Taco Casa: Fast Food the way your parents remember it!

Fast food is engrained in our culture, and its prevalence has led to a specific way of doing things. But do you remember a time before combo meals? A time when you couldn’t refill your own drinks? A time when neon and Earth tones were considered complimentary colors? Chances are you do, or if not you live vicariously through online reminiscence. If you’re yearning to relive those days then Taco Casa is for you. It evokes a time before fast food over expanded and the resultant quality drop. Taco Casa first debuted in Fort Worth in 1972, and has slowly expanded throughout Texas ever since.

Taco Casa has its foundations as an early Taco Bell franchisee, this helps to explain many of the visual cues and menu items at TC. Despite what they’re serving in the 21st Century, there was a point when Taco Bell’s menu did resemble “authentic” fast food Mexican. While these menu items and prices may not exist at Taco Bell any longer, Taco Casa steps in to fill the void. A point must be made about how reliably inexpensive Taco Casa is. Prior to this visit, I hadn’t been to a TC in about 2 years. The prices are still incredibly low. Part of the magic in this, is the very limited menu set. Simple items like Tacos, Burritos, and Nachos. All only served with meat, cheese, lettuce or tomato. You can order add-ons like black olives, or jalapenos but there is a small upcharge. Salsa and Guacamole are available only via purchase of a factory sealed container. Despite the simple selection, the food is very well done. The portions are fair, tacos are filled about halfway with meat, much more than Taco Bell, or even Taco Cabana.

Getting inside the Taco House….

And back out again….

Overall, Taco Casa will always be a destination for me. Having family out in the Hill Country generally enables me to go once every year (although COVID did put a hold on last year’s trip). I had actually known about the Houston location since opening day, and simply had not found the time to make a trip until now. While I don’t think I could eat Taco Casa every day, I’ll be stopping by more than once a year.

 

2 comments

  1. The nearest Taco Casa to me opened about five or so years ago in Bryan. There was one in south College Station closer to me inside a gas station from the mid-2000s to around 2011. The gas station formerly contained a Sonic, which had installed their canopies at the store (Sonic wasn’t even the original tenant), so Taco Casa simply repainted them orange and yellow though I don’t think it was drive-up ordering like Sonic was. I don’t have any pictures of this unfortunately (you can vaguely make it on Street View) and after Taco Casa closed, they were eventually torn down. (The space is now Little Caesars, which removed the in-store seating).

    In terms of “old Mexican”, I went to a 30+ year old Taco Bueno not too long ago in Waco, found it excellent and an overall better value.

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