Mexican fare on the go
The Dish on Dish
Mexican cuisine ranks as one of the most popular in the world. Somewhere in the history of, "What's for dinner?" the Spanish conquistadors combined recipes from the ancient traditions of the Aztec, Mayan and Spanish cultures. Next thing you know, you're yelling your order to a talking box from your car. I'd like to see a conquistador try that!
Fast food Mexican cuisine is not what one usually thinks of when counting calories, so let's plug our ears to the rantings of the "healthy diet choir" and go for it.
The food may be "fast" but choosing what you want can be anything but, so unless you go in knowing exactly what you want, I suggest visiting their websites ahead of time. You will find yourself going down a Mexican-flavored rabbit hole.
Prices at the chains are very low ... so portion size must comply. That's why, in my high school days I'd order 10 tacos for lunch.
Taco Bell is the newest kid on the east end of town. Beckoning with classy Pacific Northwest architecture, no one who is concerned with big box stores should have a complaint here.
All the usual suspects are available: tacos, burritos, gorditas, nachos, chalupas and salads. Check out the current specialties: for instance ... Crunchwrap Supreme, a flour tortilla filled with seasoned beef, warm nacho cheese sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, even a crunchy tostada shell is in there. And reduced fat sour cream - their only sour cream choice; it reminds me of when I insist on a diet cola with my extra cheese pizza! And there are ever-changing featured items: Right now you can get a full dozen tacos for $10 - what a deal!
Bring your scissors or sharp teeth to open the sauce packets: border salsa verde and fire-roasted red sauce in addition to what's already "in there."
Greg and I ordered their Burrito Supreme; his with lava and pepper jack cheese sauce and mine with chicken and guac added. I upgraded Greg's with "authentic carne asada steak" and mine with grilled all-white chicken.
With so many tacos to choose from, I tried their Taco Supreme saddled in a crunchy corn shell with beef, sour cream, shredded lettuce, real cheddar cheese and diced ripe tomatoes.
All quelled our growling tummies.
Remember Dreamcicles and Orange Julius? Taco Bell has its own rendition, Orange 'n' Creme Swirl!
Now, on to Taco Time at Sequim's west end.
The exterior of Taco Time is nothing to write home about but the interior is very pleasant with scenics of the Grand Canyon (I think - I flunked geography) and cowboy art. There are crayons and coloring books for the kids.
Judie and I ate "in" and were surprised to be served on ceramic Fiestaware dinnerware. A nice touch. But try not to do what we did - throw the dishes in the wastebasket on your way out the door!
Taco Time's menu is even more extensive than Taco Bell's and lots of items are made from scratch. It's hard to find a good mild salsa - you'll find it here.
Current great deal: any four featured items for $5.
Judie and I loved the breaded mahi mahi fish taco - calories be damned - generously filled with creamy cole slaw, carrots, cabbage and tomato.
Both of us definitely will return for the Southwest Chop Salad with a blend of cabbages, carrots, bell pepper and celery, a generous amount of (Tyson) chicken, pico de gallo and especially good black bean and corn salsa. We topped it with their Santa Fe dressing - a creative mix of sour cream, jalape?o and chopped cilantro.
Ingredients are mostly local or at least from the Northwest.
Try the Mexi fries - seasoned tater tots. And the white chicken chili is really, really good!
Crusto - a sweet treat of deep-fried tortilla sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar - was tempting.
Fita's Mexican Grill
Between the two franchises is Fita's Mexican Grill. This family-run mom 'n' pop is housed in a catering truck parked on Priest Road across from Walmart.
What it lacks in structure, it makes up for in taste. In this case, it's right up there with "brick and mortar" Mexican restaurants.
On this busy day, I enjoyed a darn good meal while sitting in my car.
They offer more than a dozen combo plates including mullitas (meat, cheese, cilantro, onion and salsa in a crispy shell), fried pork carnitas, and a Torta Mexican Sandwich filled with meat, avocado, beans, mayo, sour cream and butter on a Chibatta roll with lettuce and tomato. Their fish taco is filled with battered cod and cream sauce. I ordered their taco salad but they were nice enough to let me sample several items. The pulled pork and chicken were tender and juicy. The asada (steak) had great seasonings. And the soup of the day, posole, was awesome and filled with tender chicken, oregano, onion, hominy and cabbage.
Everything is made to order ... even the guacamole.
Have a business lunch meeting or getting married? They also cater to groups from 10 to more than 500.
Special mention to the staff at all three ... helpful and eager to please.
1136 Lee Chatfield Way
Inside service: Sunday-Thursday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Outside service: Sunday-Thursday 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-1 a.m.
110 River Road
Monday-Sunday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Fita's Mexican Grill
190 Priest Road
Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
All three: $
Shelley Taylor and her husband relocated to the peninsula from California. By her own admission, Taylor likes to eat.
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