Words & Deeds

‘This place is an absolute gem.’ New restaurant to open after 20 years as a food truck.

Tacos el Rey #2 is a longtime fixture next to the Chevron gas station on Chinden Boulevard.
Tacos el Rey #2 is a longtime fixture next to the Chevron gas station on Chinden Boulevard. mdeeds@idahostatesman.com

If the smell of street tacos, carne asada and menudo makes your mouth water, start working up an appetite — a new restaurant will open soon.

Tacos el Rey #2, a food truck near Gem Stop Chevron gas station in Garden City, plans to go brick-and-mortar by the end of the month.

The restaurant will be a tortilla’s toss away. A sign already is on the building at 4116 W. Chinden Blvd., next to Tobacco Connection and Smoker Friendly.

After the restaurant is launched, the taco truck will transition from 4202 W. Chinden Blvd. to Cloverdale and Ustick roads in Boise.

Part of a family-operated regional chain, Tacos el Rey #2 has served value-priced Mexican food for two decades. With three picnic tables protected by a canopy, it has more dining atmosphere than most food trucks. But owner Jose Lopez was ready to take Idahoans to the next level.

“I want to open a restaurant, because it’s a better customer experience,” he explained through a food-truck employee, who translated Spanish to English.

The brick-and-mortar Tacos el Rey will open in Crossroads Plaza, a stone’s throw away from the food truck’s longtime location. Michael Deeds mdeeds@idahostatesman.com

The restaurant’s menu will be similar to the food truck’s street-style arsenal of tacos, tortas, burritos and enchiladas, complete with fresh, handmade tortillas and classic meat options such as lengua and cabeza. But Lopez said there also will be a few additions, including flautas, corn quesadillas and a carne asada plate.

It’s excellent news for Boiseans looking for tasty eats that won’t break the bank. Google reviews rate the food truck a 4.5 out of 5. As a five-star Yelp review gushes, “This place is an absolute gem.”

Michael Deeds covers entertainment for the Idaho Statesman, where he chronicles the Boise good life through news articles and opinion columns. Deeds first invaded the Statesman as an intern in 1991. Since then, he’s also freelanced for publications ranging from The Washington Post and Relix to the airlines magazine in the seatback in front of you.