Last Tuesday, a long line of people extended down U.S. 35 North in Walton, patiently waiting to order food from the El Rancho Street Tacos truck.
This week the location will be different, but the big crowds will likely be the same.
Ivan Gonzalez, a Walton resident, owns the truck. He will have the truck out again this Tuesday afternoon from noon to 8 p.m. That big line last week was a little too long for those who live in the area. Instead, Gonzalez will park his taco truck down the street in the lot near Dollar General, 406 S. Main St.
Gonzalez has been driving the truck for two years now. He built it himself over the course of a year, often wondering if it was worth the money and effort he was putting into it.
He sold out of tacos last Tuesday. The truck seems like a good investment.
“I was not expecting that,” he said. He almost worked the day alone but thankfully decided to bring three employees with him. He estimated he sold over 500 tacos in two hours.
He said he didn’t realize there was such a long line, that he didn’t want to look back and possibly stress out over the many people. He just wanted to keep moving ahead.
Gonzalez has been around the food industry since he was a child. His parents once owned the El Ranchito Mexican restaurant in Logansport. From there they moved to catering. Gonzalez ran the El Rancho Mexican Grocery in Monticello before selling it earlier this year to focus on the food truck. The truck’s name is derived from his parents’ restaurant, and he uses his father’s taco recipe.
What surprised Gonzalez the most last week was the number of large orders that were placed. He anticipated people ordering three to six tacos like he saw last year in festival settings. Orders of 20 or more tacos were unexpected.
But he came up with a solution: call-in orders. Now, if a family or business has a large order, they can call the truck at 765-201-8566 instead of waiting in line.
“It’s a learning experience,” he said. “Little by little I’m making it as efficient as possible.”
Monday, he took the truck to Peru and experienced similar results as to what he saw in Walton.
“Everyone was super happy,” he said. “There were people who came (Monday in Peru) who clapped their hands and said, ‘Thanks for coming back.’ It was a really nice experience. A lot of people I grew up with at Lewis Cass came out (last week). There was a lot of support.”
Along with Walton and Peru, Gonzalez takes the truck to Galveston, Monticello and Brookston. He is waiting for permits to operate in Lafayette and Kokomo.
The best way to see where the El Rancho Street Tacos truck will be next is to follow along on the business’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/El-Rancho-Street-Tacos-103634801932687/.
Along with tacos, the food truck also serves quesadillas, burritos, tamales, street corn and fruit cups, but more items are coming, said Gonzalez.