Sometime in the past few weeks, months, years, or however long it’s been since I’ve looked in that general direction a new restaurant popped up on the fringe of Corpus Christi, Texas. It’s called Taco Bueno, which is Spanish for “Good Taco” or literally “Decent Food, No Diarrhea”. As I entered the restaurant I was expecting to see a black male with dreadlocks behind the register informing me that I had just walked into an establishment famous for the “Good Taco” followed by a request for me to place my order. I was disappointed to find that there was no such cashier and instead just a college student who seemed relatively normal.
Ever since McDonald’s coined the term “Super Size” everyone else has had to follow suit; Burger King is using “King Size”, Wendy’s is using “Biggie Size”, and Dairy Queen is now offering “Would you like us to top that with eight pounds of overpriced ice cream Size”. Needless to say, Taco Bueno has jumped on this bandwagon with their creatively named “Bueno Size”. Everything appears to be just fucking wonderful at Taco Bueno except for one thing: The food.
I was hungry enough to eat a small child* so I wanted something big off of the menu. I settled on the “Tamale Platter” because I am a total whore for meat-stuffed lard wrapped in corn husks. The platter was about five bucks and came with three tamales, refried beans, Mexican rice, some lettuce, and of course nacho chips. It all looked quite fantastic in the picture up on the screen, and thus far every single fast food restaurant that I have been to has at least come marginally close to serving a product that resembles the pictures on the menu. When my order arrived I seriously thought it was someone else’s, they could not have served my food any more wrongly without somehow making it look closer to how it was supposed to. My chips were all in a little paper bag that was twist tied and the lettuce was in a separate cup. On top of that, the food itself looked like it came from the bowels of the devil.
* Allow me to elaborate on this. In the sentence marked with an asterisk “eat” would be defined as “devoured”, like what snakes do to mice. Not “eat” in the sense of a sexual term. Please get away from my house Chris Hansen before I get a restraining order.
My plate of food was some kind of epic train wreck of awful on so many levels. I honestly don’t know where to start, so I’m just going to start with a random piece of food on the plate and go around.
The Tamales: The platter came with three tamales, which, in the picture, were supposed to come with some kind of meat sauce or something. They were actually much smaller on the plate and resembled deep fried Lincoln Logs that were covered in a gross watery cheese sauce. Thankfully they had absolutely no taste to them whatsoever.
The Beans: Would you be surprised if I told you that my serving of beans looked like a brown version of Epcot Center covered in shredded cheddar cheese? The best part about this scoop of beans is that they somehow managed to burn the outside of it while it was in globe form. This defies all applicable forms of science.
The Rice: I’d like to believe that I was served the last little bit of rice that they currently had under the heat lamp, because this was enough cooked rice to fit into the palm of my hand without any left over. The rice tasted like a mix between pure Ramen noodle flavoring and bitter chocolate.
The Chips: Upon walking into the establishment there was a sign that, among other things, read “Fresh Chips Made Daily”. Eating at any other Mexican restaurant would have yielded actual homemade tortilla chips, but in this case I got a crazy paper bag full of chips and no salsa to go with them. Apparently they wanted me to scrape up the cheese sauce from the tamales? I didn’t plan on not being able to crap for a month so I declined the offer. The chips themselves were all the same shape and the same size, which lead me to believe that they were indeed right out of a bag and weren’t “fresh” or “made daily” to begin with.
The Lettuce: Yeah, after ingesting the other “food” on the plate I decided to pass on the lettuce, because it was just that, lettuce. Nothing more, and nothing else, just hastily shredded grass. It looked inconspicuous enough but I’m sure everyone remembers the poison AIDS spinach from earlier this year (or was it last year). I was done getting kicked in the balls for five bucks so I just threw what was left away.
My lesson was learned. For a little more money I could have had a nice Asian food buffet, but instead I figured it would have been smart to let Mexico punch me in the throat. Again.