits. And my hunger is telling me that it wants Mexican food. But there aren’t too many authentic Mexican restaurants in Northern Virginia, I tell it, but it didn’t care. It wanted tacos. Now.

Then it hits me – El Chilango! I remember reading about this a while back and how it maintains a steady 5 stars from hundreds of yelp reviewers who swear by its authenticity.

Growing up, we’d sometimes eat inside whatever vehicle we had at the time. Whether it was munching on fast food, or cherries and nuts from a roadside stand, eating with family on the go was always a good memory.

My husband, however, is not totally on board(get it???) with eating inside our van. Vannie, as we so affectionately call her, has fancy leather seats, specialized rubber mats, wood paneling and even mud flaps adorning her less than two-year-old self, and despite transporting three children around, still has that lovely new car smell.

The thought of taco meat juices and Mexican hot sauces dripping all over the fancy leather seats does nothing to make him want to eat at this taco truck. We’ll eat outside, I say. I was actually lying. I had no intention of eating outside in 40 degree weather. This is taco desperation. Lying to eat at a Mexican food truck.

We get off of Arlington Blvd and make our way toward the truck. I have visual now. So close…


After a fun time circling around no less than 4 million times to try to find parking, we finally park across the street, and we get out to order. There are people eating on the sidewalk, standing up, enjoying themselves.

At $2.50 each, this place is a steal! I order chicken tacos and the family orders a variety of meats. It’s pretty simple – corn tortillas topped with grilled, marinated meats, cilantro, onions and cucumber. There are sauces you can top the tacos, and if you ask, the owner (who is very nice!) will include a baggie of habanero relish. That’s pretty much it.

Definitely no frills, but full flavor. The first bite was the best.

We ended up eating in our van but we were really careful, of course. In fact, I had baby wipes near me just in case of an accidental taco spillage.

Two tacos each was not enough for us. We went back and ordered more and this time, I ate outside the van, without a jacket, in 40 degree weather because I didn’t want to risk the habanero relish van disaster.

The things we do for yummy food.

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