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Garcia's Tacos offers freshness made to order

Garcia’s Tacos is way more than tacos. You’ll also find burritos and tostados, quesadillas, nachos sincronizadas and blackboard specials that will excite your palate.

This mobile Mexican food truck has a huge Rogue Valley following and can be found weekdays by Organic Grind Coffee in Talent between Interstate 5 and Highway 99 along West Valley View Road in Talent.

Leo Garcia opened his food truck in 2013 in Phoenix and moved to his current Talent location last year. Ross Allen with 2Hawk Vineyard & Winery said he complained about the move, but now he doesn’t bat an eye making the run to Garcia’s Tacos down the road. Access and parking is convenient, and Garcia’s is visible from the road, so if there’s a line, you can decide if you want to stop or keep going.

Quality, homemade and reasonably priced food is important to Garcia, he said.

“I’m a father of three kids, so I know that sometimes you don’t have a lot of time, and maybe you’re working two jobs,” said Garcia. “So we try to have our food affordable for people who are running around all day long trying to get things done — you’re up and going with fresh food that we make right on the spot.”

It’s fresh food, for sure, and Garcia or his sister, Anna, make your tortilla when you order it. They don’t have a machine, so they mash every single one. Garcia’s family is from Jalisco, Mexico, not far from Puerto Vallarta; Garcia says you haven’t been to Puerto Vallarta if you haven’t tasted the tacos made there. He’s got his Jalisco tacos on the menu, but he’s often trying something new as a special.

“I’m a taco freak, and I eat tacos everywhere I go,” Garcia said. “I always try to put something different in my tacos, but whenever I change something, some customer will come and say, ‘Hey, what did you do to my tacos?’ ”

Today’s special was a green chile burrito at $6, and I couldn’t resist picking one up for lunch along with a couple of tacos and two Jarritos, guava and orange. The foil-wrapped burrito was still hot and fragrant when I got home and weighed in at almost 14 ounces. The tender flour tortilla was stuffed with fat chunks of marinated pork and layers of chili-red rice, refried beans with a hint of cinnamon, cheese, cilantro and sour cream. Sharing the takeout, my husband and I had a delicious and satisfying lunch for two at $13.

The two tacos were street-sized with a good amount of protein, and at $1.50 each, they were well worth the price. The corn tortillas were scratch-made, fresh and pliable, topped with grilled meat and finished with chopped onion, cilantro and cabbage.

We tossed a coin for first choice between the al pastor (shredded pork) and carne asada (steak), and even though I won the carne asada taco, I tasted Ed’s, too, and it was great, each bite a taste of Jalisco.

Leo Garcia prepares two sauces scratch-made every day to go along with his food, and you’re welcome to one or both at no extra charge. The house-made red sauce is a deep, dark color with flecks of herbs and smoky with chile de arbol char; there’s a good-lasting heat to the finish that’s not fiery hot. The green sauce is a fresh, bright tomatillo, lively and engaging.

Many claim that Leo Garcia’s breakfast burrito is second to none, and I would have to agree. This big baby weighs in at 13 ounces, and eating one for breakfast or lunch prepares you for just about anything life might throw at you. Available with smoked ham, chorizo, bacon or sausage, I’m sold on the smoked ham. Unlike most breakfast burritos fat with fluffy egg and air and padded by home fries, Garcia’s breakfast burrito has ham about an inch deep, just a thin layer of egg, and layers of shredded potatoes, cheese and sauce. Now that’s a breakfast burrito to go to work on.

Garcia’s Tacos is open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday during the summer, later and on Saturdays in the fall and winter months. For daily specials and mobile events, follow Garcia’s Tacos on Facebook. Call ahead to 541-761-8792 for catering or convenient takeout, or take the time to enjoy the day when you order on-site. Relax on the old wooden picnic table with a soda while you wait for your fresh-made food.

Reach Ashland freelance writer Maureen Flanagan Battistella at mbattistellaor@gmail.com

A green chile burrito and al pastor (shredded pork) and carne asada (steak) tacos from Garcia’s Tacos. Photo by Maureen Flanagan Battistella