Tag Archives: taqueria el trailero ensenada

Tacos al Pastor or Adobada?

Bajadock: The information that I have received on the differences between Tacos al Pastor and Tacos Adobada are as varied as the dozens of stories of the origin of the margarita.  But, when I want to get my meat on, Tacos Adobada are what are served at El Original, Los Chavalos and El Trailero in Ensenada.

What’s yours???

Tacos El Original, foto por Bajadock

Los Chavalos, foto por Bajadock

El Trailero, foto por Bajadock


Al pastor is a popular style of tacos that are most commonly found in Mexico City and Cuernavaca, although they can be found in other places around Mexico as well. In the United States, tacos al pastor are much harder to find, though they are increasingly common in American cities with large Mexican populations. The way to cook and serve tacos al pastor is unique in that the meat is cooked on a grill and then shaved or cut from it at the time of serving. Spit-style cooking of beef taco is not commonly found outside of Mexico, and the counter-intuitive placement of pineapple on top of a taco makes it the hardest to reach taco, making many confuse it with similar but distinct dishes.

The method of cooking with a grill is similar to the way gyroscope or shawarma is prepared. It is believed that the shepherd style was developed due to the influence of Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. Over time, the method of meat preparation has gone from being somewhat similar to Lebanese shawarma in the style that can be found nowadays in the tacos restaurants of all the center of Mexico.

Unlike beef shawarma, which is usually lamb, carne al pastor is marinated with pork in a mixture composed of vinegar, a variety of peppers, and other herbs and spices. Pork is allowed to marinate from a couple of hours to a couple of days, and is folded over the vertical rotisserie and cooked using a gas flame. It is not a particular recipe to create meat marinade to the shepherd, and many restaurants take care of their recipe as an important secret.

Tacos al pastor is usually served with a thin slice of pineapple, along with cilantro, onion and salsa. All pineapple normally rests on the top of the meat while it is cooking in the saliva, and is then left to release the bromelain, a pineapple enzyme contained that softens the flesh by breaking down its proteins. When serving the dish, a slice of pineapple is cut and placed on the taco, where it provides a sweet and bitter addition to the flavor profile.

This dish should not be confused with adobada, which means ‘marinade’ in Spanish. Meat marinated in tacos is often marinated with a recipe similar to that used for al pastor. Adobada tacos are usually made with pork, but the meat is not cooked on a grill and the tacos dressed with pineapple slices. These last two traits identify authentic tacos al pastor.

  • Tacos al pastor are something difficult to find in the US.
  • Al pastor tacos are often served with sweet sauce and cilantro.
  • Al pastor has similarities with gyroscopes in the way they are prepared.
  • Al pastor is a popular style of tacos that are most commonly found in Mexico City and Cuernavaca, although they can be found in other places around Mexico as well.
  • Pineapple is commonly served with tacos al pastor

Trailero Tacos Ensenada


fotos por Taqueria El Trailero

It has been too long since my last visit to Trailero on the north side of Ensenada.  Usually on that side of town, I’m anxious to get my bunz north to San Diego or south to get to my home approx 1 hour from this spot.

Last Friday, I was wanting some tacos to ease into happy hour, so I stopped in.  Admission here that I have never had tacos para llevar(to go).  Half of the fun of visiting a great taco shop is watching the cooking show and people preparing their adorable antojitos of artful allure.


foto por Bajadock

But, Trailero has spools of plastic bags ready for you to tong your veggies into them and spoon in the salsas and guac for your home bound cargo.  Heck if you were destitute you could order 2 tacos and steal 10 pounds of veggies and salsas to feed an army.  But, everyone is cool, taking only what they need for to dress up their individual tacos.

BTW, Trailero was the site of my visiting niece’s famous, “OMG, why would anyone living here ever buy groceries?” quote.  With the food value here, that is not a bad argument.

I ordered some carne and some al pastor tacos.  The tortillas and cooked meat were put in flat styro trays and covered with aluminum foil.  I packed up my veggies, salsas and 4 tacos  for 84mnp.  That’s 4 US dollars and 40 cents, tightwads!

And just to show what a classy taco shopper am I, paired my precious taco feast with a bottle of Orowines 2013 Bluegray Priorat from Catalonia, Spain.  This blend is Cabernet – Carignan – Grenache with 45% grenache.  Sho ‘nuf, the label says to pair it with carne tacos!  8)~(excellent find and was  a last moment substitute for the aristocratic Padre Kino 2017 that had <<<been aging in my car’s trunk).  Anyone for a blind taste test between Padre Kino and 2 Buck Chuckles???

One surprise from my bag of salsas was the onion and pepper mix, seen in the big clear plastic bowl in photo right(foto por Bajadock).  Ouchee, those peppers are not for whimps.  Tongues on fire were only soothed by adding extra guacamole.

Need more excuses to hang in Ensenada Norte.  I’ll channel my favorite muse for fantastic inspiration.



al pastor, mi favorito


above 3 photoso by Bajadock, Friday, 14 Oct 2016


Trailero is located in El Sauzal, the northside area of Ensenada, approx .8 of a mile south of the hwy 3 exit to the wine valley.  It is also 2.5 miles south of the Ensenada toll booth, east/inland side of road.  They advertise 7am – 2pm, so little planning is needed for your taco fix.  And watch the parking situation out front with the marginal road paralleling hwy 1 and traffic inning/outing.  There is also a small parking lot in the back of the shop.  Trailero Facebook page


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