6th Annual Tacos And Tamales Festival; March 23-24 At Desert Breeze Park

6th Annual Tacos And Tamales Festival; March 23-24 At Desert Breeze Park

6th Annual Tacos And Tamales Festival; March 23-24 At Desert Breeze Park

We sacrificed our heath to get to the truth about fast food tacos.

Living in Las Vegas has its pros and cons. One major pro? Our delicious and authentic Mexican food restaurants. From the fancy to the fast food, we’ve got some of the best Mexican eats this side of the border.

Pancho’s to Lindo Michoacan, El Segundo Sol to Eddie’s Mexican Restaurant, and a Roberto’s or a Don Tortaco at every corner. Heck, pop-up vendors and food trucks have really stepped up the game! This is why we are so excited for Tacos & Tamales on March 23rd and 24th at Desert Breeze Park! A celebration of the most delicious food the valley has to offer.

But you don’t want the best. You don’t want the most delicious. For whatever reason, like a New Yorker going to Domino’s, you can be found in the drive thru of your neighborhood national chain. Taco Bell, El Pollo Loco, Del Taco… or dare we utter their name… Jack In The Box. Gasp! No matter what road you drive down in the valley, you’ll see people actively choosing the national chains over the local greats.

So, I have taken it upon myself to get to the bottom of it. If you absolutely, positively have to go with one of the big name tacos… you should at least make it the best worst taco you could buy.

Obviously each menu varies wildly, so to keep this apples to apples (or tacos to tacos in this case) we will rate each restaurant by their hard shelled taco. Nearly all will be beef but El Pollo Loco will be chicken because, of course, pollo.

  • Del Taco’s “The Del Taco”
  • Don Tortaco’s “Beef Taco”
  • El Pollo Loco “Shredded Chicken Crunchy Taco”
  • Jack In The Box “Crunchy Taco”
  • Roberto’s “Beef Taco”
  • Taco Bell’s “Crunchy Taco”

In order to not skew the results, I will not be pre-saucing any of these. To paraphrase the great Nirvana: “Taco as you are, as you were, as you want me to eat.”

  • #6: Jack In The Box "Crunchy Taco"

    greasy taco from jack in the box

    So greasy we could see our reflection.

    Price: $1.79 for 2 (they don’t sell them solo)
    Weight: 6.4oz
    Price Per Ounce: $0.28

    If you were looking for a real deal taco, you wouldn’t be in the drive thru at Jack In The Box. The tacos are oily, pre-sauced so any crunchiness is gone by the time you open them, and leave a lot to be desired. But the price per ounce is the best of the pack… so if you’re just looking to fill that tummy, you’ve got your place. They don’t sell them solo so the weight is over-stated but, hey, we got two. You’ll get two. Quit whining.

  • #5: Don Tortaco "Beef Taco"

    don tortaco taco in wrapper

    It may have replaced an old Roberto’s location, but this taco was no Roberto’s.

    Price: $3.79
    Weight: 3.3oz
    Price Per Ounce: $1.15

    I have said on many occurrences that Don Tortaco and Roberto’s are the same. After all, Don Tortaco appeared out of nowhere and in former Roberto’s locations. Well I am here to tell you, they are not. The taco fell pretty flat, the beef tasted a bit overcooked and dry. Not a lot of flavor. This is the most expensive (by weight) taco on the list and it didn’t cut it.

  • #4: Taco Bell "Crunchy Taco"

    taco bell taco in wrapper

    It’s… Taco Bell. Don’t expect much.

    Price: $1.99
    Weight: 3.4oz
    Price Per Ounce: $0.56

    Just like Taco Tuesdays at your totally-not-Mexican mom’s house, these tacos are just OK. Taco Bell food is more about the sauce than it is the food. That said, the beef has a little bit of seasoning which makes it not terrible. But you probably passed 3 better taco joints to get this and you should be ashamed.

  • #3: El Pollo Loco "Shredded Crunchy Chicken Taco"

    el pollo loco taco in wrapper

    This chicken is crazy… and also buried away.

    Price: $3.29
    Weight: 3.3oz
    Price Per Ounce: $1.00

    Is it beef? No. They don’t sell beef. So I made sure to eat this one last so all I could taste WAS beef. The chicken was tender but there is not a lot of it. Like a teen using Kleenex to appear larger, this crunchy taco is only crunchy because there are two shells. So the weight, tied for the lowest, is even worse considering that. Is it bad? Nah. But it’s pricey for what you get.

  • #2: Del Taco "The Del Taco"

    del taco taco in wrapper

    All of the ratios were perfect in this one, like it was made for the official photo.

    Price: $1.99
    Weight: 3.9oz
    Price Per Ounce: $0.51

    Honestly, this was pretty decent. The tomatoes added a little something. There might have been too much cheese, but if you’re one of those people that think there is no such thing, you found your place. The crunch of the shell lacked a little something (it was soft) but nothing a pill can’t fix.

  • #1: Roberto's "Beef Taco"

    robertos taco in wrapper

    Not greasy, perfectly cooked. This was the boss.

    Price: $3.95
    Weight: 3.7oz
    Price Per Ounce: $1.07

    You don’t get to stay open for 60 years if you stink. This taco was absolutely amazing. The shell was perfectly fried and crunchy. Not oily at all. The ingredients tasted fresh. Add some green sauce to these puppies and they absolutely sing. Sure, they are more expensive than the national chains. But “you get what you pay for”.

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