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TLO Restaurant Review: Taco Empire

From the old ashes of Mexico to the new blood of America, one of the many transformative worlds Latinos have conquered has been in the magical realm of tasty comestibles. Forget the Magna Carte, the Constitution, and the Oklahoma Land Run—for me, it’s all about el comida de la Raza!

Consequently, Taco Empire takes the fast-casual name, breaks it down, and gives it to all Oklahomans, with extra pineapple salsa on the side.

Recently, I was made aware of the Empire – which I believe started as a food truck – and decided to check it out. Man, they weren’t lying. The foundations shook in this new world of Oklahoma City eats when I walked inside its location at 7008 NW 122nd St. and planted my own flag square on it.

At first glance, the place feels like a corporate operation, with an open-air kitchen, meat on the grill, and the smell dominating all, but to hell with Chad and his Chipotle. After one quick look at the mouth-watering menu, you'll see Taco Empire is far superior.

After placing my order at the counter, I uncapped my Mexican Coke and grabbed a table to eat the appetizer – the Taco Empire Dip Trio ($12.99).

Three of their high-quality dips—queso, salsa, and, even better, fresh guacamole – and even better yet, crisp tortilla chips that seemed straight out the fryer, were not given a very warm welcoming because, of course, they were on total fire. Give them a try!

While I have you here, I want to talk about their mind-expanding Elote ($3.95). Once again, I thought it was just going to be some regular (albeit spicy) Mexican-style corn and nothing to write home about.

But, when it was presented on my plate, the seemingly endless cut rows of roasted corn ribs compounded by the excitement of the distinct seasonings was positively palpable. With a little crema and a whole lot of cilantro, this was a whole meal for me. Once again, everyone should try this corn!

Finally, we had what Taco Empire has been building for: their hand-crafted, well-crafted tacos.

For this review, the tacos we selected were the Barbacoa ($3.99) and Adobada ($3.75), both fully-loaded beyond the breaking point.

The world-class barbacoa was truly sublime. The slow-cooked meat dripped on the impressive blue corn tortilla, topped with onion and cilantro. It was fully cathartic and made me spill all my secrets to anyone who would listen.

And the adobada taco made them shut up!

Much like the barbacoa taco but with different meat, this pork concoction had all the markings of great time at the table. With the blue corn tortilla, the big bites of the well-soaked chiles, tangy zing of citrus, and bittersweet spices made this meal something special. Recommended!

From starter chips to whole tacos, this is the best fast-casual restaurant for those who don’t want to support Chipotle, Qdoba, and other chains, but with total flavor and total independence.

For every bite, every morsel, every morder of Taco Empire, I am sure this empire will reign for a thousand tacos. Cómpralo ya!


Follow Louis Fowler on Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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