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 Taco chains: when you have to

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Grillmeister

  • Total Posts: 204
  • Joined: 7/2/2004
  • Location: Sherman, TX
Taco chains: when you have to Sat, 07/23/05 11:19 AM (permalink)

OK Roadfooders, don't throw tomatoes (except the fresh garden variety):

It's late, you're on the road, you're in your dorm room, or you're in front of the TV when it hits....TACO FIX! The taqueria guy in the trailer down the road has made his money and has gone home (if he's good), or he's been deported (if he's REALLY good). All that's left at this hour are franchises so where do YOU go?
I found a small franchise called Taco John's while driving through Kentucky. It had quite a selection, and had a fresh salsa bar that actually set this Texas boy on fire! Seemed like a real contender in the world of Taco Bell.

 
#1
    1bbqboy

    • Total Posts: 4542
    • Joined: 11/20/2000
    • Location: Rogue Valley
    RE: Taco chains: when you have to Sat, 07/23/05 11:23 AM (permalink)
    http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2044
    Well, I love Taco Stands too, and we have a severe lack of 'em in the NW. Lots of Mexican, almost all sit down places. I always thought TJ's sauces were superior.
    We don't have one near, so it's been awhile since I've had the pleasure.
    http://www.99w.com/evilsam/ff/tacojohns.htm
     
    #2
      BT

      • Total Posts: 3589
      • Joined: 7/3/2004
      • Location: San Francisco, CA
      RE: Taco chains: when you have to Sat, 07/23/05 12:07 PM (permalink)
      Well, I rarely go to taco chains because, frankly, in the two places I spend my time (San Francisco and Tucson), there's no shortage of independents. But if you are limiting this to only chains, there are two that I would (and sometime do) visit: Rigoberto's (which I have only seen in the Tucson area) and Rubio's http://www.rubios.com/ .
       
      #3
        UncleVic

        • Total Posts: 6025
        • Joined: 10/14/2003
        • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
        • Roadfood Insider
        RE: Taco chains: when you have to Sat, 07/23/05 12:14 PM (permalink)
        I have to ditto what BT said... Too many independents in our town that far far exceed any of the chains... Better price, better quality, and alot of them are open late!
         
        #4
          carlton pierre

          • Total Posts: 2500
          • Joined: 7/12/2004
          • Location: Knoxville, TN
          RE: Taco chains: when you have to Sat, 07/23/05 12:35 PM (permalink)
          You guys with all the independent ff mexican places are very lucky!! I like Taco Johns as well, but I've only seen one in Morristown, TN as I recall and one in Cleveland, OH.
          Other than that, around here it's Taco Bell or nothing for Mexican ff. Fair amount of sit down eateries, and some good ones at that.

          Probably Chattanooga and Dalton, GA closest to Knoxville with anything resembling ff.
           
          #5
            1bbqboy

            • Total Posts: 4542
            • Joined: 11/20/2000
            • Location: Rogue Valley
            RE: Taco chains: when you have to Sat, 07/23/05 12:40 PM (permalink)
            Carl, I'm with you in distinguishing between Mexi FF and Sit down. It's like the difference between a hamburger stand, or having a burger at a sit down place. Both good, but different expectations.
             
            #6
              tiki

              • Total Posts: 4135
              • Joined: 7/7/2003
              • Location: Rentiesville, OK
              RE: Taco chains: when you have to Sat, 07/23/05 1:38 PM (permalink)
              Major shoratge of good local tavo stands here but there are a few--when i cant find one though and have to resort to chains,Taco Buenos is FAR superior to most of the chains ive encountered--but truthfully--there are SO many good local burgers and barbecue i really dont have the need to visit any chains at all--except for pizza--NO local joints at all!! and i just HAVE to have some kind of pizza now and then!! A really good one is an hour drive--and a really local taco is right down the road in Muskogee.
               
              #7
                BT

                • Total Posts: 3589
                • Joined: 7/3/2004
                • Location: San Francisco, CA
                RE: Taco chains: when you have to Sat, 07/23/05 4:56 PM (permalink)
                quote:
                Originally posted by bill voss

                Carl, I'm with you in distinguishing between Mexi FF and Sit down. It's like the difference between a hamburger stand, or having a burger at a sit down place. Both good, but different expectations.



                Not only different expectations. Again, at least around here, if you want a taco or some other "hand food", I think you'll get a much tastier product at a taqueria. It's their specialty, after all, and the independents almost always offer a wide variety of choices for the meat and other fillings. At most sit-down places it's "chicken or beef" and, you have to be lucky for the beef not to be ground.
                 
                #8
                  TxConnie

                  • Total Posts: 83
                  • Joined: 6/18/2004
                  • Location: Fort Worth, TX
                  RE: Taco chains: when you have to Sat, 07/23/05 7:16 PM (permalink)
                  If I have to pick fast food mexican food-- Taco Cabana is the place to be. Great salsa and topping bar. Good quality food.
                   
                  #9
                    Tommy2dogs

                    • Total Posts: 348
                    • Joined: 7/13/2004
                    • Location: Chicago, IL
                    RE: Taco chains: when you have to Sat, 07/23/05 7:27 PM (permalink)
                    The only Mexican "fast food" chain I will go to is Taco Cabana here in the DFW area. They make all of their Salsas, green chilie, beans rice and tortillas fresh in the store daily. When I order a Chorizo and Egg taco (my favorite) they cook it fresh on the griddle. They also have excellent marinated Rotis Chicken.
                     
                    #10
                      AndreaB

                      • Total Posts: 1303
                      • Joined: 12/6/2004
                      • Location: Versailles, KY
                      RE: Taco chains: when you have to Wed, 07/27/05 8:28 AM (permalink)
                      We have a few very good independent and authentic Mexican restaurants here in Versailles, KY, (though one of them is kind of gringoish and bland) so me hitting a chain for Mexican doesn't happen very often. But yah there's a Taco John's in Frankfort and it isn't bad at all.

                      Andrea
                       
                      #11
                        ilovemybeans

                        • Total Posts: 1
                        • Joined: 10/3/2005
                        • Location: deland, FL
                        RE: Taco chains: when you have to Mon, 10/3/05 6:25 AM (permalink)
                        would someone who has access to a taco tico or somebody who works for a taco tico find out for me, what brand of refried beans they use. even what company the beans come from also seasoning for tacos. please, pretty please. i live in fl. we no longer have taco ticos.
                         
                        #12
                          Scorereader

                          • Total Posts: 5546
                          • Joined: 8/4/2005
                          • Location: Crofton, MD
                          RE: Taco chains: when you have to Mon, 10/3/05 10:20 AM (permalink)
                          When I go to Buffalo, I have to hit the Mighty Taco.

                          Here in DC, I haven't noticed many taco stands, so Chipotle and Burrito Brothers is about it.
                          I've learned at both places to skip the burrito and get the tacos.

                           
                          #13
                            wheregreggeats.com

                            RE: Taco chains: when you have to Mon, 10/3/05 11:36 AM (permalink)
                            The trailer down the road is always a good consideration ... around here, Taco Del Mar is about the only choice -- and a viable one (the fish taco is my usual choice.)
                             
                            #14
                              Rusty246

                              • Total Posts: 2413
                              • Joined: 7/15/2003
                              • Location: Newberry, FL
                              RE: Taco chains: when you have to Mon, 10/3/05 11:37 AM (permalink)
                              quote:
                              Originally posted by Scorereader

                              When I go to Buffalo, I have to hit the Mighty Taco.

                              Here in DC, I haven't noticed many taco stands, so Chipotle and Burrito Brothers is about it.
                              I've learned at both places to skip the burrito and get the tacos.



                              I have never hear of "Burrito Brothers" anywhere but here. I thought we had the only ONE. It's actually "Burrito Bros. Taco Company". One restaurant(mainly take out, you can stand and eat at a counter but it's usually so packed you take out, very small place)one owner. I'm quite sure there is no tie between the two. The burritos here are to die for.
                               
                              #15
                                dreamzpainter

                                • Total Posts: 1609
                                • Joined: 2/6/2005
                                • Location: jacksonville, FL
                                RE: Taco chains: when you have to Mon, 10/3/05 12:23 PM (permalink)
                                late nights theres only one choice (can one place be a choice?) Taco Hell.. crunchy tacos with a couple of fire sauces each. A favorite 2am hogfest is TB tacos alternated with Krystals sliders
                                 
                                #16
                                  Rusty246

                                  • Total Posts: 2413
                                  • Joined: 7/15/2003
                                  • Location: Newberry, FL
                                  RE: Taco chains: when you have to Mon, 10/3/05 12:38 PM (permalink)
                                  quote:
                                  Originally posted by dreamzpainter

                                  late nights theres only one choice (can one place be a choice?) Taco Hell.. crunchy tacos with a couple of fire sauces each. A favorite 2am hogfest is TB tacos alternated with Krystals sliders

                                  Just saw over the weekend our Krystal is now offering Frito Pie. Haven't had it yet. I wanted to post this with the Sonic frito pie thread but I couldn't fnd it, sooooo since you brought up Krystal!
                                   
                                  #17
                                    AndreaB

                                    • Total Posts: 1303
                                    • Joined: 12/6/2004
                                    • Location: Versailles, KY
                                    RE: Taco chains: when you have to Wed, 10/12/05 10:10 AM (permalink)
                                    If I'm on the road and want something Mexican fast via a drive-thru, I'll go to Taco Bell. The seven layer burrito is not bad after I spice it up.

                                    Andrea
                                     
                                    #18
                                      Scorereader

                                      • Total Posts: 5546
                                      • Joined: 8/4/2005
                                      • Location: Crofton, MD
                                      RE: Taco chains: when you have to Wed, 10/12/05 10:44 AM (permalink)
                                      quote:
                                      Originally posted by Rusty246

                                      quote:
                                      Originally posted by Scorereader

                                      When I go to Buffalo, I have to hit the Mighty Taco.

                                      Here in DC, I haven't noticed many taco stands, so Chipotle and Burrito Brothers is about it.
                                      I've learned at both places to skip the burrito and get the tacos.



                                      I have never hear of "Burrito Brothers" anywhere but here. I thought we had the only ONE. It's actually "Burrito Bros. Taco Company". One restaurant(mainly take out, you can stand and eat at a counter but it's usually so packed you take out, very small place)one owner. I'm quite sure there is no tie between the two. The burritos here are to die for.


                                      Burrito Brothers is a DC area chain. Although the quality at each location can be different, none of the Burrito Borthers I've been to are all that good.
                                      However, there is one across the street from my work, so I occasionally go there for a change of pace.
                                      I would rather have Chipotle, or Anita's (a northern VA mini-chain)
                                       
                                      #19
                                        the grillman

                                        • Total Posts: 624
                                        • Joined: 6/27/2005
                                        • Location: Saint Charles, MO
                                        RE: Taco chains: when you have to Wed, 10/12/05 10:56 AM (permalink)
                                        I've got to admit, the only fast food I do is Taco Bell. It's good when you are pressed for time, and much healthier than a burger, if you are careful. Their Al Fresco menu is a good way of cutting back on some of the fat.

                                        I also confess I like the QDoba chain. They've taken the Subway approach to sandwiches (customer involved in the "building" of their meal) and adapted it to tacos/ burritos, etc. Great quick meal for about $5.00. I like the fact they offer fresh lime wedges to squeeze on your meal..very tasty. The salsa selection is pretty good, too.

                                        http://www.qdoba.com/

                                         
                                        #20
                                          mammascookin

                                          • Total Posts: 85
                                          • Joined: 7/12/2005
                                          • Location: des moines, IA
                                          RE: Taco chains: when you have to Wed, 10/12/05 11:53 AM (permalink)
                                          Here in Des Moines we have a lot of independant shops. A chain isn't normally necessary. We do have a Taco Johns and also Taco Bell...I prefer Taco Johns. The other places for FF that I would recommend is Taco Casa. They have great tacos! You can choose from either flour tortilla which has been fried to a tender crisp or the original Mexcian style taco. I was thinking of another place, got a phone call, and now I lost my train of thought....hmmm. Well, if I remember I will be sure to let everyone know!
                                           
                                          #21
                                            mr chips

                                            • Total Posts: 4715
                                            • Joined: 2/19/2003
                                            • Location: portland, OR
                                            RE: Taco chains: when you have to Wed, 10/12/05 9:10 PM (permalink)
                                            There is no shortage of independent taco stands in Portland. When i have to chain, I like Taco Del Mar and Rubio's.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              Trebor K

                                              RE: Taco chains: when you have to Wed, 10/12/05 10:35 PM (permalink)
                                              Mighty Taco in Buffalo and environs. Tacos and burritos. Yum.
                                               
                                              #23
                                                SassyGritsAL

                                                • Total Posts: 1089
                                                • Joined: 10/27/2005
                                                • Location: Huntsville, AL
                                                RE: Taco chains: when you have to Tue, 11/8/05 11:38 AM (permalink)
                                                I don't have to! Thank God!
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  HotDogHead

                                                  • Total Posts: 665
                                                  • Joined: 4/19/2004
                                                  • Location: Denver, CO
                                                  RE: Taco chains: when you have to Tue, 11/8/05 3:44 PM (permalink)
                                                  quote:
                                                  Originally posted by BT

                                                  Well, I rarely go to taco chains because, frankly, in the two places I spend my time (San Francisco and Tucson), there's no shortage of independents. But if you are limiting this to only chains, there are two that I would (and sometime do) visit: Rigoberto's (which I have only seen in the Tucson area) and Rubio's http://www.rubios.com/ .

                                                  Did you mean Filiberto's vs. Rigoberto's? Filibertos is an awesome chain. The food is good, fresh and inexpensive. They have several locations throughout Arizona. I make it a point to stop there when visiting my in-laws outside of Phoenix. http://www.filibertos.com/
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    Rick F.

                                                    • Total Posts: 1736
                                                    • Joined: 8/16/2002
                                                    • Location: Natchitoches, LA
                                                    RE: Taco chains: when you have to Tue, 11/8/05 4:31 PM (permalink)
                                                    I'm with the Griilmeister: we don't have one where I now live, but in Tennessee we had Taco John's and it put Taco Bell very far out of the running. For that matter, we also had a Mexican (probably mini-) chain named Los Portales. Very nice, I thought, especially in the culinary hinterlands of West Tennessee.

                                                    We have five Mexican restaurants here; two of them are very good and one is excellent.
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      Rick F.

                                                      • Total Posts: 1736
                                                      • Joined: 8/16/2002
                                                      • Location: Natchitoches, LA
                                                      RE: Taco chains: when you have to Tue, 11/8/05 4:37 PM (permalink)
                                                      quote:
                                                      Originally posted by ilovemybeans

                                                      would someone who has access to a taco tico or somebody who works for a taco tico find out for me, what brand of refried beans they use. even what company the beans come from also seasoning for tacos. please, pretty please. i live in fl. we no longer have taco ticos.
                                                      You might try here:

                                                      http://www.tacotico.com/contact.html
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        beacupcake

                                                        • Total Posts: 29
                                                        • Joined: 3/29/2005
                                                        • Location: Chandler, AZ
                                                        RE: Taco chains: when you have to Tue, 11/8/05 4:58 PM (permalink)
                                                        The best chain tacos in Phoenix are from Los Betos. Nice and greasy, but not too greasy. It's more of a New Mexican chain, lots of sauces. But the Carne Asada Tacos are FABULOUS!!
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          Rev.Bucky

                                                          • Total Posts: 57
                                                          • Joined: 5/3/2004
                                                          • Location: Medford, OR
                                                          RE: Taco chains: when you have to Fri, 11/11/05 4:21 AM (permalink)
                                                          I'm not sure how wide spread they are, but there is a chain known as Muchas Gracias here in Oregon. I know that their is one in Medford, one in Grants Pass, and one in Salem. Their may be others (I hope so!!)

                                                          Twentyfour hour drive through. I'm usually torn between the Chile Relleno Burrito or I order a Kids meal (BEEF, bean or Chicken burrito, beans and rice, small soda) and a carne asada taco.


                                                          Right next door to them is a Taco Bell, and even though I will eat at the Bell, NOT THAT ONE, why should I!! (by the way that Kids meal and a meaty cheesy taco, 4.20!!!!!)

                                                           
                                                          #29
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