Thursday, January 5, 2012

Taco Bueno, Tacos, Keller-TX

Last visit: June 2014

Rating: Sell

10 NE Tarrant locations

June 2014 update: Something has gone awry at Taco Bueno. For my last two visits, ths taco meat is not very good, which leads me to believe they've changed their recipe. I haven't found evidence of that on the internet, but at this time, I have no intentions of going back. Sorry - but have to say Taco Bueno is all but a memory for the RJG.

February 2013 update: Not much to add to the below review except that Taco Bueno finally has a hotter sauce. They call it the Firehouse Salsa. It's not exactly a habanero, but it has a mild kick - something none of their sauces have ever had. They also increased the size of their original taco - and the price now has a similar trajectory.

Original review

You just knew I was going to cover Taco Bueno didn't ya? I feel somewhat obligated to, even though it may seem to folks here in DFW that the chain is as ubiquitous as McDonalds. In reality, it's actually a localized regional chain that continues to outwardly expand. In that way, it's somewhat like Whataburger - a place you might take for granted because it's always there. Leave the Southwest part of the United States however, and they are absent. According to their website, Taco Bueno was founded in Abilene in 1967. I can remember them as far back as the mid 1970s in the DFW area.

Taco Bueno was the original RJG late night taco place with buddies. We had one near my high school in the early 1980s (W. T. White for the three people who might care), and we'd wander over in the late evenings (8/9 o'clock?) and grab a handful of crunchy tacos. Hey, we were growing teenagers with enormous appetites! Taco Bueno has always been a "mild" option in the fast food taco market. They have one salsa, and it's tasty but not spicy. They used to serve the sauce in syrup bottles on each table (right from the fridge!), but nowadays you'll find it in the "salsa bar" that has become the standard in the last 20 years or so. As far as I know, they've never opted for a "volcano", "fire" or "inferno" sauce. The meat has a nice flavor, and their tacos have traditionally been small - where you need many to fill you up. As such, I moved to their ground beef burritos later on just so I could get a full meal out of the visit.

Today, I'm very much an infrequent visitor to Taco Bueno, with a rare stop to my local store - and generally then only with a free taco coupon from the Rangers or Mavericks game. With Taco Casa, and now Del Taco, in the area - there's less reason for me to go to Taco Bueno. Obviously I don't eat as much fast food as I once did, so my fast food dollar is more focused. For me to reconsider, I think the chain needs to add a little more zest to their sauces and offerings. But to date, they have chosen to play it straight down the middle.

OK, this concludes our taco run. Don't worry, the RJG sees no reason to cover Taco Bell. But I do hope at one point to cover some favorites around the country. And Taco Mayo isn't far over in Bridgeport, so we may cover them soon.


I'll add the Keller store as our representative for Urbanspoon.

Taco Bueno on Urbanspoon

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