For the record, I never thought I was one to head to a gas station or a roach coach to pick up dinner. However, it is fair to say that I am one of those people now.
My friend and food journalist extraordinaire Caron Golden of San Diego Food Stuff told me a few months back about an excellent PR pitch she got from the folks at Tabe (pronounced Tah-Bey) BBQ. And then she went on to tell how it was different than most other food reviews she does because this “restaurant” was mobile in a truck.
Since then I’ve been watching the locals buzz about Tabe BBQ all over the internet and on San Diego morning news shows. It is fair to say that I was intrigued.
With geography on my side and a few spare minutes on my watch, last night I hit up Tabe’s only physical restaurant location (which happens to be at a gas station).
Tabe literally means “to eat” in Japanese. The Tabe BBQ principles are Asian-inspired dishes with a classic Mexican flair … think TJ street tacos filled with teriyaki ginger chicken.
Gas station schmas station, the food speaks for itself. I ordered two chicken tacos and less than 24 hours later I am considering going back for two more.
The food is like something you’d get at a five-star, linen-table-cloth-lined, maitre’d-manned establishment. I paid $6 (including tax) for my tacos, but anywhere else that meal could have easily gone for $30.
I didn’t know what this Asian-Mexican fusion would be like, but it is what you’d image and then some. The ingredients were fresh, the flavors were complex and it is fair to say that the addictive side of my personality has been triggered. The menu is simple, but there is something for every taste.
Tabe BBQ’s physical location is in Kearny Mesa, but they send trucks daily all around the county to La Jolla, Hillcrest, Downtown, North Park, the College Area, Sorrento Valley and more. To find out exactly when they will be in your part of town, bookmark this site.
Believe you me, you’re gonna wanna check this out. It is a gourmet food revolution on a poor man’s (or woman’s) dime.