By Alysa Levi-DAncona
If Mr. Taco is not already on your radar, it’s time to “taco ‘bout it.” Though at first it might seem like just a small nook off of College Avenue, the aroma of savory and seasoned meat alerts your taste buds as soon as you walk by. You might recognize them from Menasha, where they started back in 2011. But eight months ago the family-run business moved to Appleton to expand the restaurant, bringing their taco truck, tasty dishes, and a little bit of Mexico with them.
Mr. Taco is more than just a job for Luis Morales and his mother, Julia, who run the joint. Julia always dreamed of opening up a restaurant dedicated to the Mexican food she grew up with, and when they moved from California in 2001, the mother-son duo started a plan to make that dream a reality. “We have been blessed,” Luis said. “We had a good response from the community.”
That is probably because Mr. Taco is “nacho” typical Mexican cuisine. It does not need piñatas hanging from the ceiling or a mariachi band to satisfy your craving for south-of-the-border flavor. The restaurant features authentic home cooking made from scratch, including hand-seasoned meats and freshly cooked meals made right before your eyes. They have all of your feel-good classics, including enchiladas, sopas, burritos, tacos, and more, but also have a flair of their own.
The late-night crowd can’t get enough of their monster burritos, which are “as big as your head” according to Luis, who prefers their classic steak tacos. Even the guacamole is made to order, with a secret ingredient that makes it so creamy you will want to order at least three more. (And if you choose to, we won’t judge you. Go ahead and undo that top button of your jeans.)
To sweeten the deal, their speedy lunch specials from 11:00 AM-3:00 PM provide a tasty midday option––and let’s be honest, we all need a break from those daily salads and leftovers. Mr. Taco is not reluctant to collaborate for fundraising with local organizations like the Girl Scouts, Menasha High School, and Lawrence University’s soccer team. You might even see their truck camped out on College Avenue from 11:00 PM to 3:00 AM on weekends, where you can get your fix for tacos, quesadillas, and burritos on the way to or from the bars. What’s more, they deliver! Can you say, “Yo quiero mucho?”
Regardless of whether you are sitting along the counter in the restaurant or waiting for a chimichanga to arrive at your doorstep, Luis wants to make sure that he can share his and his mother’s home-cooking with those who can appreciate it. From people who’ve been to Mexico to locals who did not grow up with as much spicy flavor, Luis guarantees that if you come to Mr. Taco, you won’t be disappointed.
Mr. Taco is open Mondays through Thursdays from 11:00 AM-9:00 PM, and Fridays through Saturdays from 11:00 AM-3:00 PM at 106 S. State Street, Appleton.