As Texas natives, David Larraga and Sam Sanchez are bringing the flavors of the Southwest to Destin as the owners and operators of the In The Bag food truck.
"We wanted to be able to share what we love," Sanchez told The Log. "Just being able to bring these flavors to this area is really cool."
Slinging made-from-scratch tacos at the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 98 and Airport Road in the old Destin Diner parking lot, In The Bag offers a carefully planned out menu with simple, but delicious tacos.
The four "signature" items all draw inspiration from what Larraga, Sanchez and their wives, Tristen and Bobbie like to eat themselves, whether it's the "956," the "Novia," the "Cuatro," or the "Sissy bowl."
The 956 features diced steak with cilantro, diced onions, sliced avocado, caramelized onions and queso fresco on a corn tortilla. Larraga said that 956 is the area code from where he grew up in Texas. The Novia, which means girlfriend, was created by Sanchez's wife and packs marinated chicken, shredded cheese and guacamole into a flour tortilla.
The Cuatro is Sanchez's signature creation and combines steak, guacamole, sour cream, queso fresco, and pico de gallo. The Sissy Bowl is served sans tortilla and offers up shredded lettuce, steak, refried beans, guacamole, diced onions, salsa, queso, and pico de gallo.
"There are only three meats on the menu, but they are so flavorful," Larraga told The Log. "They are all marinated for at least 3-4 hours."
Both the salsa and the guacamole at In The Bag are old family recipes, which Larraga and Sanchez say means a lot to them to be able to share with the public. All of the food in the truck is made from scratch, and made fresh each day.
Whatever items are not used get taken home at the end of each day, and the team starts new.
In The Bag has taken its operation from Scenic Hwy. 98 in Walton County to the inaugural Blazefest concert in Niceville, as well as the parking lots of both Nightown and The Swamp.
They purchased their food truck, which was an old Snap-On tools truck, in January and completely retrofitted the inside into a mobile restaurant. It's complete with sinks, plenty of storage, a refrigerator, charbroiler and a flat-top griddle.
"We completely tore it apart," Larraga said, adding that they spent almost 18-hours-a-day for a month straight perfecting the truck.
"It has everything we need," Sanchez said.
In The Bag is open daily from 12-6 p.m., or later depending on business, Monday through Saturday. Find them on Facebook and Twitter, or on the web at www.inthebagtacos.com.
Any service personnel, whether it's military, police, or firefighters, receive a 50 percent discount. Also, if you mention you saw this story in The Log, the team will give you a free drink with your meal.
With the summer season ahead of them, Larraga and Sanchez say they are looking forward to offering hungry Destinites and visitors a taste of home with every taco they sell.
"Our philosophy is to do one thing and do it well, if not better than everyone else," Sanchez said. "We want to make the food that we would like to eat."