Friday, November 30, 2007

A la Carrera

Well, this morning I resumed my quest to find a breakfast taco that's better than Ken's. What that really means is that I was finally able to convince my car to drive to another place. I've been to Ken's about once a week since my last post...

Anyway, today's trek was to a favorite lunch place, A la Carrera. (Sorry, I can't find an actual home page for them, but, as usual, Google comes through.) I've known for a long time that this place has breakfast but I've never tried it before.

I'll cut right to the chase: it was good, but couldn't touch Ken's.

  • Price: moderate, but more than Ken's. Taco's come in several combinations of 2 of 6 or so ingredients: sausage, bacon, chorizo, eggs, potatos and beans. They have a stand set up inside the front door with a wide variety of these pre-made so you can run in, pick up what you want and run back out. You can also sit down and order whatever you want, which is what I did. These 2-ingredient tacos run $1.35 which isn't bad, but they want $0.50 for each additional ingredient, so my almost-standard "sausage, egg, bean and cheese" was $2.35. I probably could have added potatoes for another $0.50 but I decided against it. My drink set me back $1.95, making my total bill $4.65 and since I was "served" I had to leave a tip, too.

  • Size: the taco was of average size but probably only 1/2 the size of Ken's.

  • Goodness: Overall, the taste was good, though a little bland. I was able to add plenty of A la Carrera's wonderful salsa which helped. I'd call the consistency "goopy" - both the beans and eggs were runny which made this a messy taco. Also, the sausage was basically a small patty, fried up and cut in half, forcing me to dice it up myself before eating.
I'll keep going to A la Carrera for lunch, but I'll keep searching for the Ultimate Breakfast Taco...!

Friday, November 2, 2007


Today's culinary excursion took me to Whataburger - mostly because I was in a hurry and they have a drive-through...

Let me start by saying the taco was fine. It was alright. It was perfectly acceptable. But it wasn't great.

First, your choices are very limited (for tacos; of course they have lots of other stuff, but this blog is about tacos): eggs with either sausage, bacon or potatos for $1.79, and you can add cheese for $0.35. I had the sausage and, like I mentioned, it was OK.

However, it was small - less than half the size of a Ken's taco. And the salsa was generic, mass-produced and uninspiring.

In the end I'd have to say it wasn't a very good value. I wouldn't head to Whataburger to buy the taco, but if I was eating breakfast at Whataburger the taco would be on my list of choices.

Grade: B

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ken's Tacos

OK, so I'm starting out this blog with a slight prejudice: Ken's makes the best breakfast tacos in the World.

That's right, Kids. These tacos are so good that I've been coming here for at least 13 or 14 years, maybe a bit more. A coworker named Rock (at Fisher Controls) turned me and many others on to this place and it's been my favorite breakfast ever since.

(The full name of the restaurant is actually Ken's Sub's, Taco's & More.)

So, what makes these tacos so good?

First off, everything here is made to order so it's not sitting around under a heat lamp - but they're fast enough that you aren't left waiting forever either.

Remember the old "Burger King" song "have it your way..."? At Ken's you really have them build your taco however you want. A standard "one meat" taco is $1.69 with up to 4 items (not including cheese, a $0.25 extra). You can pay more and get 2 or 3 meats if you want and a meat-less taco is only $1.49. My favorite - sausage, potato, eggs, refried beans and cheese - is $2.04. What a Bargain!

Then there's the size: these tacos are BIG. There's so much crammed in the tortilla that is nearly impossible to eat without dropping half the goodies. My old buddy Rock filed me in on a little secret way back when and now I'm going to tell the world... Ready? Order an "extra tortilla". It's only 2 bits. Then you split your fillings in half between the 2 tortillas - adding plenty of Ken's great salsa as you go - and you have 2 tacos that are a manageable size.

Ken's prices are reasonable (my "usual" taco, extra tortilla and large drink comes to $3.50), the selection is good and the ingredients are always fresh. Also, the staff is very friendly, including Ken who seems to be there about half the times that I go.

There's always got to be a problem, though. Right? Ken's problem is that there isn't enough parking during the "rush" periods. Some people end up parking at the 7-11 next door, which used to be a really bad idea because they would tow your car but I don't think it's that bad any more. Overall it's a minor issue.

(On a side note, Ken's also makes the best Philly Cheesesteak I've ever had outside of South Philadelphia.)

Ken added Sweet Tea to the drink menu sometime in the last year or so. It's not the best but it's good. Hey, give the Yankee a break - at least he's trying.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that Ken's makes me happy. They have lots of other menu items, too, but I'm just kinda "stuck" on the tacos and cheesesteaks.