Nearly a decade after So Long Saloon opened for business in December of 2001, and establishing themselves as a world-renowned Aggieville staple, the proprietors of the prized establishment determined they wanted to expand their culinary horizons to South of the Border. What opened at the corner of 12th and Moro on the north side of the building (and kitchen) shared with So Long in November 2011 isn’t exactly what the restauranteurs initially envisioned when they decided to venture into a new frontier.
Originally intending to be a “taco truck inside a building” - rather, a taco stand with six bar stools - ultimately became the format and layout that is so dearly beloved today. It’s a quaint & cozy bantam cantina, featuring both indoor bar, booth and high-top seating, and a year-round patio available as well. The walls and shelves are adorned with Luchadors (find your favorite Manhattan celebrity behind the mask!), and relics that were seemingly found in Santa Fe, which helps lend a warm and inviting vibe to the spot.
Since it’s founding by Randy Boller, Rob Goode, Jason Humes & Julie Haynes, Taco Lucha has enjoyed an almost cult-like following - secret menu and all! Known for more than just the atmosphere and delicious food, they are also known for their consistency in both food quality, and service as well. “We make everything here, and right when you order it. Every meat, for every taco. All the salsas and toppings. We warm every tortilla.”, said managing partner, Travis Worrel. “We literally make every single thing from scratch.”
Kicking off your Taco Lucha experience usually involves ordering a fresh, house-made Margarita with hand-squeezed lime; or a “Nancy”, which is simply a Busch Light draft beer with Pineapple juice (nobody does it better). There’s also an impressive list of speciality drinks such as the Poloma and Mexi-Tini, plus more than two-dozen labels of tequila.
Here, an appetizer is a meal prerequisite. If you want tortilla chips and dip, a must-try is the Queso Fundido. It’s melted fontina cheese with roasted poblano & onion, and savory house-made chorizo. Also great is the famous Chipotle Raspberry & Black Bean Dip, a recipe borrowed from sister restaurant So Long Saloon. If you’re not feeling overly-chippy, the jalapeño poppers are mouthwatering! Char-grilled over an open flame, they are bacon-wrapped, cream cheese stuffed jalapeños served with the homemade chipotle raspberry sauce.
Exploring further into the menu, there’s something for everyone, with appetites ranging from small to grande. If you’re seeking to eat lighter, the Grilled Ensalada salad, headlined by a fire-grilled romaine heart, will leave you stunned at how fantastic a salad can be. If you’re pursing something that really fills you up, try the Stacked Enchiladas! It’s a stack of layered corn tortillas, interlaced with meat, cilantro lime creme, roasted poblanos, cheese, pico & covered with pork chile verde.
When it comes to the tacos, you really cant go wrong with the any choice! Classic, traditional tastes lie within the Carnitas, Tinga & El Mexicano tacos. Contemporary and unique tastes are found in the Black & Blue, Slayer, & Buffalo Chicken tacos. The best way to find your favorite taco is try them all, with a different meat each time.
If you really want to change it up, there’s always the Especiales; daily specials in which you’ll always find something unique and fantastic! Each Tuesday is Peanut Butter Taco Tuesday!
Taco Lucha gets and stays pretty busy, so your best bet to get seated quickly is to show up early for meal times, and to have your party present and ready when you get you there.
If you consider yourself to be a true Taco Luchador, then of course, you know about the Lucha Secret Menu, right? What’s on the secret menu?! Well, it’s a secret. Hint: It’s out there! Go look for it!