My Expat Life, Now With More Quesadillas

I’ve been living in Freiburg for almost three years now, so it’s rare that I encounter culture shock anymore. All the little things that stressed me out when I first got here seem normal now, or at least I’ve come to terms with them. I’m not sure I’ll ever adjust to the cold winters, though luckily we’ve come up with an escape plan. But the one thing I’ve missed most about the US (other than people) is Mexican food. If there’s a salsa god out there, I think he may have finally heard me.

The Mexican food search

Freiburg doesn’t have a lot of Mexican restaurants, so it wasn’t hard to try them all. Sadly, none of them even comes close to what I ate on a regular basis when I was living in Atlanta. One of the restaurants is decent enough, though still wildly inaccurate, but the other two are awful.

I spent three months in Berlin trying as many Mexican restaurants as I could. Most of them were surprisingly tasty, and it didn’t take long before Andy and I found our favorites. I actually cried a little when we had to come back to Freiburg because I knew I’d miss the quesadillas, chips and salsa.

Tweeting with tacos

Last June while we were in Italy, I got followed on Twitter by the Holy Taco Shack. At first I laughed, thinking it was strange to be followed by a Mexican place. But then I noticed their profile said it was a taco truck in Freiburg. I’m pretty sure I squealed and jumped out of my seat with excitement.

Immediately I followed them back and started tweeting with them. They were just starting up in the area and trying to get into some of the local markets. I vowed to keep in touch so I’d know as soon as they were up and running.

Mexican food in Freiburg

A few days before we left for Berlin, they told me of a market they were starting to sell at, and Andy and I made plans to go on their first day. But the night before I received a tweet telling me they had been delayed. With only a few days left until our departure, we’d miss their opening by just two days.

By the time we returned from Southeast Asia, I knew the Holy Taco Shack was at the Wochenmarkt Rieselfeld market on the other side of town on Wednesdays and Saturdays. After recovering from jet lag, Andy and I hopped on the tram our first Saturday back and went to taste what I had hoped to be salsa my veins had been missing these past few years.

The Holy Taco Shack

I insisted we leave early so we could beat the lunch rush, but arriving at noon we saw we’d still have to wait behind several people. But after a few minutes we got to the front and placed our order. (I did mention who we were, but the response was just “oh hi!” It turns out his wife runs the Twitter account, and she got a good laugh out of this when I talked to her later.)

Mexican food in Freiburg, Germany

The quesadilla was wonderful. The salsa was perfect and spicy. I was in heaven. It was totally worth waiting almost nine months from when we first found out about the Holy Taco Shack, and it was certainly worth 30 minutes and two trams from our apartment to the market. We’ve been back several times because I just can’t resist.

Geoff, the owner and chef, is from the US and really knows what he’s doing. Despite the reputation that Germans don’t like spicy food, his taco truck is doing really well. While there are plenty of expats who come by for their fix, Geoff has lots of local customers too. Many times we’ve overheard people asking for descriptions of his three main offerings – tacos, quesadillas and burritos – because they aren’t familiar with the food, but they all seem to enjoy it.

Mexican food in Freiburg, Germany

In addition to selling their tasty food at the market, they also drive their food truck to special events in the Freiburg area, and they do catering. It also sounds like they’re about to start selling at a bar closer to the center of town one night a week, which means we can sit out in the patio with a beer and enjoy our quesadillas.

Freiburg just got a little better. The Holy Taco Shack has answered my guacamole and quesadilla filled prayers.

If you’re looking for more info about Freiburg and southwest Germany, check out this 1 week itinerary of the Black Forest and beyond.

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