Authentic Mexican scares me. Fast food quasi-Mexican intrigues me. Go figure. It’s not that I don’t like Mexican food. I just don’t have a lot of experience with it. I had never heard of Del Taco until I started dating J and saw the one by her parents. I realized it was probably a chain, but it’s not a chain I had ever seen before. Since it was something I had never had before, I wanted to check it out.
Del Taco is a West Coast chain that is slowly expanding into the Midwest. The Oak Lawn location is the only one in Illinois. It sits near the corner of Cicero Avenue and 95th Street in front of a small shopping center. When you see Del Taco, you immediately think of it’s competitors. It looks pretty much the same from the outside. A small building with a Southwestern flair.
The inside is much brighter. J actually described as a kid’s interpretation of a restaurant. There are splashes of color anywhere and everywhere from floor to ceiling. The set up is what you’d expect. There’s a small dining room with plastic furniture and an order counter with little rope maze that you have wind your way through even though you’re the only person there.
The menu is also fairly standard. They have all the American Mexican favorites. Hell, they even have french fries. They were running a special the day we were there. Three tacos and an order of fries for two bucks. Seriously! Two bucks! Between the two of us, we ordered six tacos (five were for me), an order of fries, an order of tortilla chips and two drinks and it cost a grand total of $8.15. Again, not a typo. I would be happy if I had paid that just for my dinner, but we got both dinners for that price.
The tacos are made after you order…just like they are at the competitors. You take a seat and wait for them to call your number. It took maybe five minutes for the three kids working to put our order together. The tacos were good. They were similar to Taco Bell’s, but had a different taste. More cumin maybe. The tortilla chips J got were actually pretty good. They were nice and salty. Would have helped if we had some salsa, but they were ok on their own. The fries were crinkle cut fast food fries. We had a pretty big lunch late in the afternoon and the food we got for dinner was just enough to satisfy us and push us to the brink of being “stuffed” but not quite.
Del Taco has a lot of similarities to other fast food Mexican places. The food is ok, but it’s not really Mexican. The best thing was the price. Besides the special I mentioned, they have what looks to be an everyday special of six tacos and six burritos for just over eight bucks. Insane. That could almost feed a family. I don’t crave tacos like this very often and when I do, it’s usually for Taco Johns (review HERE). Del Taco was good, but the price is what would draw me back.
FYI, in case you’re curious, there are four locations in Michigan. The four cities are Clawson, Dearborn Heights, Roseville, and Warren.