Food Review: Tacos y Hot Dogs El Giro

By Lanissa Patterson

It is not always easy to find cuisine cooked with passion and knowledge at an affordable price, but in Tucson there is Tacos y Hot Dogs El Giro.

Tacos y Hot Dogs El Giro is a food truck located on the corner of Golf Links and Harrison, right in front of Walgreens. According to cashier Daisy Palacios, it originates from the local restaurant chain Taco Giro, which serves the Tucson and Sierra Vista area.

The food truck is open from 7am-8pm Tuesday through Sunday, and closes early at 4pm on Monday.

Working in a food truck is not easy work according to Palacios. “It’s very different from other jobs,” she said. “On special days [when we serve specific items] it is very stressful”.

Tacos y Hot Dogs el Giro offers Taco Tuesdays, when you can get tacos for only 99 cents each. You can choose between flour or corn tortillas, and a variety of meat options including carne asada, ground beef, shredded pastor, carnitas, chicken, shrimp and fish. The tacos come freshly prepared and garnished with cilantro, cabbage, and three lime slices. For sanitation, each dish comes tightly covered in saran wrap.

My favorite meal to order is the corn tacos (with a hard shell). It was the first time I had a double shelled hard taco. The flavor of the meat is incredible. It’s seasoned really well and, while it’s not rare (which I prefer) I have yet to eat overcooked meat in any dish. The cabbage on top was also a first for me and I think it makes the taco more fresh. 

Wednesday nights are Sonaron Dog nights where you can get a Sonoran dog wrapped in bacon and topped with an excellent balance of pico, sauce and salsa.

43 year old chef Salvado Castorena Perez says he most enjoys interacting with customers. “Dealing with people, like having communication and exposure to [different] people is my favorite part.” He also agrees with cashier Palencios that the southern Arizona heat is the most difficult aspect of the job.

Perez does practically all of the cooking at Tacos y Hot Dogs El Giro. He has over 25 years of restaurant experience and began working with street food about a year ago. Originally from Guadalajara Mexico, he says he cooks here in the same fashion he used to cook at home. After tasting the robust flavors of the meat, which is prepared impeccably, and the harmonious mixture of fresh vegetables and spices, it is easy to tell Perez is a master of his craft.  

Another popular staple at Taco y Hot Dogs El Giro are their breakfast burritos. From 8am to 11am, you can get a hearty burrito filled with your choice of meat, scrambled eggs, warm, soft potatoes and cheese; all for $4.99. The compact burritos make for a great meal on the go and Tacos y Hot Dogs El Giro is known for its fast service.

The ongoing pandemic has slowed down business a bit according to Perez. He has noticed less customers dining at the truck, but “things are getting better over time,” he says. Palacio agrees that as restrictions have been lifted business is slowly becoming busier. 

Perez and Palacios take measures such as socially distancing tables, saran wrapping food tightly, and accepting cash only, to provide a safe environment for customers. 

The quality of the food is what makes this place special. Everything is cooked traditionally and perfectly. I can’t think of a single complaint about any of the burritos, tacos or Sonoran dogs I have had. You’re getting restaurant quality food – expensive restaurant quality food – at a fast food price. The service is very fast and Perez and Palencios are always kind and ready for conversation. It’s an overall experience that reminds me of what I like about the city of Tucson.