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  • Writer's pictureKristin Guglietti

La Carreta Taqueria opens new restaurant

Kristin Guglietti/THG La Carreta Taqueria owner Marilu Saldana (right) and Desiree Sandoval (left) inside the restaurant located at 306 12th St.

After 17 years of serving tacos at her taco truck, Marilu Saldana opened La Carreta Taqueria on July 20 at 306 12th St.

Itzel Saldana, the daughter of the owner who helps manage the restaurant, talked about the history of the taco truck, Tacos y Tortas La Carreta, located outside Massarelli’s at 500 S. Egg Harbor Rd.

“My parents were probably the second or third Hispanics to move to where we live in our neighborhood, so they were seeing that there was a need for more Hispanic places. There wasn’t as many Hispanic restaurants. There wasn’t as many Hispanic little grocery stores, so they thought it was a good idea to start a taco truck,” Itzel Saldana said.

The taco truck used to be parked outside where the current restaurant is located, but because the town changed its policies for food trucks located downtown, the truck had to be moved.

“Our taco truck used to be parked outside and this was an empty building. We just had a bunch of chairs set up and people come in to eat, but the town changed its policies and we had to be removed from the main street,” Itzel Saldana said.

Customers can enjoy a variety of Mexican street food at La Carreta Taqueria.

“Our focus is Mexican street food. I personally don’t like to call ourselves like a restaurant because our focus is the tacos and the main pieces themselves,” Itzel Saldana said.

One of her favorite meat options is campechano, which is steak, choriso and bacon that tastes delicious in a taco or quesadilla.

“One of my newer favorites is one of our newer torta, which is a hot Mexican sandwich, and that’s called el toxico,” Itzel Saldana said.

El toxico, which translates to “a toxic man” goes with steak, breaded chicken and smoked ham.

Marilu Saldana comes up with all the recipes.

“My mom [Marilu Saldana] is the one who basically started everything. My dad [Agustin Saldana] has been a big supporter. He has his own job. He’s a truck driver from Massarelli’s, but it’s been mainly my mom and all of us. It really is a family affair. Every single one of my family lives here including cousins, our uncles, stuff like that, extended family helps us out a lot. The murals that we have here they were painted by cousins as well,” Itzel Saldana said.

Since La Carreta Taqueria opened during the summer, Itzel Saldana said business has been great.

“I think what really helped us out is that people know us from the taco truck, and so they’ve seen I put an announcement on the taco truck saying we’re going to open a restaurant and so a lot of people have been coming from over there, and we’ve been getting a lot of new people,” Itzel Saldana said.

Because La Carreta Taqueria is located next to Vinyl Brewing Co., Itzel Saldana said they’ve been getting their customers as well.

“Being right next door to each other has helped us a lot because people will grab a beer and come over here to get some tacos, so it’s been really good,” Itzel Saldana said.

Itzel Saldana said her mom loves what she does.

“She loves what she does and she really likes Hammonton itself because it’s a really good mixture of people and a lot of Hispanic culture here.

For more information about La Carreta Taqueria, call (609) 783-3137 and follow them on Instagram @lacarretanj.


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