Monday, September 19, 2005

Taco Viva

Taco Viva #1 opened last wk, and so arrives a new Mexican chain, but before you dismiss it, consider: 1. it comes from Bill Waugh, founder of taco bueno (as well as Casa Bonita & Crystal’s Pizza), and more recently Burger Street (w/ which he’s still involved). 2. guacamole made fresh daily meat & beans cooked onsite + chili as signature sauce/item splashed on just about everything. Taco Viva #2 will open soon in Rockwall, next to an upgraded burger street called burger street café, a fast-casual deal w/ fireplace & comfy furniture. Look for 5-6 Taco Vivas to open w/in next yr

14520 Josey Lane, Farmers Branch. 972-241-4224

38 Comments:

At September 19, 2005 12:23 PM, Anonymous peanut gallery said...

Haven't eaten at a taco bueno in decades.

 
At September 19, 2005 1:38 PM, Anonymous IceCreamHead said...

WOW...If there is a SAUCE being "splashed on just about everything" I am so there!!

Once again NYCE is WAY AHEAD of the curve. Thanks TG!

 
At September 19, 2005 2:35 PM, Anonymous ms.ery said...

There's a Burger Street next to the Kroger's where I shop, but I've never tried it. Do you recommend it over, say, Jack in the Box or Sonic?

 
At September 20, 2005 9:01 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

On a visit to your fair state I visited a taco bueno and it ws quite good.

 
At September 20, 2005 9:24 AM, Anonymous peanut gallery said...

It's sort of the place that you go after you've had a late night, if you catch my drift.

 
At September 20, 2005 10:03 AM, Blogger Kirk said...

What is it about Dallasites and the Spanish language?

"Taco" is a masculine noun; "Viva" is a feminine adjective. They don't work together, grammatically. It should be "Taco Vivo," but that means "Live Taco" and it is dangerously close being a less-than-nice reference to a certain part of Katie Holmes' anatomy.

And I have to chuckle every time I drive past the tony Park Cities street Lomo Alto ... which means "High Loin" (or, in slang, "High Butt"). Loma Alta, on the other hand, means "High Hill."

I envision the original developer of the area having a conversation with his wife:

"Honey, the architect says we ought to call the street 'Loma Alta.' Says, it means something like 'High Hill,' and that people will go for that. Works in California, where they got Loma Linda."

"I don't know, Pumpkin, that's awful hard to pronounce...with all those 'A's' 'n' everythang. And it sure doesn't sound very masculine to me."

"Hmm, you're right. Besides, we don't need none of them Californians around here. I'll tell him to call it 'LomO AltO.' That'll teach him we mean bidness."

"You tell'em, Pumpkin."

 
At September 20, 2005 11:11 AM, Anonymous TG said...

kirk kirk kirk - why should people be expected to learn the nuances of spanish? why complicate things when your goal is a simple one, to make some cash off the culture? (altho, i do believe mr. waugh is from ABILENE.)

 
At September 20, 2005 8:07 PM, Blogger Scott--DFW said...

Kirk,

After he lost his butt when the Dallas real estate market tanked in the early 1890s, Henry Exall (who dammed Turtle Creek to form what's now Exall Lake) started the Lomo Alto Horse Farm.

Exall sold out to John Armstrong (of Armstrong Pkwy.) who, after developing Oak Cliff, had gone on to open a meatpacking business.

I'm sure you know that "lomo alto" is also a cut of meat--specifically, "la parte más cercana a la cabeza y es la parte del lomo provista de costillas largas."

Horse farm --> Meatpacker --> Lomo Alto.

Scott

 
At September 20, 2005 9:29 PM, Blogger Kirk said...

Scott:

That's an interesting, and far funnier, explanation of the name than my speculation. The fact that it is true makes it even better! A street named after a cut of, uh, caballo.

¡Esto si que es precioso!

You don't suppose "Sr. Brazofuerte" went on to open a barbacoa "cordobés" restaurant somewhere in town, do you?

 
At September 21, 2005 4:32 PM, Anonymous Taco Diner said...

Somebody should strangle Kirk

 
At September 21, 2005 4:57 PM, Blogger Kirk said...

Namaste, Dean.

 
At September 22, 2005 1:44 PM, Anonymous Dean said...

You what?

 
At October 04, 2005 1:39 AM, Anonymous BuenoAddict said...

Had to laugh abut Kirk's comments about the spanish language! Years ago when I worked at Taco Bueno we had a new menu item that I cant for the life of me remember now, but its name was called something that in spanish DID mean a less-than-nice reference to a certain part of female anatomy. Was told this by my female assistant manager who was fluent in spanish. She was also a devout Christian lady and wouldn't tell me what it meant. Does anyone remember the item? It didn't stay on the menu long. Most chains use marketing people that name their items with words that just sound mexican anyway...grammer has never had a solid foothold in advertising.

 
At October 11, 2005 3:28 AM, Anonymous buenoaddict said...

When doing some research on Casa Bonita, I found an article that said there was one opening in the Dallas/Fort Worth area (this was years ago) does anyone know if it opened? When it closed? Have any pics of it? Before that article only knew of the original Casa in Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Tulsa and Denver. The only Casa Bonita left now is in Denver since the Tulsa one closed last month (but is supposed to reopen as a Casa Viva! by Waugh) Anyone have any info?

 
At November 20, 2005 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was already a franchise called Taco Viva that started in South Florida many years ago. Recently they were all closed since Taco Bell got the market. Taco Viva was much better tho. Is this the same Taco Viva?

 
At February 24, 2006 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was in high school...(20 years ago), there was a restaurant called Taco Viva on Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach. Is this the same franchise???, and if so, I would love to know where all the locations are so I can find one close to me now...used to love that place.

 
At August 04, 2006 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if it's the same chain or not, but I would also be interested in knowing if there are any still open ~ (nearby). I remember one in West Palm Beach also, it was in front of an Albertson's; is that the same as the one on Dixie Hwy? And yes, they were MUCH better than that so called Taco place we know today.

 
At October 11, 2006 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taco Viva on Josey made lots of people sick and it closed down. Anyone else noticed this with the Taco Viva chains in Dallas? Any still left open?

 
At October 11, 2006 2:18 PM, Blogger geoff said...

As a friend of the above poster, and having eaten at the Taco Viva during the month(ish) is was open, I can verify that the "taco burgers" offered do indeed taste just as good going down as they do coming back up. They also had no bathroom and only one trash can, which was already overflowing, so I just left the huge pile of regurgitated beef on the tray on our table.

I highly recommend it.

 
At March 17, 2007 2:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've got news for him - Taco Viva is NOT a new idea... or name.

Back in the 70's - there was a chain of Taco Viva's in South Florida - their ad went something like:

"When you say taco, say Viva!"

They were pre Taco Bel - but they were already born back in the 70's - so, I'd hope he'd check on the name rights prior to doing this...

Just my 2cents - for all it's worth.

 
At June 20, 2007 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did not even know Taco Viva was out of business, except down here is South Florida.
Too bad there are not any Jack In The Boxes down here;growing up in Southern california, I got addicted to Jack In the Box, particularly the way they make their tacos.

 
At July 16, 2007 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked in Taco Viva in Hollywood, FL during the 80's. I t was a Florida chain that went into Georgia and South Carolina without much fanfare and later closed. The buildings were purchased by Miami Subs in the years 89-91 and they soon closed all their mall units. The food was fantastic, and I miss it to this day. The wet burrito, super sampler, you can remember them all!! Andrew Wright Taco Viva store 345, Hollywood Mall, Florida.

 
At January 19, 2008 3:35 PM, Anonymous SuperNinja said...

Regarding the Taco Viva commercials:

The one that I remember the most was one that was made before that crappy animated Taco Viva commercial.

From what little I remember, the commercial featured a gun slinger or cowboy, and he would say in a VERY SERIOUS and deep tone, "When you say Taco, you *BETTER* say Viva!!!"

I loved that place.
When I was a kid, I used to ride my bike there once a week on saturday and get like 5 tacos and a few containers of El Scorcho sauce.

Taco Bell is a shit house full of sewage, compared to the great Taco Viva.
RIP Taco Viva :-(

 
At February 29, 2008 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was a kid in south Forida we had a Taco Viva on 441 around NW 190th street. Taco Bell came in later on 441 around 198th street.
I remember thinking that thereis no way Taco Bell will last because Taco Viva was sooo much better. Unfortunately Taco Bell won the war. I don't know why. Everyone I talk to says they loved Taco Viva. Throughout highschool we would sometimes skip school and go to 163rd street mall and get a wet burrito and a couple of tacos. When I got older they still had one in Adventura mall. A few friends and I would travel down from fort lauderdale just to eat there.
It blows me away how they are out of business.

 
At May 26, 2008 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you like some El Scorcho with your taco?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CEqVTWo4EI

watch it. If you like Taco Viva, you'll laugh

 
At August 30, 2008 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to work at Taco Viva in Pompano Beach, Florida in the early 80s. I also managed a Taco Bell later in life. I can tell you from firsthand experience, Taco Viva was superior. Their ingredients were uncut (100% beef), where the other place used Procon (same filler they use in Alpo dog food) to make the beef go further. Their beans also come in dried and are reconstituted (but used to be made fresh - I know, I used to have to make them every day), but when they started dumbing down the process they went downhill fast... Procon, dried beans, premade shells, etc... Taco Viva NEVER did those things, and even the sauces were made on the premesis. Somehow, they failed and VHS... oh I mean Bell won... seems like we only care about that 20% cheaper and not about quality...

 
At November 27, 2008 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved Taco Viva. We had one in Plantation on 441 and it was great. I loved the way they would put your choice of sauce right in your borrito before rolling it up. I can't stand having to unroll a Taco Bell boritto to put sauce in it. And they had so many varieties of sauces. It was a great place.

 
At June 30, 2009 11:50 PM, Blogger Marc said...

I really miss these guys! They were just TOTALLY awesome! Taco Bueno (which I only recently discovered) is ALSO awesome. Hope they dont suffer the same fate as the afore mentioned Taco Viva! ROCK ON fellas!

 
At January 31, 2010 1:19 PM, Anonymous Nay said...

Taca Viva on 441 and Hollywood Blvd rocked. They were far better than Taca Hell, I mean Bell. I think they had like 7 choices of hot sauces, and they werent in little sealed packets either. I cant understand how they went under. They were the best.

 
At February 21, 2010 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Socal and remembered some of the original Taco Bells back in the 70's-80's when the building had an actual bell on top and the ingredients were fresh, it was so much better back then so I didn't mind so much they took over Pup'n'Taco. Then I went to SoFLA in 1986 and there were no Taco Bells but we had a wonderful chain called Taco Viva. Then they started disappearing, sux too cuz the food was quite good and reasonable. The last one I ate at was on 441 in Lauderhill back in like 1996 or '97... the el scorcho sauce was really good

 
At March 02, 2010 12:31 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

Thank You all for remembering "Taco Viva" I remember when I was younger truly hating when my mom would go to the newer franchise called "Taco Bell". But somehow their cheap prices won over the public.I remember going to the "Taco Viva" in 163 street mall in North Miami Beach,Fl during lunch from High school always getting a Combo Burrito.It had Seasoned ground beef,refried beans, fresh lettuce,onions,tomatoes and sour cream.It was Amazing meal in itself.Then I went to "Taco Bell" when there was no more "Taco Viva" and was soooo disapointed at their idea of a burrito.Please tell me they are returning to save the quick Mexican meal day!!!!

 
At May 19, 2010 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a cook at a Taco Viva in Cooper City back in the late 80s when I was in high school, and a lot of the food was nasty. I'd eaten the meat until I learned that we cooked it with half protein filler (procon, I think it was called), & the cook who trained me told me to cook the meat first and then add the filler once it was done, so the stuff we served wasn't evenly cooked. Nasty stuff. The chicken was the only quality stuff. None of the employees would touch the beans or the "guac," but they were probably more or less healthy.

 
At March 08, 2011 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG.. I USE TO LUV TACO VIVA . MAN THOSE WERE THE DAYS . I USE TO GO TO THE TACO VIVA IN COOPER CITY IN THE 80'S .

 
At March 31, 2011 8:18 PM, OpenID obbop said...

Sure reads as if the Taco Viva firm was extremely popular.

I never had a chance to eat there, being a Californian who didn't enter Florida until 1978 when I was driving a semi-truck and was In-n-Out with nary a chance to eat at a Taco Viva.

I can verify how Taco Bell was quite different in the "old days."

Much more labor intensive food prep.

Fresh veggies sliced and diced daily.

Taco shells started as soft and those to be used for hard-shelled tacos placed in metal forms and dunked into hot grease then drained.

Meat in large frozen plastic pouches, dumped into BUG pots then spices added. Smelled SO GOOD while cooking with barely any grease appearing. A higher quality of ingredients back in those days.

 
At April 27, 2011 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous,

You mentioned that you worked at the Taco Viva located in Cooper City on 100th Ave and Griffin Road. Where exactly was that Taco Viva located? How long was that one open. I only remember seeing a Wuv's, Luvin Oven Pizza and a Winn Dixie. This was back in 81' and 82' while I was a student at Cooper City High. Did you also go to that highschool? Thanks.

George
I graduated in 82'.

 
At July 15, 2011 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another poster said Taco Viva's beef was 100%, no filler. That is patently incorrect, I cooked for TV in N. Miami and can tell you first hand that filler (and MSG) were common ingredients. The guacamole stock was frozen as well. I did like the food though.

 
At August 02, 2013 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect this post is very dead, but I'll update. I was the cook at the Taco Viva in Cooper City. It was behind the McDonald's in the big strip mall across from Winn Dixie at the intersection of 100th & Griffen. Yes, I attended CCHS, class of 87. We did most of the cooking for the Taco Viva at the Broward Mall, but it was closed by summer of 88 when I came home on vacation.

 
At August 07, 2013 2:55 AM, Anonymous Dottie W. said...

I miss Taco Viva. I did a skit for Spanish Class and I did the commercial with the gunslinger. Fun! 'When you say Taco, say Viva!'

 

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