Look for the the green truck with a huge sign: ARROZ FRITO, Fried Rice, also, called Charlie’s Food Truck. Except for Tuesdays, it’s always parked on the street by the Pemex station, the one with the car wash; diagonally opposite Smart and Final, between 10:00 and 5:00 p.m. in the winter, longer in the summer.
The menu is simple with only three choices: horneado, which simply means baked. It’s a pork sandwich; the pork has baked for six hours. The pulled pork is piled high on a bun, topped with avocado, pickled red onion, tomato and lettuce. Savory and satisfying. This sandwich is a native dish of Ecuador, as common there as tacos are here in Mexico. The second item on the menu is a BBQ version of this pork sandwich. Also simply delicious.
We love an Ecuadorian dish called chaulafan: fried rice, the perfect blend of rice, spice and heat combined with pork and shrimp and a smattering of peas. Simply addictive and delicious. You walk up to the window on the side of the truck and place your order. There are stools and a counter if you wish to eat right there. Or you can do take out. We like to take the rice home, a meal in itself. Actually, one order is easily enough for the two of us. We have also used it as a side dish to accompany my wife’s stir fry. The chaulafan is sixty pesos. A bargain.
Charlie’s is owned and operated by Carlos, an Ecuadorian who speaks perfect English. I learned from Carlos that Ecuador’s cuisine was influenced by the Chinese who immigrated to Ecuador in the 1940’s and 1950’s. He operated out of his home, but as business grew he moved to the green truck. He also caters. Joe, a friend of ours had Carlos prepare baby back pork ribs for a small party he and his wife were having. He raved about them and actually offered me a sample the next day. Perfectly delicious, succulent and mouth-watering. If you like ribs, these are the best. He can prepare and cater whatever you want.
This is a perfect alternative to tacos for that quick satisfying lunch. Carlos has perfected this simple menu. Soon, perhaps he will expand. Just look for the green truck by the Pemex station in the middle of town. You won’t be disappointed.