Friday, July 16, 2010

Taco Bueno (Amarillo, TX)

Taco Bueno
6001 W Interstate 40
Amarillo, TX
(806) 352-7526


Driving through Texas we of course considered going to the Big Texan for a "free 72oz steak," but we were in a rush. I asked Jiro (age 6) what he wanted to eat and he replied, "Uh, McDonald's? That's the only thing I can think of." He and his brother, Satchel (age 8), aren't really fans of McDonald's food as much as they are fans of McDonald's toys. They reeeally want the Last Airbender toys. When Warren and I groaned, Satchel piped in with, "Taco Bell!" I'd seen a sign for Taco Bueno, which I assumed was close in menu items and price, and then Warren saw it on the exit sign, so we went for it.


We were the only people there, but I'm pretty sure it was a weird time to be eating lunch--maybe 2:30pm? The man who took our order appeared to also be the manager because he was super friendly and chatty. There were lots of pictures of the food and a very prominent salsa bar by the counter.


I placed our order and exchanged niceties with the manager while the boys got a table. Here Jiro demonstrates some typical monkey behavior that usually occurs prior to the food arriving...


Our food came out quickly and looked pretty good. I decided to get the Mexi Dips which included bean dip, guacamole, and cheese dip.


I also hit the salsa bar.


Warren wanted a party meal that came with two burritos and a taco. I got the monkeys a kids' meal which came with a bean burrito, chips and dip, and the equivalent of Cinnamon Crispas. The monkeys had very little interest in the food, but for whatever reason they were entranced by the activity book.


Satchel actually said he needed his own table in order to fully enjoy the book.


Meanwhile, I was busy telling Warren that I didn't like the guacamole and that it tasted frost bitten. "I'm sure it was frozen," I said. The manager, who I don't think heard me, came over just to check on us and noticed I hadn't eaten my guac. I told him why and he said they made it fresh several times a day and that I must have gotten the end of the morning's batch. He then went and got me another serving of the fresher guacamole. I didn't think it tasted much better, but decided it was just the recipe. Regardless I liked getting that kind of service at a fast food restaurant.

When I was about done, Jiro, who had rejected his bean burrito and donated it to Warren, requested a chicken roll up. I had actually thought I'd ordered him one to begin with, but checked my receipt and it wasn't on there. While we waited for him to eat it, Satchel continued coloring, and Warren, our driver, checked in on Facebook. This is what he looks like when he posts a clever comment.


Jiro gave the thumbs up to the chicken roll up and then proudly showed us his kids' meal masterpiece.


So would we eat there again? I'm not sure. It was definitely better than the average fast food place, but it will probably come down to whether we feel like eating a 72oz steak or not.

3 comments:

mary said...

I'm a fan of Taco Bueno's nacho "salad."

Sara said...

I'll try anybody's queso dip once. What's a road trip without a little culinary adventure?

belgianshaws said...

As a Texan now living in Memphis, I guess I should defend Bueno. It's far superior to Taco Bell — which I guess isn't much of a compliment — but as you noted, it's a better fast-food experience than most are accustomed to.

You did miss out on their two most famous options: The Muchaco and crunchy potato burrito. Both are as good as they sound!

Really enjoy your blog — has been an asset to this new Memphian.

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