I live only a few blocks away from a Taco Mayo—the Oklahoma City-based fast food "Fresh-Mex" chain—but for some reason, never think to go there. They’re not terrible, they have a decent salsa bar and let’s be honest: those Potato Locos are the bomb, son! But, still, whenever I’m craving fast food tacos, I’ll always go the literal extra mile to be disappointed by the filthy Taco Bueno at NW 23rd and Penn. Why is this? I blame poor self-esteem.
Over the past two or three weeks, however, I have received numerous emails, DMs, text messages and bricks through my window asking if I was going to take on the new Indian Taco at the aforementioned Taco Mayo. After all, here at the Lost Ogle, Indian Tacos are only second to Chicken Fried Steak when it comes to mandatory Oklahoma staples that will always be written about, at least by me.
And while this is not a TLO Restaurant Review, per se, I did manage to stop by the Classen establishment last Tuesday—the only day these Indian tacos are available, apparently—and give it the ol’ dropped-out-of-college try and answer all of your inquiries as to if it’s worth it. Apparently most of the neighborhood had the same idea, because the place was pretty jumping and it did look like everyone ordered themselves the Indian Taco. Living up to their promotional slogan, people really just can’t wait for the State Fair, I guess.
At a price tag of $6.99, it didn’t look like they have put together a value meal yet, so it’s a cup of water and no Potato Locos this visit. Still, to be fair, they did load the frybread down with fixings because when they handed me the tray, it felt like a cinderblock. Or at least I thought it was fixings.
Cutting into the frybread with my plastic fork and knife, it was definitely a robust, generous portion, but it was also thick as a brick, a flavorless, doughy, gummy mouthful that felt like someone soullessly copied a frybread recipe off the Internet and was mindlessly self-producing them, keeping them warm under a heat-lamp, making it a bit tough and chewy as well. I actually wonder if human hands kneaded the dough and gently dropped them in oil or if they came this way pre-made…
The toppings weren’t any better, with obnoxious ranch-style beans replacing the dutiful pintos we all know and love, making for a bit of a jarring shock to the system, especially when mingled with their already made ground taco meat, which has a unique flavor of its own, that didn’t mesh well at all. Sorry, Taco Mayo, but this fake-ass Indian Taco just doesn’t cut it. At all. It’s the Hipster Boo Boo of drive-through-through.
There is balm in Gilead however, folks: if you’re craving a real, authentic Indian Taco and, God forbid, can’t wait until the State Fair, every second Saturday of the month, the OK Choctaw Tribal Alliance, 5320 S. Youngs Blvd. holds an Indian Taco sale from 11:00 a.m. to about 2:30 p.m. For six bucks you can get the real deal: hand-spun golden frybread cooked to absolute perfection, loaded with fresh pintos and the other traditional toppings you crave, as well as offering other authentic Native dishes like Tanchi Labona and Grape Dumplings that are definitely worth trying. It's great food, and it goes to a great cause.
Still, that being said, I might have to make a stop at the Mayo to load up on some of those tasty much-missed road Locos more often. Only at the Mayo!
Louis Fowler once told a woman, in the middle of a pasionate kiss, to "Taco Mayo me, baby!" Follow him on Twitter at @LouisFowler.