The Chunky Monkey is the name of the new "taco truck" at the corner of 90th and Aurora, the former home of Paladar Cubano. Will this Chunky Monkey also be a little slice of heaven?
We've been three times. Our first visit was late one Sunday afternoon, shortly after they opened, and they were nearly out of everything since it was just before their closing time. Lauren Pineda, who co-owns the Chunky Monkey with her husband Gabriel, apologized for the shortages and explained that they make everything fresh and were still in the process of working out how much to make each morning. Gabriel offered to put something together for us using the special of the day, seasoned beef dish. It was delicious.
Our second visit was the very next weekend. Lauren and Gabriel seem to be working out the kinks, as they had plenty of everything. I decided to try the Taco Plate, which came with two corn tortillas, topped with tasty carnitas and fresh cilantro, with sides of rice and refried beans. Nothing special about the rice and beans, but the carnitas were full of flavor, perfectly grilled, and I would definitely have them again.
In fact, when we visited for the third time last weekend, I did have the carnitas tacos again. And again, they were delicious, well worth the wait. Did I mention the wait? Yeah, there is a bit of a wait because everything is made fresh, right when you order it.
I am not ready to say that the Chunky Monkey is a little slice of heaven, but I will say that Lauren and Gabriel seem genuinely dedicated to providing great food and friendly service. And they are a welcome addition to Aurora Avenue. Go check them out (and try one of Lauren's homemade cupcakes):
8953 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103