Hearty Tacos for Every Hangover
By Ashley Bennett
The famous Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival has finally arrived, causing ticket wielders to jump with glee and non-ticket holders to become . . . well, depressed. There’s no doubt that the grass is clearly greener on the ironically dirt-covered side of the desert that annually features heat, non-stop music and good food. While normally you’d find a review of a restaurant here, we’re taking a slight deviation from the typical food review to spotlight good eats you’ll find at the festival. Plus we’ve discovered a few tacos that are great hangover assistants too.
This year especially there is clear effort to keep people healthy with food that’s halfway decent. There’s going to be an organic Farmer’s Market as well as a special aim toward options for vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free diners. There’s plenty of hearty, fattening food too; through word of the internet (no thanks to the press team at Coachella—those damn hipsters and their silly secrecy) we’ve gathered a list of what Coachella-goers are bound to find. Delectable choices from high-class restaurants of both New York based Baohaus and the more locally known Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse cover the “expensive but good” category. However there are plenty of cheap, filling eats offered by vendors like LA’s Pink’s Hot Dogs, Mobile Espresso, the Juicebox truck, Epic Burritos, Spicy Pie, Border Grill, Green Truck and Coolhaus (ice cream freakin’ sandwiches). Disclaimer: I can’t totally guarantee that this stuff won’t change.
One very popular vendor, The Kogi BBQ Taco Truck, is also going to be present with their famously saucy menu (available in both the VIP and communal food areas). The menu is dominated by tacos with a few burritos, the occasional burger and quesadillas that balance out the choices. Kogi’s little street tacos are especially cheap though, priced at a little over $2 a piece. The Short Rib Taco is slathered with sauce and covered in ample lettuce, making it both satisfying and sweet. The opposing Spicy Pork Taco houses tender slices of pork that are decently spicy (the yin to the short rib’s sweet yang), with its pork strips. Don’t miss out on the Sweet Chili Chicken Quesadilla, even if it does cost a hefty $8. A simple chicken and cheese quesadilla is covered with a unique—and very addicting—chili topping. As the cheese melts in your mouth, so does the light sauce that turns an otherwise ordinary quesadilla into an amazing one. Sadly it’s not the best choice for desert heat or the rambunctious nature of concerts, of which there will be many. Eat accordingly.
The Lime Truck is also a taco-centric eatery but it’s tacos aren’t decorated with your average lettuce. Both the price and quality to increase with unique toppings (at around $4 per taco). The Sweet & Spicy Steak Taco brings together steak and Asian slaw; a savory dripping juice from sweetly marinated meat mixed with a creamy dressing atop the lettuce. My favorite taco by far is the Ultimate Taco. Flavors of a 12-hour, slow-roasted pulled pork rolls tender pieces of meat in your mouth while a sweet, zingy chipotle honey slaw (made up of bright purple cabbage, crunchy wonton strips and sesame seeds) makes this a taco that more than justifies the price. Rumor has it that The Lime Truck’s newly added Blistered Bok Choy and spicy Roasted Corn (which weren’t available during my visit) have captured the stomachs of fans everywhere.
There’s no commentary saying that you should eat only tacos and quesadillas for two weekends but it wouldn’t be the worst thing considering the caliber of flavor and variety between these two trucks alone. When you wake up from that first night of partying though, hungover and dehydrated with nothing in your stomach but the leftover presence of alcohol—well that’s nothing that a simple bottle of water and a few amazing tacos can’t fix.