CRUISING DOWN AIRPORT ROAD, you might find yourself behind a car with Mexico license plates. See where it goes if you’re hungry. Heading west from the intersection of NM 599, start a taco crawl with the cartoony beacon of the red-apple-shaped kiosk attached to the Master Food Truck (6633 Airport Road). Owner Petra Rosa, who hails from Aguascalientes, Mexico, and came to New Mexico in 2000, says the chicken tacos she makes inside the apple truck are extra popular. She bought the mobile kitchen secondhand two years ago, repainting it a richer red that complements Master’s deep salsa roja (there’s also a zesty verde).

Down the road, Jesus García and his wife, Minerva Rodriguez, have helmed Compas Tacos since 2017. Cars swarm Compas for the Chihuahua-born García’s sublimely seasoned carne asada and barbacoa tacos, in particular. “We have all the meats,” Rodriguez says, “but beef is a specialty here.” The recipe for the kicked-up orangey salsa is a secret. Close by, pork aficionados can’t miss a stop at the longtime Taqueria Argelia (4720 Airport Road), where a short wait can net a split plate of four glistening carnitas and buche (pig stomach) tacos, served with the works and a creamy avocado salsa.

On a recent Saturday afternoon, party central was at the truck hub near O’Reilly Auto Parts (4715 Airport Road). Kids jostled inside a bounce house while a “Time of the Season” dubstep remix blasted outside Taco-Miendo, where owner Lucila García is proud of her Tijuana-style birria tacos.

“All the best cooks in Tijuana come from other parts of Mexico,” she explains. “They went there meaning to cross the border, but the food business is so good that they stay. Their recipes come from all over—Jalisco, Oaxaca, Veracruz.” As a result, 21 ingredients make up the silky consommé that comes with Taco-Miendo’s exquisite quesabirria. Baja and Southern California expats flock here for crispy battered fish and shrimp tacos too.

Right next door, Guadalupe Flores’s three-year-old navy-blue Birrieria y Taqueria Flores truck features the Zacatecan owner’s birria recipe, a differently seasoned but equally delicious counterpart to its neighbor’s. He sells more carne asada than anything else, which is no wonder to anyone digging into a taco plate of crispy morsels sided with creamy refried beans and subtly flavored, orange-hued rice.

“The Mexican community comes to Airport Road to eat,” Flores says. “But so do Chicanos y gueros.”

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