If you’re a “never leave the city” type, then what I’m about to say might make you feel uncomfortable…
Go to Kirkland.
Still with me? Great. Go to Kirkland and eat at taco truck newcomer, Corazón Azteca. Corazón is the brainchild of Salvador Ramírez, who opened up for business two months ago after working in several restaurants. Ramírez’s reason for starting Corazón Azteca is simple — he couldn’t find the food he loved to eat in the area, so he created it.
Ramírez’s food is steps above the standard taco truck fare. He has obvious professional experience and a culinary vision that goes beyond the asada and carnitas tacos you find at other loncheras (not that there’s anything wrong with that). As a result, the food at Corazón is bright, fun, incredibly well-made, and ridiculously satisfying.
Take the Asada Costra Burrito, for example. This burrito starts with a flour tortilla and is stuffed with hot-off-the-plancha asada, rice, and beans, then topped with fresh pico de gallo, crema, and homemade chipotle salsa. It’s steamy, salty, and 100% pure heaven. The burrito is cut in half and plated to show off the bright reds, oranges, and greens that make up this unassuming burrito.
That’s right. Prepare yourself to eat a burrito from a truck with spot-on plating technique and on a styrofoam plate, no less.
If you’re craving more, go for the Vampiro Tostada and Shrimp Tacos. Other vampiros I’ve had put carne asada on a near-blackened tostada, melted cheese, and a garlic sauce. (Vampiro = vampire, and vampires hate garlic for reasons that are widely accepted and entirely unexplainable.) Corazon’s vampiro is much cleaner in flavor than most, with a toasted tortilla and subtle garlic/chipotle salsa. I recommend adding a little bit of the fire-colored, oil-based sesame salsa from the large skull jar.
The Shrimp Tacos are another must-get. Not every truck offers fried seafood, and when it is offered there’s a good chance it won’t be great. Serving good seafood from the confines of an 80 square foot kitchen on wheels is just kind of difficult.
Against many odds, Corazón’s shrimp tacos manage to be delicious and transportive. One bite and you’ll feel like you’re taking a surf break on a sunny beach in Baja. (That’s right, you know how to surf now.) The shrimp is perfectly cooked and still juicy, the batter is light and crisp, and it’s topped with fresh, colorful pico de gallo. Corazón makes their own tortillas, which are hot, pliable, actually taste like masa, and add an earthy complement to the salty shrimp and tangy salsa.
Corazón Azteca’s tagline is “Comida A Toda Madre,” which is a Mexican Spanish colloquialism for “really awesome food.” In my opinion, it’s a much-deserved tagline. My only regret was the absurd decision to wait to eat my dessert empanadas (cajeta and piña) until I got home. They sat on my passenger seat and filled my car with delicious fried dough aromas, driving me to new limits of madness.
Needless to say, I couldn’t resist and ate them before I got home.