Fremont's Burlesque Tacos: No Joke, Serious Eats

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A taco sampler plate, whipped up by Flair himself.

What: Flair Tacos

Where: Fremont (by Nectar Lounge)

When: Mon.-Wed. 11 a.m.—11 p.m.; Thu.-Sat. 11 a.m.—2 a.m., closed Sunday.

When I was first tipped off to a "burlesque taco truck," I wasn't quite sure how to respond. Having grown up in Eastern Washington, I'm no stranger to the taco wagon — but figuring out how to factor burlesque into the equation was a challenge. Bad jokes were in abundance.

After one taste of a taco made by the skilled Johnny Flair, who co-owns the truck with Angel Aguilar, I knew it was more than a gimmick. The partners take serious pride in their work, reaching out to friends and relatives for help and advice. Their sauces are hand-muddled at Los Reyas Del Taco in Tacoma, and a West Seattle bakery is responsible for their custom torta breads.

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Johnny Flair works in the truck alongside burlesque performer Levina Lotus. The Flair Taco truck may quite possibly be the cleanest of its kind I’ve ever seen — just one more reason to stop by.

There are big plans in the works too. Petra mentioned a possible tequila flair bar and catering — complete with taco girls and burrito boys. For now, there’s already a solid menu that includes the cornerstone $1.50 taco, tortas, quesadillas, burritos and taco salads.

There’s also something called a “Mexican Hot Dog” — a beef frank wrapped in bacon and smothered in sautéed onions, pickled jalapeños and a red bell pepper cheese — that is total bliss. Aguilar told me he couldn't stand the "plain" hot dogs he found when he moved to the U.S., so he brought the recipe from his childhood with him.

If you’re feeling adventurous, the Passport Meal is a great sampler of the truck’s fares; the only catch is that you have to have a passport present to make the order. No lie.

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Fire jugglers and tacos. A good night for sure.

With a slogan like "We're the taco the town" and publicity alongside shows like "Bad Motor Booty" thanks to Burning Hearts Burlesque promoter Cleo Petra, it can be easy to get sidetracked with the clever and occasionally racy promotion. That being said, the entertaining (and slightly alcohol-infused) environment the crew creates is one of the most unique and completely fitting a late-night food stop could possibly embody.

“We’re taking the taco truck to the next level,” said Flair. “There’s usually not much action; you order, you eat, you leave. But not here.”

 
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