Alebrijes Food Truck Shines With Delicious Oaxacan Fare
Parked in the King-Lincoln Bronzeville neighborhood, this Oaxacan food truck showcases the talents of Luz Maria Garcia and sons.
Alebrijes opened in January 2020, in the former parking lot home of Los Potosinos in King-Lincoln Bronzeville neighborhood. The food truck is run by Luz Maria Garcia (owner and salsa master) and her sons, Mike and Alex Reyes Garcia. (Alex is a veteran of Columbus’ fine-dining scene, most notably, Veritas.). At the imposing charcoal grill is Greg O’Bannon, who boasts 19 years of barbecue pedigree (and warns that your waistline may expand once you’re hooked on his cooking).
At first glance, the menu of Alebrijes reads like other taco trucks in town—$2 tacos with a choice of protein and cilantro and onion, plus burritos and tortas. But, as with any Mexican restaurant worth its hot sauce, the X-factor is in the details. Like taking care to cut cilantro once so as not to bruise it. Giving onions a good, fine dice. Charring ground chorizo for crispy texture, but without drying it out. Pickling red onions with lime juice and tossing in a few slices of habanero for a tiny kick.
Six days a week, Alebrijes serves well-executed, delicious Oaxacan dishes to a steady flow of regulars (who insist this is the best truck in the city) and newcomers (who’ve heard good things).
Four meaty and tender pork ribs come dry-rubbed and smoked to the bone in the rib plate ($14). It’s peppery and salty with a kiss of heat—a mashup between a Garcia family seasoning blend and that of grill master Greg’s. The grilled chicken ($12) gets the same seasoning and charcoal grill treatment. All plates come with piping hot tortillas, tomato-y rice and refried black beans chock-full of character from garlic, hoja santa and avocado leaves. I soaked up every last crumb with leftover tortillas because wasting seemed irresponsible.
Big enough to share, the torta ($9) looks charmingly disheveled, as if the chipped and tender steak inside with mayo, refried black beans, lettuce and cheese could fall out any second. But it holds its shape inside crispy telera bread (sourced fresh from La Plaza Tapatia). Steak is a solid choice, but the tender pork is a must-try. Listed on the menu as al pastor, it’s more accurately adobada—pork marinated with chiles and peppery achiote.
Every order comes with a choice of salsa, but more can be purchased a la carte for a worth-it splurge of 50 cents to $1. If you can handle setting fire to your tongue, get a side of mango habanero that’s creamy and sweet and adds a layer of character to the torta and grilled dishes.
At its start, specials dominated the Alebrijes menu. Now more than a year and a half after the business launched, Alex says they’ve streamlined operations to make service more manageable. But there is one off-menu item he’d love to hear people order—his version of a fried egg taco, where he griddles the egg and tortilla together. PSA: Alebrijes opens at 9:30 a.m., conveniently just in time for breakfast.
What to order: Torta with marinated pork; rib plate; grilled chicken plate; all the salsas
Alebrijes Food Truck
1500 E. Long St., King-Lincoln Bronzeville, 614-363-9979