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News / Life / Dining Out

Tacos n’ Cream touts healthful, lower-fat options

The Columbian
Published: February 5, 2015, 4:00pm
3 Photos
Chester-Castillo Morales, owner of the Tacos n' Cream food truck, shows the El Chico Plato chicken taco meal on Jan.
Chester-Castillo Morales, owner of the Tacos n' Cream food truck, shows the El Chico Plato chicken taco meal on Jan. 22 in east Vancouver. Photo Gallery

Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Where: 13608 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd., Vancouver.

Contact: www.tacosandcream.com; Tacos n’ Cream is also on Facebook.

Health score: Tacos n’ Cream received a score of zero on Sept. 11 during a follow-up inspection to a routine inspection on Aug. 19, when the restaurant received a score of 37. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.

Why: Tacos n’ Cream serves up a fusion of Mexican, Latin and American flavors. The food truck recently relocated to a gas station near the corner of Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard and 137th Avenue, across from Kaiser Permanente. Menu selections provide a few meal choices, dessert and beverage items.

Chester-Castillo Morales, owner of Tacos n’ Cream, said that he has found a way to greatly reduce the fat content of meat before it is cooked, which, he said makes for a more healthful product. He said he is dedicated to serving his customers — whom he calls his “familia” — the very best he has to offer.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Where: 13608 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd., Vancouver.

Contact: <a href="http://www.tacosandcream.com">www.tacosandcream.com</a>; Tacos n' Cream is also on Facebook.

Health score: Tacos n' Cream received a score of zero on Sept. 11 during a follow-up inspection to a routine inspection on Aug. 19, when the restaurant received a score of 37. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.

Menu selection: Three entrée choices are a meat burrito (called the It), a vegetarian burrito (called the Smoky), and the El Chico Plato, which is a meat, rice, bean and tortilla meal. The El Chico Plato comes with either carne asada or chicken, as does the meat burrito. Beverages are Morales’ own invention. One is called a Nutty Wutty, which is a dairy-based drink that combines nuts, coconut, rice and “lots more,” according to the menu. You may also add coffee to it for an extra boost of energy. His other specialty drink is the Jamangotris, which is made with hibiscus flower, mango and a citrus base. The truck also serves fruit ice cream, which can be made with or without dairy.

What I tried: I settled on the El Chico Plato with chicken, and I sampled the vegetarian burrito.

The El Chico Plato was served in a Styrofoam to-go container. The chicken was mixed with white onions on the grill before it was placed in the container. Placed next to the chicken was a portion of rice and Cancun-style black beans. A small tub of “the green stuff” (a homemade, super-hot salsa puree) was placed alongside the chicken. Four grilled, corn tortillas were wrapped in foil to accompany the meal.

I found the chicken lean without any chewy pieces. It was highly seasoned and spicy hot, so I did not find it necessary to add the green stuff. I placed some meat and rice in a tortilla and rolled it up taquito-style before I ate it. The rice, which was somewhat salty, quenched some of the spiciness of the meat, and it was very satisfying. The whole black beans were in a soupy base and tasted sour to me. I did not enjoy them.

The vegetarian Smoky is made by mixing black beans, rice, pepper jack cheese and grilled onions, then wrapping it up in a flour tortilla and grilling it. Because the burrito contained a lot of the Cancun-style black beans, I did not find it appetizing. It was, however, packed with filling and certainly large enough for a meal.

Other observations: Morales offers a one-of-a-kind experience at his food truck with a video feed of how items are prepared, which you may watch on an outdoor TV screen while waiting for your meal. He is friendly and makes his customers feel welcome.

I showed up at 11 a.m. on the first day at his new location, and he did not arrive until 11:45 a.m. I returned the next day and he was open at 11 a.m.

Though the menu items are healthful in their own right, there are not any fresh vegetable options on the menu.

Cost: The El Chico Plato costs $8.99, as does the meat burrito. The veggie burrito is $5.69. A la carte items range from 59 cents to $6.99. Ice cream is $1.79 for one scoop and $3.29 for two scoops. The Nutty Wutty is $3.59 or $4.59 with coffee added. The Jamangotris costs $4.28.

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