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Taco Cabana in DC?

Any misplaced Texas will know of what I speak. I saw on the internet that one was located at 13507 Clopper Rd in Gaithersburg (ok, not exactly DC). I emailed the company and they couldn't confirm or deny it (very DC). The phone # listed on google rings and rings if lucky you'll get a no speak the English answer. If any one is in the NW MoCo area willing to check this out and report back? It's a bit far from Balto to go on a goose chase, but worth the drive if it's true. It'll be a pink bldng tht says: The Original Patio Cafe. Xclnt mexi food, beer and ritas.

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  1. OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!! When I saw the title of this post i gasped so loud my coworkers all looked at me funny. PLEASE SOMEBODY FIND OUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!

    1. Germantown not gaithersburg, my bad

      1. dude. i have been calling them all day and all night. finally this morning someone picked up and i said "is this taco cabana?" AND THEY HUNG UP ON ME! this is so weird. what is happening!

        2 Replies
        1. re: littlew1ng

          i'm not sure. i did some google searching and found that moco liquor board gave an establishment named 'taco cabana' a liscence at the 13507 clopper rd address. I may just have to drive out myself; but I'm north of balto

          1. re: littlew1ng

            It's probably the wrong number and they're getting tired of people calling and asking about Taco Cabana.

            OK, who's gonna take one for the team and drive out there to see what's at the location? The satellite photo on Google Maps looks kind of like a shopping center or an industrial part and lists both Taco Cabana and a veterinarian at that address. Maybe it's a parrot that's answering the phone.

          2. According to their website, there's not one with in 250 miles of this area

            1. Must just be a business with the same name.

              According to the website of the corporate parent of Taco Cabana, http://www.carrols.com/html/tacocaban... , Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico are the only states that have a Taco Cabana.

              10 Replies
              1. re: DanielK

                Taco Cabana? I've been to them many times in the past, in fact I'm in Albuquerque on Sunday followed by a driving trip through much of Texas. Excepting breakfast I can't imagine wasting a single calorie at any of them. For all of the good Tex Mex food around Taco Cabana has nothing to do with food, it's all about growing up with a familiar "taste." I could understand Papasito's or Uncle Julio's (which are all over the D. C. area) but Taco Cabana?

                1. re: Joe H

                  joe h — taco c has a special place in my heart after drunken 2 a.m. college visits. trust me, it's not in my top ten of favorite tex-mex places, but the idea of having something familiar that hails from home in the DC area just makes me really happy.

                  as for pappasitos — is there really one in this area? i was not at all impressed with my visit to uncle julio's.

                  1. re: littlew1ng

                    Atlanta and Chicago are the closest Pappasito's.

                    1. re: littlew1ng

                      I have a soft spot in my heart for Taco Cabana, as well. There was nothing better than fresh tortillas and queso after a night out in College Station! I've had Uncle Julio's here (Gaithersburg) and in Ft. Worth, and I have to say the quality was better in TX, but that was 10 years ago. It's closer than others, though. I miss real Tex-Mex!

                    2. re: Joe H

                      Had it been true, it would by the far the best tex-mex in DC metro. Is it the best in San Antonio, probably not. But all-u-can eat pancakes at 4 am, regularly buying margaritas at 16, nothing to do at in the middle of the day go and grab a damn good fajita and beer; that's what TC is.

                      1. re: Joe H

                        you nailed it. Us East Coast graduates of Trinity University have fond memories of B&C tacos at 2:30am after marathon study sessions, or drunken munchie attacks. For those of us who went to San Antonio as east coasters, TC was our first contact with this genre of cuisine. Is it the best that town has to offer? Hell no. Does it beat the absolute crap out of any other fast food like McDonald's and Jack in the Box? yes indeed.

                        1. re: pleiades

                          I think a lot of you have a home town loyalty that has nothing to do with good food. I ate lunch at Taco Cabana in Albuquerque on Monday afternoon and it was another huge disappointment. With a half dozen meals at a half dozen different Taco Cabanas all over Texas and New Mexico I now officially give up on it.

                          On Monday night it was a different situation: Kiki's in El Paso is an absolutely fantastic Mexican dump with incredible chili colorado, caldo de res, machaca, green chili crab enchiladas-I can go on about how good this place is! The next day we found ourselves at L & J Cafe which essentially is a biker bar across from a cemetary. In truth it is an El Paso landmark that dates to the late '20's. Both places have been written up in Savuer, Texas Monthly (top ten Mexican in the state) and numerous other places. They are outstanding. FAR SUPERIOR to anything in the D. C. area. There is nothing here than can even touch them. (I am now officially obsessed with chili colorado...and caldo de res...)

                          But Taco Cabana? Really?

                          In truth it is extremely difficult-even in Texas-to find food as good as what I had at Kiki's and L and J. I've eaten my way through Texas for 30 years and much of it has really changed over that time. In the early '80's there were a number of places in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio that were excellent. Today, much of it is no better than what you can find here.

                          On the same topic bbq like you find at Cooper's in Llano, the Central Market in Luling, Louie Mueller's or Smitty's in Lockhart is rapidly disappearing around the state. Many people no longer will make the commitment to tend a pit all night or stab brisket off of a pit in a smoke filled room. This was a conversation I had with friends in Amarillo and Oklahoma City on Tuesday and Wednesday. In fact a close friend in Edmund told me that great Mexican essentially no longer exists in Oklahoma City.

                          1. re: Joe H

                            that surprises me as in recent visits the Mexican and Salvadoreno fare has been getting much better in STL and other areas (though to be fair couldn't get much worse than it used to be, in fact it was hard to find a mom n pop joint at all 12 years ago)

                            given the numbers of people from the region, it is sort of confounding why it's hard to find great stuff around here in abundance.

                            1. re: Joe H

                              joe — you can compare texas in the 1980s to texas now if you like. but to say that the southern/mexican food here is as good as the southern/mexican food is in texas just seems ludicrous. i'd like you to prove me wrong. tell me where to go to find a great chicken fried steak like george's, shady grove or even luby's, smokey barbecue that's as good as the salt lick or even rudy's, good tex-mex enchiladas in the D.C. area that can compare to the chips, queso, enchiladas, etc. at ninfa's, pappasitos, los cucos or guadalajara.

                              1. re: Joe H

                                I think you're missing the point a little.

                                TC is not a foodie spot. It is not a destination. You're driving around [insert major TX metropolitan center here] doing a million errands, you get hungry, you have a fiver in your pocket.....there's going to be one near you. And you will eat far better than McD, Crap-in-the-Box, WaterBurger, etc.

                        2. that would be awesome if true. I have been to San Antonio only once and the fajitas at the one near Trinity U. were the stand-out of the trip. best guacamole to be bought (homemade is always better) and the salsa bar mmm.

                          1. I had to run an errand near there this morning, so I drove by. There is a Mexican restaurant at that address in a little strip mall called Seneca Park Plaza -- it's on the left as you're drivng south on Clopper Road, just past the intersection with 118. The restaurant was closed at the time, so I couldn't go in to ask questions. It's hard to tell what the name of it is. There's some signage on the front window, the largest of which is the word TACO in large red letters. No sign of the word Cabana. It is not a pink building and there is no patio, it's just sandwiched between other shops.

                            12 Replies
                            1. re: Lauman

                              thanks for checking it out dude. i'm on my way back to DC tomorrow and might swing thru for another look-see.

                              1. re: littlew1ng

                                My blood pressure went up a couple points when I saw this post too, like WOW! TACO CABANA!!!!!! Oh well....

                                1. re: rarotonga

                                  I went by the other day as I was in the area. It's not THE Taco Cabana. Heck, I'd settle for Two Pesos? Remember 2 Pesos, Houstonians?

                                  1. re: Transplanted Texan

                                    I remember a 2 Pesos in Oklahoma City. They served frozen margaritas from a Slurpee machine. Food wasn't too bad for a quickie lunch.

                                    1. re: Transplanted Texan

                                      girl, i would settle for two pesos, i would even settle for taqueria arandas. so cool that you're from houston too....i spent the first 17 years of my life there. Sniff, sniff, so sad this place is not THE taco c. did you happen to try any of the food there?

                                      1. re: littlew1ng

                                        No, I didn't. It seemed too certain that I'd be disappointed once again . . . sigh. I really miss Houston. Hey, littlew1ing, have you been to Cactus Cantina?

                                          1. re: littlew1ng

                                            It's the closest to Tex-Mex you can get around here! They're a couple blocks north of the Cathedral on Wisconsin. Outdoor patio but right on the street. Street parking, not near Metro.

                                            I've had excellent fajitas there, but I've also occasionally had fajitas that have that odd liver-like taste you sometimes get. The chips are wonderful, salsa's good. Every now and then the cheese enchiladas will send you straight back to Texas, other times they're merely acceptable. But they've never been worse than acceptable, and this close to the Mason-Dixon line, that's high praise!

                                            1. re: Transplanted Texan

                                              thanks for the rec, TT, I'll definitely check it out. last night i went to rio grande again to give it another chance to sate my craving for tex mex. had a combo. the beef enchilada was OK, chicken enchilada had a weird flavor and pork tamale was inedible. way too much masa. the charra beans were OK, better than chevy's but nowhere near what i was hoping for, same situation with the rice. chips also OK, salsa too watery, we didn't get queso though i really wanted to! we did like the tortillas there. i will definitely try cactus cantina next :)

                                              1. re: littlew1ng

                                                Which Rio Grande did you go to? Some are better than others.

                                                1. re: Transplanted Texan

                                                  the ballston one...maybe we'll try the one in bethesda but i'm becoming pretty discouraged!

                                                  1. re: littlew1ng

                                                    The only consistent one that we've found is the one in the Rio Center in Gaithersburg. Try that one!

                              2. Ah, I had the same response as all of these other posters! I would trade a lot for a Taco C in the DC metro area!

                                For the obviously confused out there: It's really comparable to Taco Bell, But so so so much better. It shouldn't be compared to other divey Mexican places (which I obviously love) as it's just a really superior Mexican fastfood chain.

                                Getting change of the floor of my car and enjoying a homeade tortilla late on a Saturday night on my way home is what it was all about.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: mc22

                                  TC and Taco Bell in any sort of comparison? let's just go to Jack-in-the-Box for gooey fake cheese 3 for a dollar tacos.

                                  Taco Cabana is not the best, but is at the very least much above Taco Bell. (hrumph, course I've only been to the one that I'm told was the first)

                                  but isn't this sort of an Arby's vs. Philly cheeseteak question?

                                  1. re: hill food

                                    That was my point! Are you daft?

                                    1. re: mc22

                                      you wouldn't be the first to level that charge...

                                      some clever programmer should delete my browser from ever showing a 'post' or 'send' button.