Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Taco By Any Other Name

The girls and I ate dinner at Taco Cabana yesterday. Taco Cabana seems to be the taco joint of choice among most San Antonians. They have a salsa bar. This is to their credit.

Aside from that, the girls and I feel that . . . well . . . Taco Cabana is . . . not Taco Bell. And most San Antonians would find that fact to be to their credit, but we don't.

Really, a taco should be a taco should be a taco, but it is SOOO not. Taco Bell has been our taco joint of choice for a good many years, and our taste buds are accustomed to its peculiarities. And it took me some time to adjust to Taco Bell -- when I grew up, we ate at Taco Tico. Taco Tico! Any other Wichita folks remember Taco Tico? I wonder if it's still around. I miss Taco Tico.

Just like I miss Sub 'n Stuff. Again, Wichita friends -- Sub 'n Stuff? When they when out of business and I had to resort to Subway for my submarine-type sandwiches, it was truly a sad day for me. There was simply no comparison. I still have moments when my mouth experiences a flashback to biting into a Sub 'n Stuff pepperoni sub and it cries a little for the treasures time takes from us. Sigh.

Didn't I just write about how the variety of food available to us has contributed to the obesity problem in America? I did. But I'm going to ignore that convicting bit of information as I return to my original subject . . .

Taco Cabana. It's not Taco Bell. Salsa bar notwithstanding, it just doesn't quite do it for us.

Furthermore, a trip to Taco Cabana never fails to stir up our linguistic pharasaic tendencies. Yesterday, my youngest ordered an item that consisted of a flour tortilla filled with beans and cheese and folded in half. It was labeled a bean and cheese taco.

No such item exists in our world.

Tortilla folded in half = taco. I get that. But once beans are included, we have left the taco family. Beans = burrito.

I understand that for many folks, tortilla wrapped around innards = burrito. And that has generally been a part of our understanding, too. But in reality, when you receive said Taco Cabana item on your tray, it has been wrapped up much like a burrito to fit into the aluminum foil wrapper they use to keep it warm. It looks like a burrito.

But the wrapping is a secondary matter. Once you add beans to a tortilla-filled item it has been born into the burrito family. And beans with no meat? = NO DOUBT ABOUT IT BURRITO.

It is probably a sad commentary on my family that the label given to our fast food entree can disturb us enough to spoil the pleasure of the dining experience. Even with a salsa bar.


Anonymous said...

Actually, you have to go back to Latino culture, not Kansan or Iowan, to get the basics of taco's and burritos. That will explain the misread of what you have been told is a taco and a burrito is all your life, And if you go up a step or two on the scale of Mexican dining, still carry out but not fast fast food, you will get much better food which will TOTALLY confuse you by the name, so always ask for explanations. You won't be the only White woman who ever has done that before. And your mouth will delight in the flavors!

Ona Marae

Chris Day said...

The choices abound in San Antonio, skip the Taco Bell's, skip the Taco Cabana's. You live in the midst of some of the best Tex-Mex in the US. Try some of the local Taqueria's it'll give you a chance to practice your Spanish. One place I can personally recommend is La Hacienda de los Barrios. Either their original location or the one up north.