The Stop: If Soul Plane was actually a bus parked in the Rainier Valley, it would be El Asadero. And every seat, a window seat. The old-school wonder is regally parked just a quarter of a mile south of Franklin High School and the Mt. Baker light-rail stop, and has been a neighborhood staple for almost a decade. There are plenty of generally solid taco trucks in the South End, but whhhyyyy would you go to a mere truck when you could order a spread of carne dishes from the back of a bus adorned with fake ivy and Christmas lights?
El Asadero's bossy bus-ness one-ups nearly every taco truck in town, for a delicious constellation of reasons:
-- It's on a bus.
-- For seating, you can choose from indoor counters with stool seating that spans the front of the bus, or the breezy tent with Rainier Avenue as your ambience.
-- They take cards.edit: was informed by an informant that they are not taking cards. my bad.
-- Their veggie tacos are actually the business.
-- Their carnes aren't greasy, without compromising their richness. From the tortas with a sublime layer of mayo-sauce to the mulitas (tiny quesadillas) with a crescent of avocado to the gold standard tacos: No matter the meat, it's tender, flavorful, and not dripping with oil. The adobada, asada, lengua, and pollo are all delightfully on-point.
-- Besides being a quick walk away from light rail, they have ample parking on either side, and there's a bus stop steps away. They also have another location on Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and Othello, right outside the Othello station. Also a bus. Also awesome.
If I had to come up with a sour note, it'd be that the carnitas plate was a bit dry, although the accompanying beans and rice were outstanding. The only way to make El Asadero even better would be to add a selection of aguas frescas, as I am a horchata fiend, but they don't disappoint with their spread of sodas. It would also be better if the bus actually rolled around; a fantasy Metro bus. As soon as my income level reaches baller status, I will contact El Asadero to fashion me a taco-bus limo.