Tasty Tortas: Alligator Pear food truck serves up Mexican-inspired sandwiches

Matt Algarin
Emily Pangle and Jay Dallas are the owners and operators of The Alligator Pear — The Torta Truck, the newest food truck/trailer in Destin.

Jay Dallas and Emily Pangle are the faces behind one of Destin's newest eateries, The Alligator Pear — The Torta Truck.

"This is our brand new baby," Dallas said of the black custom-made food trailer. "To be here selling food and making this happen is just a dream — this has been a goal of ours for a long time."

Serving up a variety of Mexican-inspired tortas with an American twist, The Alligator Pear's owners promise to pack big flavors into each and every one of their scratch-made products.

After spending time in both New York, were they met, and Miami, Dallas and Pangle saw the popularity of the local food trucks and knew they wanted to part of the growing trend.

"We said why not Destin?" said Pangle, who is originally from Crestview and has vacationed in Destin her whole life. "We wanted to bring what we saw and experienced down here."

While they wanted to stick to some of the basic taqueria roots, Dallas said he also wanted to put his own spin on the torta sandwich.

"We kept a lot of things traditional, but I put some of my own inspiration into things," he said. "It's eclectic, a hodgepodge if you will."

Looking at the menu, "it's super flavorful and filling," Pangle told The Log.

As for the tortas, there are three options to choose from — shredded beef, pork carnitas and the chicken "al pastor."

The shredded beef torta marries onion marmalade, roasted poblano peppers, cotija cheese, and chipotle mayo. The pork carnitas are piled high with black beans, pickled onions, avocado, arugula, cotija cheese, and chipotle mayo. The chicken al pastor boasts black beans, tomato, avocado, arugula, and cilantro mayo.

There is also "The Big Bowl," which features your choice of meat, rice and beans, plus any three toppings. Rice and beans, chips and guacamole, elotes, a grilled corn bowl, and watermelon sweet tea round out the menu.

"We are not a huge menu," Pangle said. "We are nice and focused, which is what you normally see with a food truck."

Everything that is served at the Alligator Pear, which is another name for an avocado, is made inside the 16.5-square foot trailer that has two fridges, a stove, fryer, grill and all the tools needed to offer up a taste of Mexican street food in Destin.

"When you take a bite of one of our sandwiches, you wouldn't expect that much flavor," Dallas said.

Currently Dallas and Pangle have their trailer set up in the parking lot of the Tropical Waves next to The Track in Destin. They are typically open from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, depending on weather and business.

To stay up to date on where to find The Alligator Pear and updated hours of operation find them on Facebook or call them at (305)-302-5733.

Just a few weeks into business, Dallas says the response has been tremendous so far and business is steadily picking up as customers become regular visitors.

"I haven't had one negative response yet, and I'm very thankful for that," he said. "We're loving every minute of it."