For more than a decade, grease-free, kitchen-on-wheels creates mexican food with a twist
VANCOUVER — “Welcome home!”
“It’s good to be home.”
It’s something you might hear if you visit Vancouver’s beloved food truck, Tacos n’ Cream. To be welcomed home though, you first have to become part of the family.
More than a decade ago, the family began, when Chester-Castillo Morales was working as an actor flying between Washington and Los Angeles.
One night, after preparing his special food inspired by his heritage in Nicaragua, he said God gave him a dream. In the dream he saw hands, giving people boxes of food. On one of the hands was a scar. His hand has that same scar. He says he heard God tell him to no longer be served as an actor, but to instead serve others with his gift for food.
He said yes, and never looked back.
Soon thereafter, he had his first customer. Back then, his more aptly named kitchen-on-wheels, was actually just a tent. Today, no one who visits Tacos n’ Cream is a customer. Everyone is a guest.
“From that moment on to today we’ve only had guests,” Chester-Castillo said. “I was so fortunate 10 years later, through everything here we are. And our guests have come back many times and have supported us and that’s what I call family.”
Tacos n’ Cream goes by the motto, “A Mexican dish, with a twist.” Here’s where the twist enters the stage. Since everyone is family, he knew they needed to eat like family; healthy, delicious and hand made everyday.
While most meat, particularly beef, is cooked in some form of grease, Tacos n’ Cream runs a grease-free operation. His grease traps are always empty. And he’d love to show you.
Chester-Castillo’s carne asada-style, lean and flavorful masterpiece is prepared on the searing cooktop with only seasonings and a dash of some specially mixed oils. That ‘s it.
From there fresh onions, and Tillamook cheese make an appearance. The final touch is an original take on pico de gallo, filled with vegetables.
The cherry on top is more like corn. Seasoned and boiled corn, which is then grilled and topped with mayo, cheese and smoky seasoning.
Food fit for family. All 80 plus dishes.
Chester-Castillo began investing all his focus on crafting food that not only tasted amazing, but reduced the amount of fat and grease in and on that food. For him it’s personal.
After losing his mother and brother to rare cancers, he was diagnosed with cancer in his throat. The doctors told him he shouldn’t be able to have the surgery, but his health was so good they went ahead. After, he was told he wouldn’t talk for at least a month. He was working and talking even sooner. He believes his food had a part to play. And the grace of God.
Now it’s all about others, once again.
“A lot of people don’t know that I’ve put myself with my condition and my age in the path of danger,” he said. “But I can’t think of that. I got to think of what my fellow man is also facing. Forget about me. It’s about them.”
Once in a while someone who is homeless will stop by Tacos n’ Cream. They’ll ask if he’s throwing anything away. He says no, he tries to never throw anything away. But he has a meal for them. They can’t believe it. They try to pay him with the $2 they have in their pocket, but he says it’s not necessary. This meal’s for you.
That fun name comes from the obvious presence of tacos, but the “cream” comes from Chester-Castillo’s homemade ice cream. There’s even an avocado flavor on occasion.
You can learn so much more about health benefits research on cooking without grease and how to become a special member of the Tacos n’ Cream family by visiting their website or by following them on Facebook. They are currently located at 14020 NE Fourth Plain Rd. in front of Tony’s Auto Parts and next to the Kaiser Permanente building.