Cucina Zapata: Tacos With a Twist

I’m a huge fan of fusion food, so when my friend Andrew told me about a new food truck that served Thai-Mexican cuisine, I couldn’t wait to try it out.  When I found Cucina Zapata at the end of the so-called “Engineering Line” (aka 31st and Ludlow, right behind the Main Building), I couldn’t believe I had never seen or heard of it before. The brightly colored truck was pretty hard to miss, and it definitely stood out among the line of plain silver or white trucks.

Cucina Zapata

The Experience
I went around noon, so I expected a large crowd. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s so new (they opened about a month and a half ago) or maybe it’s because it’s all the way at the end by 31st Street, but there were only six people before me. I placed my order pretty quickly, and sat down on one of many crates stacked up against the wall—a simple, but brilliant idea. I got my Thai Iced Tea ($2) in two minutes and the Thai Taco and Chicken Satay Taco (one for $3, two for $5) in ten.

The Food
The Thai Taco and Chicken Satay Taco tasted just as good as they looked, if not better. Both had lettuce, carrots, red cabbage, tomatoes and avocado, but they each had a unique taste thanks to the different sauces on top. The tacos were a little spicy, just enough to excite the palate without overwhelming the flavors of the Asian-inspired slaw and strips of meat. The Thai Iced Tea—a sweet and creamy blend of black tea, condensed milk and half-and-half—was a great complement to the zesty tacos, and a great refreshment for a hot day.

Thai Iced Tea

L: Thai Taco. R: Chicken Satay Taco

I could barely finish the tacos, but I forced myself to because I didn’t think that they would taste as good later. Who knew $7 could be so filling?

Final Thoughts
Personally, I think that Cucina Zapata is just what the Drexel food truck scene needed. It definitely offers something that I’ve never seen elsewhere on campus (maybe with the exception of Honest Tom’s or La Dominique). The food is delicious (and of great quality), and I will most certainly be back to try some of their other dishes, such as the Chicken Curry, or the Tilapia Katsu Taco. I highly recommend this food truck—the food may cost a little more than what you’re used to but it is completely worth it. The owners are friendly and more than willing to help you out if you’re new to Thai cuisine, so stop by between classes for a great meal! Make sure you ask for extra napkins, though—the tacos can get messy!

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2 responses to “Cucina Zapata: Tacos With a Twist

  1. I honestly could not believe the quality of food coming out of this former Halal truck. I’ve walked by this truck hundreds of times, then one day a bright spot caught my eye at the very end of the food truck alley. I was torn between a Thai taco (Short-rib beef…mmmm) and chicken satay taco with spicy peanut sauce (even more mmmmmm). They were both one for 3$ OR two for 5$. The nice lady at the window and Drexel alumni saw my dilemma and offered my one of each for five bucks. My first impression was like Daaaaaamn!, is that real avocado? I didn’t know which one to bite into first. The Thai taco was my first and let me tell you, orgasmic is an understatement. I couldn’t wait to taste the satay. When I did I had to have a cigarette and i don’t even smoke! Rumor has it They have a chicken curry that has sweet potato! What kind of mad scientist are they? I’m going back there this week to get to the bottom of this!

    • If you are a curry fan you must try the Green Chicken Curry! Wow that spice was just right! I was in a rush so I didn’t have the chance to fully scrutinize the menu but as I was sitting in class you’ll never guess what I spotted two rows down. Chicken satay tacos! I’m headed there on friday to grab a couple of satays and a Thai-tea!

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