A regional Tex-Mex chain was just named the best Mexican restaurant chain in America.
Taco Bueno ranks as Americans’ favourite Mexican chain, according to Market Force Information’s annual quick service restaurant study. The chain beat out restaurant like Chipotle and Qdoba, which tied for first last year, as well as Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill and El Pollo Loco.
With 175 locations in seven states, the Farmers Branch, Texas-based chain is significantly smaller than much of the competition. For comparison, Chipotle has more than 1,500 locations.
The first Taco Bueno opened in Abilene, Texas in 1967.
The chain emphasises the freshness of products, making salsa from scratch and boiling pinto beans overnight to re-fry in the morning.
Menu standouts include Machacos, which are tacos made with a soft pieces of pitas as the shell, and MexiDips and Chips, with made in-house tortilla chips and signature guacamole.
Taco Bueno also serves some exceptional super-sized meals. The Big Freak’n Taco is a “two-handed beast,” while the Wholotta Platter packs in a taco, Muchado, rice, refried beans, a side of queso, and a “chilida” — a chilli and queso covered enchilada.
The menu also includes more standard Tex-Mex fare, like burritos, nachos, and tacos.
Taco Bueno has been offering breakfast since 2007 — seven years before Taco Bell began serving the first meal of the day.
While most people outside of Texas and Oklahoma may not know about the chain, Taco Bueno loyalists are a vocal force on social media.
Taco Bueno > Taco Bell.
Don’t @ me.
— Ty (@Tyler_Jayce96) March 22, 2016
Even if you haven’t heard of Taco Bueno, you may soon have a chance to try the Tex-Mex favourite.
The company began franchising in 2005, and was acquired by TPG Growth last year. Now, the chain has been making a franchise push in states including Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, and Louisiana.
“We’ve fought head-to-head battles against our rivals in Mexican QSR [quick service restaurants], and we know how to carve our own niche and win loyal guests,” reads the company’s franchise website.
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