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Monday morning, June 18, 2007, I was practicing my navigation skills and attempting to negotiate the morning traffic on High Street, in beautiful Oakland, California, as I was on my way to pay a visit to the U.S.S. Hornet museum.  You know, the Hornet is a WW2 to Vietnam-era aircraft carrier that is now a peaceful, floating museum. Since I'm ex-Navy and a fan of military hardware, I'd been wanting to visit Hornet for years, but trips to Mexico, family business, and work had scuttled my plans.  Back to the story, I'd just exited Seminary Ave from I-580, and was making my way down High street, and I spied a gas station, and decided to replenish my gas tank with some of their expensive $3.499 Chevron gasoline.  After gassing up, I couldn't believe what my eyes registered, in that I saw a taco truck parked in their parking lot, and at 0900, it was up and running, and open for business!  Heaven was presented in the form of a taco truck, named Taqueria "El Grullo," staffed by a friendly husband and wife team. How could I resist?

Left:  El Grullo, located at the corner of Seminary and High Streets, in Oakland.  Note the high price of gas, at $3.49.9 for regular!  Right:  Check out the windshield and you'll have no doubt that El Grullo is open for business, and that they serve tacos.

I'd been up since 0500, and I had just endured a horrendous commute into Oakland, located in the East Bay Area, from my home in Roseville, and I hadn't had anything to eat.  So tacos for breakfast sounded good, and the price of only $1.25 each, the idea sounded even better, so I ordered a taco de cabeza and a taco de lengua.  Actually, their menu states that they sell tacos de tripa... YES!!!  However disappointment reigned, as when I ordered a taco de tripa, I got a blank stare, so I immediately switched over to my Spanish.  That strategy worked, as after I switched over to Spanish, got a look of utter amazement (gringos in Oakland don't speak Spanish, right? ...) and then a very friendly smile, as they realized that I can actually speak the language, well... sort of.  So they told me that since it's California, and the "People's Republic of California" is ruled by the health police, that tripas can be sort of hard to find, but they usually have them on Saturday.  Well, since my visit was Monday morning, I just ordered a taco de cabeza and a taco de lengua, con todo, (in English, that means with everything, what else?...) naturally!  Darn, no tripas!  However the saving graces were many, as at only $1.25 each, and the fact that "con todo" was the default, and that fact that the service is fast and friendly, well, you just can't go wrong at Taqueria "El Grullo."

I hadn't even finished snapping photos when my order of delicious tacos was ready.  For the small price of $2.50, I received two delicious tacos, each placed on two cd-sized soft corn tortillas, grilled in the style that you'll find in northern Mexico.  Each taco featured a generous helping of meat, and the "con todo" garnishes included delicious in-house made salsa verde, diced onions and cilantro.  Oh by the way, these tacos taste exactly like the tacos that you'll find on the streets of Tijuana's famous Zona Norte; in other words, El Grullo's tacos taste like that tacos that you'll find on the streets of a Mexican city, and that's a compliment!

Photo:  Tacos de cabeza and tacos de lengua, as purchased at El Grullo, loaded with all of the condiments.  Note that they're served using two cd-sized corn tortillas, fried on a griddle, as per the custom in northern México.  It's good to find authentic Mexican cuisine in Oakland.

Taqueria "El Grullo" is staffed by a very camera shy husband and wife team, but they did tell me that they've been in the same location since 1995, and they're open Monday to Saturday from 0900 to 2100; that's 12 hours a day, six days a week!  So you can place them into the category of hard-working people who present a quality product at a rock bottom price.  These are the sort of folks that you should patronize.

Taqueria "El Grullo" offers delicious tacos, which rival some of the best tacos that I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy in Tijuana, and they're served by a friendly husband and wife team, at very reasonable prices.  Brush up on your Spanish, and enjoy some of the best tacos that the San Francisco Bay area has to offer.  Highly recommended...

Taqueria El Grullo
2630 Foothill Blvd
Oakland, CA 94601
510 261-6091

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