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Vaya Con Dios, Taco Mayo (on N. Classen)!

4:30 AM EDT on August 13, 2021

“Taco Mayo my funeral, baby!”

Walking down Classen to check my mail at the always reliable Classen Tag Agency, as I went past the long-standing Taco Mayo, 2915 N. Classen, my soul shuttered and shuddered as, after years of continually teetering on the brink of pico de extinction, the Tex-Mex fast-food place was finally closed for good—and I never got a final serving of Potato Locos.

“No sabes lo que tienes hasta que se ha ido!” I heard the badly translated ghosts of Taco Mayos past whisper through the trees.

Taco Mayo is Oklahoma’s own, and the store on Classen did everything in its power to prove that. From the drive-thru intercom system that felt like getting rabbit-punched in the vocal chords to the untenable wait when you ordered on the inside, never knowing if you were going to get what you requested or something possibly better, it was truly a magical place.

From the first time I discovered it as a dumb teenager to my most recent jaunt there a couple of months ago, you always felt like you were eating at a fast-food dive that had deeper connections to us as a people, far more than Taco Bueno or Taco Bell. The only eatery that even comes close is Taco Tico, and they, mi amigos, are long dead and buried.

The final time I went there it was with a dearly-departed—from me at least—lover, and, per my usual order, had two or three crispy tacos, an order of Potato Locos and a cup of ice water. If I had known that they were going to soon say adios, I might have savored them, allowing the loose meat and cheese to spill over me in a baptism of Tex-Mex eats.

But I didn’t know…how could I have known?

I know there are still a few Mayos around town, many with a beautifully redone pseudo-rustic frontage, but it wasn’t mine, with it’s outdated outsides, bumpy parking lot and the outdoor signage that was always misspelled or missing letters, even for simple words like “taco,” tugging at the tender meat of my heartstrings with every begotten order.

It made Classen a little piece of a bankrupt heaven, all for under five bucks—good thing there is still all that phở. So vaya con Dios, Taco Mayo. I hope whatever inhibits your body next is worthy of your name, though it probably won’t.

_

Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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