Gentle readers: Behold the debut of our latest column: “The Poorman’s OC 4 Under $6, written by our own King of All Media, Jim “The Poorman” Trenton! Every week, he’ll regale us with cheap eats and things to do in this great county of ours. Now, here’s the Poorman!
“You Can Enjoy The Good Life Without Spending Big Bucks!” That’s always been my motto as The Poorman. My career began as a writer of restaurant guide books that I self-published entitled The Poorman’s Guide To Gourmet Dining 4 Under $6. Both books made the Los Angeles Times’ Critics List. It was a lot of fun putting them together, as well as eating my way through So. Cal. I got my first on air job at KROQ and the name “Poorman” as a reviewer of ‘Under $6’ eateries. Part of the job was hustling free meal certificates for the broke KROQ air staff. The rest is history.
The goal of this column is to tell you about awesome things in the OC that cost less than $6 (not sure if I’m getting the Weekly staff free meal certificates as well). OC, for the most part, is a pretty expensive place to live, and this will definitely be a challenge. Every deal spotlighted in this column will get a rating from 0-5 PoorStars based on the Poorman’s ‘Cheap Scale Of Excellence’ (5 Poorstars is the ultimate). Anyhow, things have come full circle for me, so let’s get started! And, thank you OC Weekly for giving me this opportunity!
Under $1 Taco Madness
In New York, $1 pizza slices are the rage. In The OC, it’s $1 tacos! Unbelievably, one buck a taco may actually be on the expensive side! There are plenty of eateries charging less than a dollar per taco. I may have shot my wad here in week one (sorry, I know that sounds gross), but I believe we may have already located the ultimate Poorman eatery! This restaurant has prices that even the most broke, down-on-your luck human being can afford.
It’s actually a taco truck named Tacos El Chavito located in Huntington Beach, which Gustavo has talked about many times over the years. I found this place on a tip from Facebook friend Robert Manny Lobo. The truck is parked on Morgan, a quiet little street just off Slater, very near the corner of Beach and Slater. El Chavito is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week. When I arrived, there were probably 20 people waiting in line on a Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.. The atmosphere is very chill, and the truck is super-clean. The dude popping his head out of the small opening to take and deliver your order adds to the ambience. One taco is an amazing 49 cents, basically two for a buck!!!!! The tortillas are homemade! Service is ultra-fast (under three minutes)!
They even throw in a free glass of pineapple juice! If that’s not enough, you can help yourself to unlimited free marinated jalapeños and vegetables! What a freakin’ deal!!!!! There are 9 different types of Tacos to choose from. I splurged by spending a whopping 1 dollar, ordering carne asada and pollo tacos. Delicious! Excellent quality meats. They also feature lengua, carnitas, chorizo, pastor, chicharron, buche, and cabeza.
A great indicator of how good El Chavito is…spotting an HBPD officer pulling up in his cop car, and placing an order. If cops eat there, you know it’s good. And yes, he actually paid for his meal.
He told me he loves the place, and “you can’t beat the price!” No you can’t! Ridiculous! El Chavito has the cheapest prices I’ve ever seen, and there is no sacrifice in quality. I don’t know how these guys do it. I give El Chavito a perfect 5 PoorStar Rating.
Tacos El Chavito, on Morgan Street between Slater and Speer Avenues, Huntington Beach. No phone number.
RATING: 5 PoorStars
There you have it! The 1st edition of the Poorman’s OC ‘4 under $6’. It won’t ever get much cheaper than this, but then, maybe it will!
To Contact the Poorman about any great deals that you know about (not just food) in OC and Long Beach, hit him up on Facebook @ Jim Poorman Trenton, Twitter @Poorman1, email firstname.lastname@example.org, website www.poorman.com or his actual cell phone (949) 870-6155 (Yes, the Poorman actually answers his phone, even at 3 AM. Booty calls encouraged.).
When Poorman doesn’t have his feet in the sand, you can find him on the air Monday-Friday 7am-9am at KOCI hosting Poorman’s Morning Rush – Orange County’s only morning drive show. His show brings plenty of excitement, and of course, the Poorman’s aura of unpredictability – both good and bad – that has defined his legend! Email Jim “Poorman” Trenton at email@example.com to request a song or submit music.