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Feb 18, 2018
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The Scoop: ¡Ándale, ándale! Mexican food truck debuts this week

January 18th 01:01pm, 2012

011812_HotAztecHot Aztec, a food truck featuring traditional Mexican fare, debuts this week. The family-owned mobile food operation was initially expected to hit the streets in late November or early December of last year, as first reported by George Mahe of St. Louis Magazine.

Hot Aztec will only serve lunch at first, according to co-owner Rob Gardaphe, who has been in the restaurant biz working with various national chains in St. Louis for more than 25 years. Gardaphe learned his culinary skills while cooking next to his grandmother in Mexico where he spent part of the year during his childhood. For his first food truck venture, he is teaming up with his wife, Dana Gardaphe, and his mother, a native of Mexico City.

Noontime customers can expect to find tacos, tortas and other traditional eats from central Mexico, including a bacon-wrapped hotdog topped with sauteed onions, jalapeños and Chihuahua cheese. Wait, can’t we call this fusion? Not according to Gardaphe, who first encountered the bacon-wrapped hotdog at an L.A. food truck before further research led him to discover that it was actually served in the 1950s at bullfights in Oaxaca, Mexico. When breakfast is served up starting in the spring, Hot Aztec patrons can expect breakfast-style tacos, scrambled egg chorizo, molletes (open-faced sandwiches) topped with beans and melted cheese, a selection of Mexican pastries and fresh fruit cups, along with Kaldi’s coffee.

Hot Aztec rolled onto the streets this past Monday to serve the Martin Luther King parade crowd. The Gardaphes expect to begin making regular rounds in the city by the end of this week and to fill St. Louis County bellies as soon as they have that license in hand.

Hungry for some authentic south-of-the-border street food? Follow the truck on Twitter (@HotAztec) or Facebook. A website is under construction.

By Ligaya Figueras

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