Saturday, August 29, 2015

Jimboy's Tacos ***Irving closed****

September 15, 2016 update: The Irving location has closed. Plano is still open, and it appears the chain's push into the DFW market has ground to a halt. That's too bad.

Well look at this, would ya? The RJG's only prior experience with Jimboy's Tacos was at their Yuba City, California (aka middle of nowhere) location about 4 years ago. Mrs. RJG and I were driving from the wine country (Windsor/Russian River) on our way to Lake Tahoe via a scenic route. I had originally picked out a delicatessen, but as we were driving through town, Mrs. RJG noticed Jimboy's, and the car beelined immediately over without me even steering it. So you can imagine our surprise when we found out that Jimboy's snuck into the DFW area without much fanfare (there's another location in Plano as well). Given their relative close proximity to the RJGs favorite craft beer store (Las Colinas Beverages - say hi to Nick!), Jimboy's Tacos is fighting for our attention with Burrito Jimmy (our favorite burrito place). Why does Irving get these places, and we in NE Tarrant don't? And why do they all have Jim in their name? Questions...

Food: Fried tacos are the name of the game at Jimboy's. Most folks only exposure to the pleasures of this fine culinary delight is via the James Beard award winning Jack In The Box. The infamous 2 tacos for 99 cents, popular amongst the stoner crowd (and even advertised as such by the corporate entity). I freely admit I love those things, and have so since I was about 5 years old (late 1960s!). But they're hilarious really. They are pre-made and frozen, and then thrown into hot vats of grease. Eat too many of those and you'll be a regular visitor to the ER - or a first time visitor to your own grave. My only other encounter with fried tacos is at a delicious place in Kansas City known as In a Tub Tacos. You can guess what the "tub" is. Hot oil. Jimboy's is much more like the latter, but even better. They make the food fresh and onsite. These are not like street tacos or crunchy fast food tacos. This is a new dimension. Technically they are "grilled", but honestly they remind me of fried tacos. In fact, when Jimboy's first opened in the 1950s. they referred to them as "Spanish Tacos" as if anyone would know what that really meant. One pictures Francisco Franco stuffing his face with a fried taco while imprisoning journalists. In any event, their website describes these packets of joy as thus: "Our signature taco. A parmesan crusted grilled corn tortilla filled with lettuce, American cheese and our specially seasoned ground beef. Super classic, Super Tasty." Yes, parmesan crusted is indeed what they are! The ground beef is wonderful, as is their grilled chicken. And I love the way the cheese is melted inside, and gooey. I haven't even explored the rest of the menu. but I'm rather certain I would enjoy the other items. But these tacos are craveable. I made that word up, but when it comes to fast food, nothing can be better than craveable. In addition, they have numerous salsas at the salsa bar including a Red Hot, Spicy Green, and Chipotle, and at least 3 more!

Location: Standalone fast food joint with a drive through. You'll find it on Belt Line, south of Northgate, on the west side of the road. Pretty easy to get there from NE Tarrant, and worth the drive.

Notes: As mentioned above, Jimboy's started in 1954 in California. Today they are based in the Sacramento area, and have roughly 50 locations, mostly in California and Nevada. So they're a relatively small chain still. However,  they are beginning to branch out, including a deal to open some stores in India (what?). According to a 2013 article, there was supposed to be 4 DFW area stores, and 11 in Texas total. I suspect the concept hasn't caught on yet. I do highly encourage the fast food nation to give this one a shot before they get away too quickly. I don't want to go to Yuba City to eat here.

Rating: 4.0

Website

Menu Be sure to review the Texas (Plano) menu. Not sure all the other items are available in Irving either.

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