Zantigo's

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Author
smoker29
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RE: Zantigo's 2007/01/14 09:37:50 (permalink)
I was just googling Zantigo's and I came across your forum.

I LOVED Zantigo's so much it was my first job. I started at the Hamilton, Ohio Dixie Highway location in 1986 and one month later it was transformed into a Taco Bell. I was able to keep my job, but I always missed the food.

Everybody is spot on about the food being much better. I feel like taking a road trip now.

Thanks for the wonderful information.

#31
zantigoNV
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RE: Zantigo's 2007/06/03 20:09:13 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by FoodMonger

Zantigo's --- the one food I miss so much!

My first job during high school around fall of 1977 was at Steak 'n' Shake. But six weeks later I got sick of the all the disgusting grease from standing over the french fry cooker---I had enough zits already and didn't need to be taking a steam bath in french fry oil every day! Besides, those checked pants and bow ties they made us wear were so geeky.

So, when I heard they were opening the first location of a new mexican fast food place called Zantigo's near my home, I jumped at the chance. Besides, there were a couple of cute young women from my church youth group who were going to be working there, too, so I couldn't pass it up! :)

The managers were cool. The place was brand new and clean. And the food.... AWESOME!

Diablo Chili!
Taco Burritos!
Chilitos (especially the green Diablo)!
Chips n Cheese!

Even the refried beans were outstanding!

As someone else mentioned, the seasoning was just so much better than any other taco place's. I can still taste it all these years later... and I long for that food again!

My dad's dream was to be in Times Square for New Year's Eve. He got to do that. Some people want to go to Europe or Asia or elsewhere. Other people dream of taking their kids or grandkids to DisneyWorld (I've been there, done that, and it was great). But, for me, I dream of making a trek from St. Louis to Minnesota just to eat at the last best relative of a real Zantigo restaurant!

By the way... regarding Taco Bell's demise... it WAS when they changed to the thicker cheese (as mentioned above). As I recall, they brought out a line of modified products that were supposedly healthier, which had the thicker cheese (or a thicker low-fat cheese alternative, or something like that) and they also used different lower-fat tortilla's etc. That food was actually pretty good. But it didn't catch on with the porker public overall (of which I am one), and they dropped that specialty line, but at the same time kind of moved some of the stylistic changes to the regular full-on-fat versions of their products (which thicker cheese, a different tasting burrito shell, different spices on the taco meat, etc.). The old stuff was better.

#32
zantigoNV
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RE: Zantigo's 2007/06/03 20:16:46 (permalink)
There are two restaurants I miss: Zantigos and God Fathers pizza. I remember the Zantigos at the Surrey Square location in Norwood...the location I frequented the most. There used to be a Taco Bell (formerly Zantigos) and a KFC. Now the buildings are gone with a combined Taco Bell and KFC. I really missed the food...tacos, bean burritos, taco burritos and nachos deluxes. I wish I had the recipes to make this stuff at home especially the spices in the meat so I can have zantigos again. I checked out the zantigos website menu but I don't remember taco burritos having beans in them but who cares cause that place rocked. Taco Bell will NEVER be what Zantigos was. I heard Pepsico had somehting to do with it...maybe I will quit drinking their products!
#33
zantigoNV
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RE: Zantigo's 2007/06/03 20:25:36 (permalink)
Sorry bout ur quote foodmonger, I'm not trying to steal it. I am new at this site and somehow copied ur quote. I think I kinda figured it out but I can't change what I accidentally did. So I am apologizing in advance.
#34
chilitobabe
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RE: Zantigo's 2007/06/29 22:35:01 (permalink)
I used to work at the one on Broad Street in Whitehall. Was one of the openers for the one on Hamilton Rd by Eastland Mall, and helped open the one on 161 and Reynoldsburg. In fact, the Reynoldsburg location was put there due to a study I had to do for DECA, and Bob White and Gary (whatever his name was) liked all the work I put into it, that they put the restaurant one block from where I did all my studies! (I got an A on my project). I loved all of the food, helped create the Mexican Pizza that never made it on the menu, but those few who knew about it, got it from us. I still make the chips and cheese the Z way, and everything else, except the diablo sauce (God, I miss that so much). Anyway, viva la Zantigo, and when I do my country tour next year with my daughter, we will definitely check out the Zantigo's in Minnesota. PS. I so hated the uniforms, they itched, but loved the contests they had. We got extra benes for selling extra cheese and jalepenos. Oh, and the Gyro place in Whitehall? That was originally a Taco Bell, it was never a Zantigos.
#35
sultan
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RE: Zantigo's 2007/08/18 21:30:42 (permalink)
they are indeed still alive and well up here in minneapolis, but someone had commented that the location they had visited was in a strip mall with no drive thru. I believe the one you are referring to is the one in Woodbury (a suburb of St Paul) but the next time you (or anyone else for that matter) visit here, the one you HAVE to go to is the one in Fridley (its on the northwest corner of University Ave and I-694...about 5 miles north of downtown). It is totally AUTHENTIC late 1970's/early 80's Zantigo. It's housed in an old Pizza Slut(Hut) building thats only about 5 blocks from where the original Fridley location used to be (rumour has it, the chiropractic office who currently owns the old location refused to sell it back to Zantigo because the owner complained that he spent weeks getting rid of the chilito smell that still lingered in the building after 25 years since it closed, and he didnt want it back! LOL) But still, the old building is still there in its former glory (its about 10 blocks north of the new location, near 65th and University on the service road to the right ((if you're heading northbound on University Ave)) Its hard to miss...there's a Chinese restaurant to the right of it, and a AA meeting center to the left. I imagine it was a popular place back in the 70's/80's if you were a Chinese-Mexcican American with alcohol problems...LOL...OK, that was bad...but still, if you are a nostalgic Zantigo nut, you might want to at least drive past the place.)

But as far as the "new" location is concerned, it does have a drive-thru, and even though its in an old Pizza Hut building, it has that classic 70's/80's fast food chain feel. It has the red vinyl wallpapper with fake wood panels and the tables and chairs are all from the original Pizza Hut....red formica and plastic tables. And even though the the drive-thru is convienient, you cant say you've been to Fridley without dining in there. They even have SPORKS!!!! (for the uninitiated, or for those born after 1984, sporks are a spook and fork all in one!! perfect for the classic enchilladas that only Zantigo can do). And oh yes, the chilitos. They're still there out in full force (i prefer the green, and apparently i'm not the only one). But if any of you ever travel up here, you got to see and eat in this place. Even if you choose the drive thru, at least come inside pretending that you need to use the restroom. CLASSIC!!!
#36
Joliet Jimmy
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RE: Zantigo's 2008/01/03 12:38:18 (permalink)
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HAS POSTED HERE RE: ZANTIGO RESTAURANTS. We used to have them here in the Chicago burbs back in the 1980's and I was addicted to their cheese chilitos. Thanks to all of you I discovered the new Zantigos in Minnesota where I occasionally work. I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT THE CHILITOS ARE EXACTLY THE SAME! The chilitos are mother's milk to me as I was weaned on them as a teenager. Chilitos were my favorite guilty pleasure back then and I had quite a few guilty pleasures like most folks do while growing up. It was devastating when the restaurant closed in Joliet Illinois around 1985. You can't believe how many friends place an order with me whenever I travel to MN for work - its hysterical! The additional cost for dry ice is a small price to pay to satisfy a Chilitos craving. Some of our local firemen take turns road tripping up to MN on a chilito run - I kid you not! Such road trips were common around here in the 1970's for Coors beer. At the time it was only brewed in Golden Colorado and sold strictly in the Southwest. Zantigo’s has that same kind of cult status. I hope the word continues to grow. I would love to see the restaurant chain grow and maybe get some of them closer to the Chicago area. Thanks to Zantigo’s, I actually look forward to working out of town. Thanks again to everyone on this post, it took a while but word finally spread to some of us cultists here in Illinois. Life is now good once again!
#37
Michael Hoffman
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RE: Zantigo's 2008/01/03 16:03:00 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by chilitobabe

I used to work at the one on Broad Street in Whitehall.

Oh, and the Gyro place in Whitehall? That was originally a Taco Bell, it was never a Zantigos.

The one on Broad Street is now The Mad Greek. I went by there a few minutes ago. And the King Gyro's on Hamilton Road was, indeed, a Zantigo. It was the first Zantigo I ever saw, and the first one I ever patronized. It later became a Taco Bell after Pepsico took over, and that was before it became King Gyro's.
#38
a.m.impaired
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RE: Zantigo's 2008/01/18 11:52:06 (permalink)
Calling all posters that have been to this thread! I live in a suburb next to Fridley, MN and it IS the best. However, on nights like tonight, when it is -14 degrees and -40 wind chill, I don't want to go out!

I am looking for a copycat recipe for their green chili burritos, probably their simplest creation, but if anyone can help me, I would really be appreciative!!!!!!!


email me! lil_german_girl@hotmail.com w/subject: ZANTIGO'S (so I don't miss your email amongst all the spam).
#39
angelinaballerina
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RE: Zantigo's 2008/08/28 22:51:58 (permalink)
This is going to sound weird, but I am actually loking for someone
who worked at zantigos in columbus, ohio on N. hight st. in the early 80's. I was just a teen and this guy and me became friends. I
have been trying to find Bill Mccargish for years. He was originally
from Dayton, ohio. He moved to Dayton, ohio when a Zantigos opened here. Does any one remember him. He was a "God" at zantigos in Columbus, he did everthing. If any ones knows what happened to him
I would love to know. I think he had 5 or more kids.It's funny I've
never forgotten the wonderful food I ate there and fixed. I did alot
o dishes mostly. Thanks for the help if any one knows where he is.

thanks
angie
#40
icunurse
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RE: Zantigo's 2008/10/20 20:25:43 (permalink)
My husband and I were discussing Zantigo's chilito just yesterday! The Zantigo here in Middletown, OH closed it's doors in 1986 or 87. I'd much rather have Zantigo than Taco Bell anyday. We've been together since 1985 when we met in high school and we would often go eat at Zantigo where our friends worked. We too, miss Zantigo. I wish they would open a franchise somewhere remotely close to Cincinnati, OH. Taco Bell's Chili Cheese Burrito PALES in comparison to Zantigo's chilito. I do remember when Zantigo "closed their doors" that we went through Taco Bell and requested a "Chilito" and they had no idea what we were talking about. Needless to say, they still can't make anything close to the taste of the chilito.
Are there any recipes out there that are close to these longed for chilitos, if there are please let us all know.
#41
icunurse
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RE: Zantigo's 2008/10/20 20:28:59 (permalink)
Zantigo does still exist.....in Minnesota.
#42
GreenHorse
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RE: Zantigo's 2008/12/07 18:14:49 (permalink)
I was hungry and looking on line for a nearby tasty place to eat near downtown St. Paul when I stumbled upon this post. I do agree that most of the new Zants don't have the same atmosphere as the old ones (my favorite locale was in Minneapolis's Cedar Riverside area), the food is still great.

Hopefully the people at Zants are keeping and eye on this thread and start expanding again. Sounds like there's a built in market.
#43
wfsaltshaker
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RE: Zantigo's 2010/01/25 22:11:45 (permalink)
My goodness, How I miss Zantigo's. The Hot Cheese Chilitos, Green Chili and Green Chili Buritos. I don't know how in the ---- Taco Bell is stii around and Zantigo's is gone. It's down right un-American I tell ya.
#44
NYPIzzaNut
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RE: Zantigo's 2010/01/26 14:16:08 (permalink)
I somehow never heard of them?!
post edited by NYPIzzaNut - 2010/01/26 14:18:07
#45
collinf
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RE: Zantigo's 2010/01/27 10:51:02 (permalink)
I remember Zantigo's from the Milwaukee area in the 70's.  Ricardo Montalban did their radio commercials.  They were preceeded by Zapata's.
#46
R Sauer
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RE: Zantigo's 2010/01/27 12:26:01 (permalink)
NYPIzzaNut - Zantigo's was the bomb, as the kids say.  The fact that they largely didn't survive whilst Taco Bell continues to thrive is but another example of how inherently evil life is.
#47
EliseW
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Re:Zantigo's 2013/07/22 22:21:53 (permalink)
I have been craving a chillito and chips n' cheese for weeks.  It's been on my mind for awhile so I decided to google Zantigo's.  I miss that place and liked it so much better than taco smell (bell).  I was amazed to see so many people thinking and craving the same thing.   Shame on PepsiCo........  Zantigo's is so much better.  I guess I need to take a road trip to MN.  It was like the restaurants disappeared overnight. 
#48
Bonk
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Re:Zantigo's 2013/08/03 20:55:39 (permalink)
Taco Bell originally called its chili cheese burrito a chilito but changed the name upon being informed that chilito was a slang term for a private part of a man's body. A small one at that.
 
True story.
#49
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