I'm notoriously open-minded when it comes to tacos. I'll give pretty much anything masquerading as a taco the benefit of the doubt. But let's put some thought into it. It’s annoying when a restaurant throws together some random ingredients they already have on the menu and advertise “Tacos!!”
I had lunch at a Philly cheesesteak restaurant today. There was a sign proclaiming “Tacos!!” Contrary to popular belief I didn’t immediately rush the register screaming “I’ll have the tacos!!” In situations like this – namely, when you are at a non-chain restaurant – I encourage you to remain calm and remember a few things.
First scan the rest of the menu. Look for pictures of said tacos. Look for any other offerings that hint that this place knows what they are doing. Look for chips and salsa, enchiladas, taco salad, basically anything you can make with Taco ingredients. This place had nothing of the sort. They offered cheesesteaks, hamburgers, wings, fries, gyros, and tacos… This is not a good taco sign.
(Side note: if a place offers gyros, be sure they have a vertical rotisserie broiler. Otherwise you are eating a cheesesteak pita with tomatoes.)
Second, ask about the tacos. When asked about the tacos, the waitress informed me that they were, “Corn tortillas with cheesesteak meat.” I won’t say they are terrible, I haven’t tried them, but I did want to rip down the “Tacos!!” sign at that point.
Finally, when in doubt, order the food item the restaurant was named after. My cheesesteak was probably better than anything else this place offered.
Supporting the indie restaurants is a great thing; just remember they are under a lot of pressure to compete with the big boys. So sometimes they make questionable decisions, like offering “Tacos!!” and “Gyros!!” made from “cheesesteak meat.”
Don’t be Taco Blind. Taco with Pride and Taco in stride.
#notataco #tacos #2020tacovision #tacoawareness #tommystacothursdays
Tommy Lee Brown teaches and performs at Dallas Comedy House. He is your man on the street, determined to eat. He is the belly of the city. No taco is too small or too commercial. He will eat it all, and tell you all about it. Direct taco related questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Image: JD Hancock/Creative Commons)