I recently caught up with Devin Gonzalez – owner of Tacos El Precioso – at his regular Tuesday pop up at Eli’s Mile High Club, a bar / music venue on Martin Luther King Blvd in Oakland, CA. I know what you’re thinking…tacos on a Tuesday?! What can I say? I like to live on the edge. 😛
“How did all of this start?”
Having worked in restaurants, people close to him encouraged him to start his own thing.
“…they would tell me you can really do this, your food is good!”
And so, after some more urging, Devin decided to give it a go. Tacos El Precioso has been up and running for about a year. Gonzalez is working hard to fill out his schedule with pop ups at local bars, business, and private events. He has pop ups around Oakland throughout the month, including pop ups @ Temescal Brewing Company and a Vegan Pozole Pop Up @ Hasta Muerta Coffee.
The name Taco El Precioso comes from a nickname that his grandmother gave to him as her first grandchild. (Precioso meaning precious.)
“It’s tacos, you can’t take it too seriously, so why not?” Devin explains.
It’s with that approach Gonzalez handles his business and his food: nothing too pretentious, just good food. But sometimes Gonzalez needs a little assist with the pop up and on this Tuesday, his friend Shelly helps whip up food while Andrea handles the orders.
“We’re all friends!” they tell me, and that comes shining through when you talk with them, as well as the way they work together.
But now, let’s talk food. On the menu the evening of my visit were carne asada, cauliflower pastor, chicken tinga, shrimp ceviche tostada, vegan pozole, and Mexican ice cream sandwiches. I did not indulge in the ice cream sandwiches this time around (sad, I know )
I’ll start by saying these tacos were gorgeous. The colors, the smells: it was a thing of beauty. Everything I ate was high quality and super flavorful. If I had to choose, the standouts for me were the chicken tinga taco and the shrimp ceviche tostada. The chicken tinga almost melted in your mouth, with a rich, hearty flavor in the chicken and a hint of sweetness on the back end.
The ceviche was super light and gave a nice burst of freshness to accompany my beer. The softness of the shrimp combined with the crunch of the tostada made for the perfect bite. Oh, and then there was the cauliflower pastor. You don’t say? Its good – trust me.
Had a great time during my visit. Next time I’ll have to try the ice cream sandwhiches.Overall I find that the crew that makes up Tacos El Precioso is just a good group of people making really good food – and having some fun while doing it.
You can catch Taco El Precioso at their weekly pop up @ Eli’s Mile High Club.
To schedule Tacos El Precioso for your next event, go to tacosperciso.com
Be sure to follow them on INSTAGRAM: @tacoselprecioso.