By John Fleck
For some time, Google Maps has offered a mystery – out in the West Mesa sand flats of Petroglyph National Monument, the Mystique Food Truck:
This is an unlikely place for a food truck. For one thing, it would be hard to get a food truck there. In addition, it would be hard for the food truck’s customers to get there. Those “dirt road”-looking lines on the satellite image above aren’t much, ruts of volcanic rock and sand providing only barely usable access to the lines running across the mesa that bring Albuquerque its electricity.
But for completeness’ sake, I rode out this morning to check.
I got close enough to confirm that there was, in fact, no food truck. Also, I can confirm that those things that look, tantalizingly like “dirt roads” in satellite images of Albuquerque’s west mesa are predictably unrideable on my road bike, which actually does pretty well on actual “dirt roads”. But it was a beautiful day to walk my bike down rocky, sandy paths beneath a soaring hawk in search of a phantom food truck.
A bit of sleuthing suggested an alternative site where I might find the Mystique Food Truck, an address in the old industrial neighborhood along the railroad tracks, north of downtown. It’s across from the Mexican consulate, just down the block from Ray’s Unique Bingo Supplies. At the address in question, a former pawnshop, I again found no food truck. I circled through the alley in back and wandered the neighborhood a bit (it’s Sunday, which is for wandering*). No luck.
There does in fact seem to be a Mystique Food Truck. Their Facebook page suggests they have yummy green chile chicken quesadillas, are popular at the local community college’s lunch rush, but have shut down operations because of The Thing.
I remain delightfully puzzled by their location on Google Maps. More sleuthing suggests the truck’s owners may live in the neighborhood just down the escarpment from where Google Maps has tried to relocate them. Occam’s razor would have us chalk this up to a simple longitude typo. But I like to think it was an elaborate ploy on the part of someone to lure me out onto the mesa for a Sunday bike ride.
* Every day is for wandering.