I know that I’ve driven by 100% Taquito on 59 at least a dozen times and every time I see it, in the middle of that shopping center, with that unassuming italicized Times New Roman font, and thought, geez, what a bunch of gringos. Especially since they have that unassuming Times New Roman font and the slogan on their website still insists “Eat Authentic.” Look guys I’ve been to Mexico more times than I can count (mostly because I can’t count past three) and I can assure you that nothing there looks like the outside of 100% Taquito.
But here’s the thing. It actually has a pretty cool backstory. Apparently it was started by a couple of UH students as a... OK well I’ll be honest that was all I read. But isn’t that cool? I’M a UH student! THEY’RE UH students! All I know is that several of my scholarships are supported by UH alums, and so I’m supporting them while they’re supporting me. Isn’t that so meta? +21! (I’ll be honest you guys I have no idea what meta means I just like to throw it out from time to time and then nod, seeking approval from everyone, proof that I do in fact know the rules of this game. So if everyone could just nod. I’d appreciate it.)
But more importantly than that part of the backstory is that the inside of the building is supposed to hearken back to the streets of Mexico, and once you get past the font it really is supposed to be an authentic experience. I mean have any of you guys been there? You walk in the front door and then there’s this huge entry way with tiled floor, like it’s the actual streets of Mexico, and then where you order is the side of a taco truck. I mean they’ve parked a taco truck inside this restaurant, in order to make it as authentic as possible. And then there’s this car that’s also parked inside the store, like it’s speeding at you. Which I thought was funny because people in Mexico are such terrible drivers they probably do drive in stores! I mean have you guys ever taken a Mexican taxi? Holy moley it is the most frightening experience. One of my friends told me that in Mexico drivers don’t wait for their light to turn green they wait for the other person’s light to turn red. Man even I drive better than that! (Just kidding Dad I’m a wonderful driver I drive way better than that.) OK and the thing is often times the taxi driver doesn’t know where you’re going either and so you have to give directions to the taxi driver and “straight ahead” in Mexican is “a la derecho” and “turn right” is “a la derecha.” So here you are lost in a foreign city, wanting to go home and trying to give directions in a foreign language, and on top of all your stress because you’re wet and cold and just want to go to sleep, AND you have to be cautious on your ending vowels! It’s awful! -12 But I think it’s cool that they have that car so it’s +8 for 100% Taquito.
Back to this whole Mexican streets thing. Here’s the thing. When I was in high school I spent two weeks in Mexico living with a family and attending foreign language school. It was a wonderful experience and I ate at a lot of taquerias and let me just reassure everyone right now and let you know that I did in fact drink the water and I came out of Mexico completely unscathed from Montezuma’s revenge. I took a Pepto Bismal every night, but I think it was well worth being able to eat every single thing put in front of me and I like to think that the parasites still living in my lower intestinal tracts have made me stronger and more able to face all challenges. (Incidentally, did you know that the chewable Pepto tablets turn your tongue brown? I found that out after I figured it really was the water but don’t worry guys it’s supposed to look like that.) Let me just say that while 100% Taquito is a wonderful restaurant they were absolutely NOT 100% authentic. For one thing: where were the packs of dogs? In Mexico, roving packs of dogs follow you EVERYWHERE with your full meal that you only paid two dollars for. I mean get a job dogs it’s so cheap to eat in Mexico, why on earth are you free loading in a country with as many opportunities as Mexico? Jeez. But there were no pups sniffing at your ankles, longingly staring after your tacos. -6 ALSO, do you know what they gave us while we were waiting for our food? A BUZZER! One of those stupid little things that vibrate when your food is ready, or like when you’re waiting for a table at Olive Garden on Prom night! Let me tell you guys, they do not have the technology to create the batteries to run those things in Mexico. It’s strictly a “hope you get to your food before the dogs do” kind of country. -3 Take that “authenticity”!
But there’s a light at the end of the table. Do you know what they have at 100% Taquito? Hot salsa! They don’t bring it to your table you have to order it separately but guys its totes worth it because the salsa’s warm! None of that chilled stuff here, this is my kind of restaurant, I know we’ve discussed how much I hate cold salsa. I mean it’s a spicy food! It’s going to burn my mouth! I don’t understand why we’re trying to fool ourselves by making it cold. I’m not saying I hate cold salsa as much as I hate Louisiana but it’s not my favorite, so thanks for taking us away from that mess 100% Taquito. +24
Go check it out, they have pitchers of margaritas there even if they don’t have packs of dogs, so you should just take your victories when you can. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know what you think!