Today, I bring you another chapter in my project to showcase local small businesses here in Indy. This one only been open for not even two months I believe and has already gathered an enormous following of fans and customers. I’m talking about West Coast Tacos. The collaborative effort of Arnold Park, Jon Ban, and Trent Davis has become a local sensation to the Broad Ripple scene, and recently to the downtown lunch break crowd.
The story began when Johnny, a native of Indianapolis and formal local DJ, paid a visit to Los Angeles and came across a local food truck. Unlike Indy, these food trucks, often carrying tacos or other local flavors, are a dime a dozen in California and many other southwest states. Ban came back knowing this would be an instant hit and teamed up with Park and Davis, buying a truck, customizing the exterior through local graphics company, TKO Graphics, and got started.
What really makes West Coast Tacos is the way they do marketing and advertising. It is ALL done through social media networks Twitter and Facebook (links at the end of this page). Downtown lunchtime customers don’t even know where or when West Coast Tacos will be on the scene until they tweet about it online. And yet, it works charms! People still flock to the truck, often bringing their entire office with them. Just this evening, Johnny and I were talking with a couple who had stopped by to check out the truck on their way back from dinner in Broad Ripple. She mentioned she discovered the company through Facebook, and told Johnny she was planning on bringing her entire office to work with her for lunch. I wish photography worked that well!
Now as far as the food goes, well…it’s awesome. The tacos come in two to three varieties, depending on supply. These include steak, chicken, and occasionally fish and shrimp. The steak in their original taco is prepared according to an old Korean recipe, and being half-Korean myself I absolutely loved these. In fact, it’s the only taco I’ve tried (although I’ve also heard good things about the chicken…to the point where they often quickly sell out of chicken as they did tonight). On top of the steak, cilantro and a spicy salsa are added, although I’ve heard rumors that they’re working on salsa of a milder variety. All of this is served on a double-layered palm-sized tortilla (which makes restaurant tortillas taste like paper). The tacos are $2 each or 3/$5.
Johnny mentioned that there are plans for expansion, seeing as it gets very busy late into the evenings on Friday and Saturday nights. I paid a visit this past Saturday after a late evening in Broad Ripple and discovered the line was already snaking deep into the Cardinal Fitness parking lot, where they set up shop each night. Maybe with two trucks, they’ll be able to capture the downtown bar-crowd as well.
So far West Coast Tacos has been a huge hit with the locals here in Indy, and I hope it will continue to thrive, as seeing a taco truck here in the Midwest is a welcome sight. Much thanks to Johnny, Trent, and the crew this evening for allowing me to invade their privacy for a bit!
Follow West Coast Tacos!