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Mexican & International Reviews

Pollo Tropical

pollo tropical logo

Pollo Tropical is a small regional fast food restaurant that began in 1988 with its first location in Miami. The fast food chain now has stores in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and a handful of international locations in the Caribbean and Latin America. Like the Mexican chain El Pollo Loco on the West Coast, Pollo Tropical specializes in a variety of grilled chicken, beef, and pork dishes, but with a distinctly international Caribbean vibe.

pollo tropical store

Pollo Tropical has a large menu of specialties, including roasted pork, “Caribbean” ribs, chicken wraps, and salads. One of the unique features is a great salsa and condiment bar, with quite an extensive array of flavors to add to your already flavorful order.

 

 

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Mexican & International Reviews

America’s Taco Shop

americas taco shop logo

americas taco shop storefront

America’s Taco Shop is a small local chain in the Phoenix area.  In this case, “America” refers to the founder America Corrales, not the country.  Still, good catchy dual-purpose name.  

The menu at America’s Taco Shop is classic Mexican street fare.  Street tacos, or slightly-larger-than your typical street taco, are the signature menu item.  Here’s the “America’s Favorite” #1: three tacos, one Carne Asada, one Al Pastor (pork) and one Chargrilled Chicken.

americas taco shop favorite combo 1

You place your order and are given a number.  The food arrived picture-perfect as you can see above.  I mean wow – this is a food stylist’s dream.  The chicken taco (at the top in the pic) was tasty but the meat was your basic white meat chicken breast.  The Carne Asada (at the bottom in the pic) was also nothing to write home about.  The meat was salty and tough.  But the middle taco in the picture, the Al Pastor was just right.  They describe it as “Slow roasted, citrus spiced marinated pork, thinly sliced and topped with fresh pineapple” but it tasted even better than that.  The meat was red and looked like something that’d be at home in a curry dish.  Very flavorful, with the pineapple slices providing a nice sweet contrast.

The tacos come to the fiesta dressed in a chopped pico blend and a smooth “homemade” non-confrontational guacamole.  They are accompanied by a pair of salsas, both tasty with the edge going to the sweet yet spicy yellow version.

My wife tried the Chicken Quesadilla.  Again, the chicken is basic and uninspired.  However, she appreciated that there was lots of it, as many times you’re left asking “where’s the chicken?”  The quesadilla, as with apparently all of the menu items, is also topped with the guacamole, which we should probably call a guac sauce.  It had more of the consistency of mayo than guacamole.  Here it is.

americas taco shop chicken quesadilla

Chips and a drink are ordered as a side item to make your meal a combo.  I really have an issue with places that don’t give you free chips, as I am programmed to automatically expect them when I eat Mexican.  On top of this, the chips and the salsa both tasted store-bought.  The salsa served with the sides is regular or spicy and is different from the fabulous salsas served with the menu items.  But you get more of it.  Not a good thing.  Here’s a tip:  either give the chips away or, if we must pay, give us the “good” salsa.

americas taco shop

This is a new chain looking to expand through franchises.  There was nothing offensive to the palate of Americans across the nation who might like something a bit more authentic than what they may find at other major “fresh” Mexican chains.  And for those of us lucky enough to grow up in a border state, America’s Taco Shop fits right in with a local flavor that I’d welcome tasting while traveling in far flung places not known for good Mexican food.

Grow and prosper, America’s Taco Shop.  Viva!

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Mexican & International Reviews

Del Taco

del tacoAbout: Home Page

Contact: 949-462-9300
23041 Avenida De La Carlota
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Author Recommends: Chicken Soft Taco

The Del Taco chain has always set itself apart from the Taco Bell juggernaut by targeting young people. And it’s true that Del Taco has remained popular with teens, especially because of its low prices and 24-hour drive-thrus. But lately, new menu items have been creeping in, and seemingly overnight Del Taco is positioned to appeal to families as well as young adults.

Del Taco does have one really cool thing it can hold over Taco Bell (well actually, two). It sells burgers and fries. And the fries are those yummy crinkly ones that you used to be able to find all over. -RB

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Mexican & International Reviews

Boca Grande

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Mexican & International Reviews

Chipotle

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Filiberto’s

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The Green Burrito

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La Salsa

Contact: 6307 Carpinteria Ave Suite A, Carpinteria, CA 93013 or Phone: 866-4-LASALSA (527-2572)

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Mexican & International Reviews

Mighty Taco

I tried Mighty Taco, Buffalo’s local fast food Mexican outfit.  They have a pretty decent selection of basic Mexican offerings.  Their gimmick is tacos built any number of ways.  I tried both the beef and chicken versions to give them a solid test drive.

mighty taco

First up is the chicken version and the initial surprise is that the chicken is ground, not shredded.  Interesting texture but packed well into the soft taco shell as you can see below:

mighty taco

I didn’t get fancy with the fixin’s on my first outing, as I wanted to try what a Mighty Purist may order.  But as you can see from the wrapper, there are a number of customizations that can be performed on the tacos.  Note, they also use the same wrappers for the burritos.  Here’s a closer look:

mighty taco

Overall, the chicken taco was pretty dull.  Even with the hot sauce, I wasn’t thinking this was something I’d learn to crave.  So I unwrapped the beef version and gave that one a go.

mighty taco

These are basic tacos, probably a little less flavorful than the similarly-sized offerings from Taco Bell and Del Taco.  I found the ground beef to be a bit tastier than the chicken, but still not something I would crave.  You are given a choice of three different taco shells, “white” (beef above), wheat (the chicken above) or crunchy.  The cheese was sliced, not shredded.  I guess they have something against shredders.  The salsa tasted like a jar of Pace you’d get from the supermarket.

A couple overall observations of Mighty Taco:  They were very fast and friendly.  We had six in our group and the food came out in just a few minutes.  The cashiers were joking with us and quite pleasant.  Sadly, no soft drink refills, something that they have in common with the other Buffalo chain reviewed on this site, Ted’s Hot Dogs.  But while Ted’s will let you pay a small amount for a refill, Mighty Taco does not.  Interesting choice in this day and age.

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Mexican & International Reviews

Panda Express

About:
307 locations in 34 states

Contact:
Panda Express
Guest Relations
P.O. Box 1159
Rosemead, CA 91770

 

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