Taco Truck Tour: Don Pedro

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The truck stops here: By a bright patch of grass in front of Mr. Big's Garden Inn (an old-school pool hall/tavern) is Don Pedro's small white truck. Near this one-woman-run operation (when I was there) is an accommodating picnic-appropriate table.

Specialties of the truck: Wholly dipped in a searing hot chili sauce and then crisply griddled, the diabolical panbazo is unlike any sandwich I have ever jammed into my slavering gob. I loved it!

By way of analogy, I'd say a torta is to the panbazo as an Olympic wrestler is to a luchador (you know, those wacky, mask-and-costume-clad Mexican grapplers). In other words, the flamboyantly glowing red panbazo is gaudy, even comical looking - but it will ferociously slam you to the mat with a resounding screech.

Packed with a sort of chorizo and potato stew (there's simply not enough sandwiches sporting tubers, are there?) plus some necessarily cooling-off crema, avocado and lettuce, this bread-bound stunner is wildly spicy and an unholy mess. Expect everything, from your glistening fingers to your goofy smile, to be stained a deep devil red.

Helping to kill that thrilling sting are Don Pedro's Aguas Frescas and Aguas Naturales - delicious, freshly blended fruit and ice drinks (try the papaya.)

If you dare: Don Pedro's "loco" style (of taco, torta, quesadilla) lives up to its crazy name. It's a loony mix of chopped meats sauteed with jalapeno and onion set alluringly ablaze with a nutso blast of flaming hot chili sauce.

Somewhat similarly (but not spicy), the Alambre is a preponderance of sauteed vittles (beef, bacon, peppers, onion and chopped hot dogs) presented in an absurdly gargantuan serving.

Don Pedro

6066 Cleveland Ave., North Side