Taco Reho

/ Updated on December 25, 2014

It all started with Julia Child. Initially eschewed by mainstream TV, early cooking shows slowly matured on cable and public access. Then came the Internet. Remember Dana Jacobi’s “Bytable Feast” in 1988 and critic John Mariani’s Food Forum on Prodigy in the early ‘90s?

Digital technology made cable the new mainstream, and Food Network gave us a peek into the heretofore forbidden land of professional kitchens. And it forever changed the way we cook and eat. Things like roasted garlic, Emeril Lagasse, Kosher salt, Bobby Flay, food costs, zester, Mario Batali, roux, “Semi-Homemade,” EVOO, brine, front-of-house, James Beard, potato ricer and even “Bam!” became household words. Who wooda thought!?

Say “food truck” fifteen years ago and most people thought of a pillowed stainless steel-clad pickup dispensing coffee and pre-prepared sandwiches at construction sites. (I will not invoke the popular slang for those rolling luncheonettes; it’s my goal to encourage hunger, not extinguish it.) Of course, the bigger and better food trucks were around before FN’s “The Great Food Truck Race” (and associated spinoffs), but they were mostly a West Coast phenomenon and many people didn’t know they existed.

Now they are everywhere, and on September 5, 2014, one of the first to appear locally with a set menu and regular hours is Taco Reho, owned jointly by rock ‘n’ roll chef Billy Lucas and Nage/Root Gourmet boss Josh Grapski. The truck’s home base is Rehoboth Beach, in the parking lot of the friendly and admittedly kitchen-challenged Big Chill Cantina, next door to (and owned partially by) Liquid Board Shop. Surfers, surfer wannabes and those who love them hang at the informal bar and welcome Billy’s fresh, non-microwaved treats with open arms and mouths.

Lucas’ parents had a place in Dewey Beach and he feels like he grew up there. Working late-nights at Theo’s, he developed a passion not only for food but for the Delaware beaches as well. It’s worthwhile to note that he is no stranger to the tight quarters of mobile cheffing. As the cook for such luminaries as Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers and Nine Inch Nails, Billy’s domain was a truck that traveled with the bands, and he was on call pretty much 24/7. At one point he even worked in a sushi restaurant in St. Croix.

After 10 years in Los Angeles, he was ready to come home. Lucas’ rock ’n’ roll roots are apparent on the outside of the Taco Reho truck, where numerous volume knobs are all turned up to “11.” (Think “Spinal Tap.”) In fact, he is working on an “11 sauce” that he guarantees will bring even the most enthusiastic chilihead to his or her knees. I can’t wait!

In typical food truck style, Billy’s initial menu consists of 8 items, 7 of which are tacos about 5” in diameter and very fairly priced around $3 – $5. The relatively small size makes for the perfect midnight bite and allows you to try a few things in the same visit. A placard by the window promises an expanded menu and lunch hours. Keep an eye on my Cheap Eats listing for these changes. This is the off-season, after all, and y’never know.

One of the secrets to the popularity of his tacos is the use of corn tortillas rather than flour. Only one other eating establishment in Rehoboth Beach shares that philosophy, and it does not have wheels. The corn tortillas are made fresh on the Taco Reho truck, and they add not only a nice textural bite, but also a great corn taste. They also don’t disintegrate the way fried shells or flour tortillas do when sauces are added. Nice touch, Billy.

My favorite Taco Reho taco is a toss-up between the Chicken Tinga (shredded chicken flavored with smoky chipotle and topped with a salsa verde and queso fresco (a snow-shite crumbly Mexican cheese), and the Al Pastor (“shepherd” style: tender and still chunky roast pork with a flavor rollercoaster of pineapple and green onions). Both are easy to navigate with your hands (thanks to the flexible strength of the corn tortilla).

Like sushi and pizza, freshly made tacos are best enjoyed the moment they are served. So before you decide to do takeout or anything like that, enjoy the proper Taco Reho taco experience by just bellyin’ up to the window and then standing back, bending forward so you don’t besmirch yourself with the savory juice, and downing them right there in the parking lot. See? Wasn’t that fun?

Another don’t-miss is the Short Rib taco. The impossibly savory filling is perfectly spiced. It’s firm enough to stay put when you fold the tortilla, but tender enough to allow you to take bites without the whole thing ending up on your shirt. Billy’s arbol salsa adds the perfect amount of heat (chile de árbol is a skinny little red pepper that is medium hot) moderated slightly by mildly pickled onions. I have to say that I wanted more pickled taste on the onions – at least enough to shine through the combination of spices in the meat. But as a decoration they are very pretty. Billy! Kick those onions up a notch, will ya’?

Another top seller through the window on the side of the truck is the Carne Fries. Waffle fries are topped with that wonderful short rib and served nacho-style with his very own cheese sauce (it’s delicious). The crowning touch is pretty much every salsa he has on the truck. Ever so slightly reminiscent of the famous Dune Fries of Bethany Beach fame, these things are addictive. And the portion is generous for the $8 ticket. Order them to share if you are getting other stuff.

Regulars to RehobothFoodie.com know that my Favorite Foodie-at-Arms loves carnitas, loves quesadillas and chihuahuas. So the Carnitas Quesadilla is a major hit. That tasty roast pork in the Al Pastor is combined with the chile arbol salsa and sprinkled with Chihuahua cheese. The quesadilla is cleverly cut into finger-friendly portions that make it easy to eat standing up.

For a switch from the generally savory and carnivorous offerings, be sure to try the Thai Mahi taco. Pickled carrots add a crunchy acidity while a jalapeño-infused crema (Mexican sour cream) tops the taco. This guy knows his tastes, and the mahi taco is a winner.

Chorizo, like any regional ethnic dish, can be prepared many ways (I love Yolanda Pineda’s at Mariachi), and Billy’s Chorizo Verde taco is right up there with my favorite. This is another time you will appreciate the corn tortilla, because the moist and saucy chorizo stays put as you fold the tortilla in preparation for your attack. Little chunks of red potato, crema and the green salsa top it off.

The Punkin’ Pumpkin taco consists of pieces of cod (or was it perhaps mahi?) enrobed in a batter of Dogfish Head beer. I agree with Foodie Fan Steve W. that the hoppiness of that particular brew tends to overwhelm the delicate taste of the fish. Perhaps a less bitter brew might work better. In Steve’s words, Taco Reho is a “work in progress,” evidenced by the merry-go-round of menu items featured on Taco Reho’s Facebook page over the last several weeks. So prepare for menu changes as Billy fine-tunes his offerings and zeroes-in on the perfect lineup. Whatever ends up on the menu, this young chef knows how to combine tastes and I suspect everything will be tasty. His personality and humor is a big part of the Taco Reho experience. Oh, that reminds me – don’t miss the apple soda soft drink! It’s delicious.

At the moment, Taco Reho is open Monday and Wednesday from 5-11:30, Thursday, Friday & Saturday until 1am and Sundays from 1 p.m. until around 11:30. These hours are going to change as soon as Billy adds lunch to his menu. (L. (sometimes), D, late nite (sometimes). Price range: Inexpensive -. Follow Taco Reho on Facebook.

(Note that we don’t give star ratings to food trucks, delis, carryouts and the like.)

Off-season Specials & Hours

Specials & Moods change quickly. Always call a restaurant first.

pp = per person.
BOGO = buy one, get one.
Bloody = bloody mary.
domestics = American-made beers (e.g., Bud).
imports = foreign beers (e.g., Heineken).
Rails = non call-brand alcohol.
Prix Fixe = one set price.
Mains = entrees.
Margs = margaritas.
Chix = chicken.
AYCE = all you can eat.
Lite = Miller Lite
drafts = draught beer.
Early Birds = arrive before a certain time.
Apps = Appetizers.
bottles = beer in a bottle.
à la carte = order off the menu (no prix fixe).
crafts = micro/artisanal brews (e.g., Old Leghumper Lager)

19406 Coastal Hwy.
(302) 727-5568

TACO REHO truck open at 9pm thanksgiving night

Thanksgiving Night Party: Live music! Starts at 7.

Sunday
Open noon - 1a
$6 Crushes all day!
$3.50 Red Stripe Bottles
lower case blues 4-7 all summer!
Taco Reho open!
Monday
Closed until 2018
Tuesday
Closed until 2018
Wednesday
Closed until 2018
Thursday
Open 7-1a
Happy Hour 3-6
Live Music
$3 Jim Beam Honey & Jim Beam Fire Shots all day!
Taco Reho open!

Friday
Open 3p-1a
Happy Hour 3-6
Live Music
$3 Jim Beam Honey & Jim Beam Fire Shots all day!
Taco Reho open!
Saturday
Open noon-1a
Live Music!
$3.50 Red Stripe Bottles
Live Music
Taco Reho open!
The Rehoboth Foodie

About the Author

"My goal is to promote Rehoboth Beach dining while remaining honest and impartial. I don’t gush unless a place deserves it, and I don’t pull punches, either. With so many good places to eat around here, it just doesn’t make sense to waste the calories — or the money — on anything less." View all articles written by The Rehoboth Foodie

Add Your Comment
  1. M. Jhyme says:

    The food was worth the wait (and price) the first few times we ate here, but it’s really been downright terrible lately. The pork burritos were loaded with globs of pure fat and tasted like we were eating a stick of lard. Next visit, we tried the beef burritos and they were also borderline inedible because of the fat and gristle. The carne fries were also saturated in heavy fat. When we politely brought this up to the folks in the truck, they couldn’t have cared less. Sorry, Reho, but you’ve lost our business and that of our many friends that we will no longer refer.

  2. Pete Hutchinson says:

    The food has really gone down hill since they started. Ate there tonight, to go order not right, the beef taco was dry and unimpressive. It might be trendy, but I think there are many better alternatives. Too bad, had high hopes for the truck.

  3. Cathy says:

    Tried the Mahi, chicken Tinga and short rib tacos. Nicely done! Love having a good food truck close by. Miss the L.A. and D.C. food truck scene. Did not care for the quesadilla made with same corn tortillas. A little too gritty and dry for my taste especially with no cheese. But Taco Reho will definitely be my “go to” place for quick cheap taco fix.

  4. Anna G. and Terry Anna G. and Terry says:

    Ive been driving by there for the last few weeks and thought the truck was closed all the time. Then I saw this article today and I drove by and they had turned it around so you can see the food window from the street. They are open. I’m going this week.

  5. Beach Eater says:

    I was taken aback by how good these tacos were. The corn tortillia was impressive. Felt like being in southern CA; only better, at home. I also got the quesadilla. Excellent, first rate quality. (Bring cash!)

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