Food truck Mainely Tacos opened in Hampden last week. Credit: Courtesy of Mainely Tacos

Hampden-area residents have a new dining option, as a food truck serving tacos, quesadillas and other Mexican and Southwestern dishes opened last week.

Mainely Tacos, which has had its bright red truck parked in the lot near Erickson’s Hardware and the Skehan Recreation Center on Main Road North for more than a month, opened quietly last week. Owner Chris Martin, an Arizona native now living in Hampden, opened the truck not just because he wanted to start a food-based business in Hampden, but because he deeply misses the cuisine he grew up with out West.

“This is the food that we can’t get here. When I go home to visit, I bring all kinds of this stuff back with me,” Martin said. “I judge a restaurant by its salsa. If it makes me sweat by the second chip, it’s good.”

Martin has worked in both restaurants and catering for years, and after relocating to Maine in 2016, he originally wanted to open a sit-down restaurant in Hampden. The pandemic put a stop to that plan, however, and he shifted gears to opening a food truck.

In addition to an array of tacos and quesadillas — including fish tacos made with fresh Maine haddock and lobster quesadillas — Mainely Tacos will serve some Mexican street food classics. Treats include Mexican street corn (grilled corn on the cob spread with mayo, butter, tangy cotija cheese and chipotle and lime seasonings) and churros, the beloved fried cinnamon sugar pastry. Spicy chicken wings and chips served with fresh salsa, guacamole or queso round out the menu.

Martin said the initial response from the community has been overwhelming.

“We are running out of food on a daily basis,” he said. “We’re just trying to get some employees trained up, because right now I’m a one-man show. It’s just been really great to see the community response.”

Mainely Tacos is open Tuesday through Saturday, from lunchtime until the food runs out. For more information, like them on Facebook.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.