Taco Bueno – Steak Bueno Bowl
While I don't know that Taco Bueno is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Texas Food, they are based out of Texas and that's good enough for me. I recently had the opportunity to try their new Bueno Bowls and I think they're worth talking a little about. First, some background; Taco Bueno is based out of Lewisville Texas, but they've got restaurants in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and New Mexico, in addition to Texas of course.
Before I get started, I'll say right up front, that I don't eat a lot of fast food. I'll take a good BBQ restaurant any day before I'll look for a fast food joint, however there are a couple exceptions to this. Chipotle being the primary one. It's my love of the Chipotle style bowls that got me interested in the Taco Bueno Bowls, and in truth I'm glad it did. The premise of the Bueno Bowl is that you can choose from a list of ingredients and build your own bowl. While the concept isn't a new one, it is new to your typical fast food restaurant and the level of customization is a really nice addition. For myself I went with a salad bowl, with a base made of lettuce. I opted to skip the beans and rice, instead adding grilled steak, guacamole, sour cream, grilled vegetables, cheese and my favorite... bacon.
Overall, it was pretty good. The lettuce was nice and fresh and not shredded like I had expected. The steak was seasoned well and not over cooked, though not of the highest quality, it still tasted good, and the ability to add bacon was a real winner for me. Everything tasted pretty good. I won't say it was on the same quality level as say Chipotle, but then again, this is a very different kind of restaurant. The one thing that bothered me is that it seemed like everything was an additional cost. The steak Bueno Bowl itself was a reasonable $6.50, but if you want guacamole, it's .79, and sour cream is .39, and bacon is .99. I realize that guacamole and bacon are expensive, but I think sour cream should have been free. Also if I'm paying .79 for some guacamole, I expect a little more than the tablespoon or so I got.
Nitpicking the cost aside, I'm surprised and excited by the addition of the Bueno Bowl to Taco Bueno. It tasted great, came out fast, and the quality was there to keep me coming back. What is really great about this is that it allows a level of customization that you usually don't see at these types of restaurants. As someone who doesn't eat much in the way of carbs, I also found this to be a great addition because I finally had a realistic option and an additional restaurant to add to my choices. If you find yourself near a Taco Bueno, I definitely recommend giving it a shot, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
About the Author: Rob Sterba (@rsterba) is originally from New Mexico living in the Fort Worth area. An IT architect by trade, in his free time he's an avid tea drinker and enjoys writing and learning about tea, food, and technology.