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Taco Heaven

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?

Food poisoning prevented by alcohol consumption

Postby kulgar » Fri May 07, 2010 12:07 pm

This is not a comment on the cleanliness of Taco Heaven, just commentary on an older part of this thread. But it is why I always drinks lots of wine with sushi. Or maybe it's just an excuse to drink to excess in any restaurant....

The reason an old poster can eat hundreds of times at a questionable restaurant and never get food poisong correlates to his "bar time" consumption.

"A Spanish study of an outbreak of acute salmonella gastric infection among people at a banquet found that the protective effect of alcohol was strongest for subjects who had drunk more than 40 grams of alcohol, with attack rates being 95% for those who had not drunk alcohol, 78% for those who had drunk less than 40 grams, and 54% for those who had drunk more than 40 grams. A standard drink in the U.S. contains 14 grams of alcohol." The CDC found similar results at a wedding in LA ten years ago, this isn't an urban legend.

If you're drunk enough, you can eat almost anything and not get food poisoning. The Spanish researchers didn't have Wisconsin subjects who consume the 100 grams of alcohol it takes to eat worry free at some of these places (or vote Burrito Drive the best new restaurant in Madison a few years ago).
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Re: Taco Heaven

Postby Kovalic » Wed May 12, 2010 1:45 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:The real travesty was the Chicago Dog. The ingredients were ok, including a poppy-seed bun and everything, but the freakin' dog was grilled. GRILLED!


Hot Doug's in Chicago offers a grilled Chicago-style dog (along with the more traditional variety), and it was actually pretty tasty, that way...

So perhaps not as sacrosanct as one might imagine?
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Re: Taco Heaven

Postby wallrock » Thu May 13, 2010 10:58 am

Kovalic wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:The real travesty was the Chicago Dog. The ingredients were ok, including a poppy-seed bun and everything, but the freakin' dog was grilled. GRILLED!


Hot Doug's in Chicago offers a grilled Chicago-style dog (along with the more traditional variety), and it was actually pretty tasty, that way...

So perhaps not as sacrosanct as one might imagine?

Yeah, Weiner Circle also does chargrilled dogs. I prefer steamed myself.
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Re: Taco Heaven

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu May 13, 2010 11:24 am

wallrock wrote:
Kovalic wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:The real travesty was the Chicago Dog... was grilled. GRILLED!


Hot Doug's in Chicago offers a grilled Chicago-style dog (along with the more traditional variety), and it was actually pretty tasty, that way...

So perhaps not as sacrosanct as one might imagine?

Yeah, Weiner Circle also does chargrilled dogs.


Fair enough -- and I ain't got nothin' against a good grilled dog, mind you -- but I'd bet both of those places mention that the dog is grilled on the menu. Not so Taco Heaven, who simply call theirs "The Original Chicago Dog". Sorry, but "original Chicago Dogs" are boiled or steamed in my book (although a quick perusal at Wikipedia admittedly says they can be "boiled, steamed, or grilled", I'll trust the combined couple of hundred years of ordering experience between me and my family, thank you very much.)

But no matter which side of the Great Chicago Hot Dog Debate you fall on, Taco Heaven ain't doing right by something called "The Original Chicago Dog". I gave them another chance recently and a) this time, there were no poppy seeds on the bun, and b) I hadn't noticed before, but the tomatoes were diced, not sliced (prob. 'cuz they're a taco joint.) But more important than such quibbles, I finally tried their tacos. Absolutely disgusting.

Final Review: Yeccchh!
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That's why we eat them here!

Postby Marvell » Thu May 13, 2010 1:09 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:But more important than such quibbles, I finally tried their tacos. Absolutely disgusting.


I guess there are no tacos in heaven.
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Re: Taco Heaven

Postby yesferatu » Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:41 pm

Well shit.
I guess I have to be lone defender of this place.

Since starting a job downtown, I have tried Mexican food from practically every taco place on the isthmus.

I will contend that Taco Heaven is cheaper, better, and more consistent than anything on State Street or from the carts.

I hate the weed theme.
It's a gimmick and it's stupid.
The service is a little slow and I have heard bad things about delivery time. Some of that can be fixed with better staff and will improve.

Ive been there almost weekly since they opened and I'm looking at a menu right now...
The King-Sized Burrito is great.
It's huge and has any meat you want plus rice, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream and salsa. Which is more than I can say for the last 5 places I've tried. There's variety.

The tacos are $2.00 each and loaded.
Variety wins out here again.
Shells: corn or flour, hard or soft
Again, your choice of meat and lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and sour cream.

I've had their Royal With Cheese burger which was decent for $5 if a little too "Pulp-Fictiony".

Overall, it was cheap, decent and obviously a new restaurant.

Pick a day, go to three taco places downtown.
Order the most basic taco they have.
Order the same thing at Taco Heaven.
It will be better and probably less expensive than the other two.
Yes, the service will be shitty and yes, the weed gimmick will repel some people.

I've been to Tex Tubbs, El Burrito Loco, La Mestiza, Qdoba and Chipotle in the past month, and Taco Heaven is consistently better than all 5.

At least try the place before writing it off.
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Re: Taco Heaven

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:15 pm

yesferatu wrote:'ve been to Tex Tubbs, El Burrito Loco, La Mestiza, Qdoba and Chipotle in the past month, and Taco Heaven is consistently better than all 5.


You lost me here. I'll give you Qdoba and Chipotle as meh, but La Mestiza is one of the best Mexican restaurants we have in town and Tex Tubbs has been consistent for me the majority of the time. You're entitled to your opinion, I'm just not gonna be taking culinary advise from you any time soon.
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Re: Taco Heaven

Postby wallrock » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:07 am

Stebben84 wrote:
yesferatu wrote:'ve been to Tex Tubbs, El Burrito Loco, La Mestiza, Qdoba and Chipotle in the past month, and Taco Heaven is consistently better than all 5.


You lost me here. I'll give you Qdoba and Chipotle as meh, but La Mestiza is one of the best Mexican restaurants we have in town and Tex Tubbs has been consistent for me the majority of the time. You're entitled to your opinion, I'm just not gonna be taking culinary advise from you any time soon.

Yeah, the inclusion of La Mestiza surprised me too. I love that place and the trio de tacos is pretty much the perfect lunch. I suppose it is 75 cents pricier, and dude's talking about ordering the "most basic taco" on the menu which is what, ground beef with shredded cheese? Not exactly the same as the pollo - pastor - asada trifecta.

I haven't been to the Atwood location in some time, but the west side Tex Tubb's has been more miss than hit the last two times I've gone. I still really like their fish tacos but the rest have been disappointing.
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Re: Taco Heaven

Postby Crockett » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:25 am

The west side Texas Tubbs used to pass as acceptable Americanized Mexican food but recently has gone downhill. Considering its not that cheap I'd (almost) rather just have Taco Bell.
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Re: Taco Heaven

Postby yesferatu » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:18 am

I'm not saying go to Taco Heaven for gourmet Mexican food.
The atmosphere sucks and they aren't exactly fine dining.
It's decent for the price and I feel you get a lot of food.

Now, my Tex Tubbs (Atwood) experience has been all hype and my choice of 4 equally bland and thin sauces. I just don't like it.

The last two times I got tacos at La Mestiza, I got more meat than fat and nothing was very good. I might need to try their higher end items to get a better defined opinion.

People are obviously entitled to their opinions.
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Re: Taco Heaven

Postby dschutz » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:30 pm

well you were close. seven months. Taco Heaven closed their doors yesterday. close enough to be a good call.
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Re: Taco Heaven

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:42 pm

Damn. I should get a free taco for that one.

Too many good places also sprung up around it. Most notably Los Gemelos.
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Re: Taco Heaven

Postby Jennid007 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:14 pm

dschutz wrote:well you were close. seven months. Taco Heaven closed their doors yesterday. close enough to be a good call.


Stebben84 wrote:Damn. I should get a free taco for that one.

Too many good places also sprung up around it. Most notably Los Gemelos.


Actually, it was 9 months.

You guys are worse than a damn sewing circle!! This is my life that you are talking and joking about! This was a husband and wife team, not some corporate conglomerate that has money to keep dumping in. We ran out of money. Yes, Los Gamelos could've contributed to our demise, but definitely an overpriced location really had most to do with it. We later learned that the cost of the location was also Le Chardonnay's demise. Despite all the negativity you have brought me from your 1 experience Stebben, which even I agreed was less than what it should have been, we had quite a good following and many loyal customers. Don't think your very rude and out of place prediction of us closing within 6 months wasn't in the back of my mind! I really hope you are pleased with yourself. You got what you wanted.

There are many people hoping we can scrounge up enough money to do it again, and I hope I can oblige them!
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Re: Taco Heaven

Postby minicat » Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:45 am

Well, crap. I'm sorry to hear that.

It's a day late and a dollar short, but I'll second that I liked the basic Taco Heaven tacos. A lot. I went a while back despite all the complaining on here and was very pleasantly surprised. The corn tortillas weren't greasy, nor was the taco filling, and the other toppings on the traditional taco were very fresh and in just the right proportions.

Had a chance to try Los Gemelos yesterday for comparison and their traditional tacos weren't nearly as tasty, while also being much greasier and simultaneously overcooked.
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Re: Taco Heaven

Postby john_titor » Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:54 am

Jennid007 wrote: but definitely an overpriced location really had most to do with it.


I too am sorry to hear that you closed. I often dream of running my own place. I am curious, how did your business plan address the high rent and where did it go wrong?
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