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Surprise Review: Del Taco (No, REALLY!)

Posted Nov 12 2010 7:52pm

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Special note to my Dentonites: Have you noticed the latest influx of VOGUE fast food in our area? Freebirds World Burrito , Five Guys Burgers , Hot Box Pizza , and now Del Taco ? If you’ve checked out any of these places, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

 

Okay… I definitely consider myself a foodie. I love perfectly prepared scallops, roasted root vegetables, fresh crusty bread with SHARP red leicester cheese, and perfectly creamy and toasty crème brûlée. I also, as you probably know if you’ve been reading my blog for long, am not afraid of a little fast food. I know that most of it is crap, sub-par-food-like-product, but I like my fries and $.89 tacos as much as the next girl.

So, after today’s long and tiresome happenings, fast food comfort was on the menu for Daron and I tonight. We tossed around the “regulars” considering burgers and burritos, finally conceding to something that was close and painless. Just before leaving the house, I said… “Isn’t that new place… Del… um? Del Taco open?” We thought we’d seen the lights on throughout the week, and set out to give it a try. In another happy bit of serendipity, we decided to enter the dining room, to give the new spot the benefit of fresh out of the microwave warmth. (HA!)

Upon approaching the building, we saw loads of team members at the door, balloons, and visitors smiling inside. It was quickly made clear to us, however, that tonight’s crowd consisted of invited community members only, with special meal passes and that the restaurant wouldn’t open until next Wednesday, November 17th.

Before we could scuttle off, we were stopped by Mr. Pope, who, noticing our excited faces, (and possibly hearing our grumbling bellies) humbly invited us in. He, upon learning that we’d never been to a Del Taco before, told us that tonight, as part of this special-invitation-only community event, they would be happy to buy us dinner as if we were among the invited guests. He guided us through the menu, explaining to us some of the things that make Del Taco “different”.

Freshly shredded cheddar cheese straight off giant blocks of the sharp stuff, crisp lettuce and tomato, slow-cooked (four hours per batch!) beans, in house grilled chicken, and the ABSENCE of a microwave were among the selling points. We were certainly skeptical, but excited. It was fast food after all, it can’t be THAT good. The hospitality was surprising, however, and I’m a sucker for great service (and trying new things) so with a smile, we ordered.

As the restaurant was using tonight as a training opportunity, the kitchen was fully stocked (read: PACKED) with employees, resulting in our receipt of food within just a few minutes.

Del Taco

I was truly surprised. My crispy chicken taco was filled with well seasoned, spicy, grilled chicken topped with their “secret” sauce (some sort of spicy sour cream sauce, maybe?), lettuce (CRISP!) and cheese.

 

It was HELLA good. Surprisingly good. Interestingly good. REFRESHINGLY good. The star of my combo burrito was certainly the beans and mound of sharp cheddar cheese (sans that obnoxious powdery coating that you find on packaged shredded cheese and in other taco joints). In fact, the ground beef wasn’t terribly exciting, and I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to order something touting the ground beef next time… Why would I? With that chicken on the menu (and steak, if that’s your thing) I’ll probably just stick with the bird. It was that GOOD.

Right around that time, smiling team members were walking through the dining room, passing out desert samples, and before I could blink, I was looking down at a caramel cheesecake bite and a small cup of a chocolate shake. The shake was good… at least as good as any other fast food shake I’ve had, but the cheesecake bites, WOW.

These little suckers are TROUBLE. Cheesecake and caramel wrapped (and fried… OF COURSE) and I’m not even kidding you, they were SO good. I nearly finished one, but couldn’t, which isn’t entirely bad, as one of those buggers has about 215 calories.

 

The atmosphere is good, and I firmly believe that one of the reasons Denton was chosen as the site of the FIRST Del Taco in Texas, is because of the Denton, TX vibe. Laid back people who are creative and kind populate this area. We love music and tech too. This place would benefit greatly from an online presence. Get this location its own facebook fan page, and a DentonDelTaco twitter account and give those Del Taco heads from all over the state (and beyond) who’ve pledged to drive across state lines for a taco a place to go and gush. That would be awesome. :)

 

Frankly, Daron and I just sat there, smiling, laughing, eating, and talking. We listed all of the places around town we’d grabbed a burrito on the go, and one after the other, our Del Taco experience knocked them down.

We literally said that there wouldn’t be a need for us to head to the “border” EVER again.

Listen, I like to keep things real on my blog. This is not HEALTH food. It should be consumed in moderation, like most fast food. The calorie, saturated fat, and sodium counts are probably exactly what you’d expect. That being said, most of us still eat fast food sometimes… Considering flavor, variety, creativity, and service, they’ve got a new customer in their throngs for SURE.

 

I fully understand what all my Cali friends have been yammering about. Del Taco is pretty freaking epic. :)

 

Do you have any “special” fast food/casual dining places that you just love going back to again and again? Any new places you’re looking forward to trying?

 

**Disclaimer-I went to Del Taco uninvited, and was offered a free meal out of pure hospitality. I was under no obligation to review, or write about my experience in anyway. My opinion is worth more than a burrito, and the opinions expressed in this blog entry are entirely my own.** 


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