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Rusty Taco - Awful!

I went to Rusty Taco on Lexington for a taco tonight and was so disappointed. First, their "tip jar" was labeled as "complaints" and indicated that less than a dollar would be unacceptable. That was the ambiance. I hoped maybe the tacos would make up for that, but no, they were awful, expensive, and cold. The tortillas had not been heated, the contents were lackluster, and all in a waste of $5.00 for two bad tacos.
I have lived in Mexico and I know what a good taco is, and I would go to Taco Bell before I return to this place. Just awful.

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  1. I've never lived in Mexico, but my experience at Rusty Taco on Lex has always been positive. They were never cold, because they were made to order and brought to me. Are they the best tacos I've had? No. Are they solid? To me, yes. After all, it's a taco, not a souflee or a cassoulet. I'd never compare Rusty Taco to Taco Bell.

    1. I think you caught them on a bad night. RT is no paragon of Mexican food or even just tacos, but it's been decent and edible the several times I've been in there. Certainly a better taco than most other restaurants with the word "taco" in their title....

      1. I don't really care about the ambiance, but when I went, the food was greasy and lacked anything resembling good flavors..

        Taco Bell is indeed preferable to Rusty Taco.

        My current go-to taco in this town is at Maya Cuisine on Central NE.

        3 Replies
        1. re: JimGrinsfelder

          Rusty Taco is fine for 2 / $5.00. I don't think of it as a place that I'd "review", it's fast, cheap grub, not destination dining.

          Jim, get to Sonora Grill if you've never been.

          1. re: american_idle

            In my world...great tacos are destination dining. (see above, Maya Cuisine).

            Sonora Grill is definitely destination dining. I love that place. The biggest problem I have when I go to Midtown Global is picking between Sonora and Left Handed Cook.

            I wonder what will happen to Sonora's menu when they open their stand-alone on east lake....

            1. re: JimGrinsfelder

              I like Maya (only had Tamales) and I like it, but those Sonora Tacos are definitely worth the drive. And when in MGM, do what I do: get both, get tummy ache!

        2. such an awesome name....<heavy on the sarcasm> I've never been a fan of them after trying them out in Northeast MPLS. It's the burger king of tacos imo.

          1. I liked the fried chicken taco with jalapeno cole slaw, and flour tortilla, but the last two times I had it the slaw wasn't as good. I don't go out of my way to stop there, but if I am in the area it is a good fast food option.

            1. Tried RT shortly after it opened and haven't been back. I just didn't get it. The combination of a dank atmosphere, confusing signage, uninvolved customer service, nondescript food, and high pricing had me hungering for oh so much more.

              When I'm in that neighborhood I'll cross the highway and have a delicious pulled pork shoulder sandwich at Rooster's BBQ.

              If I must have a taco, as others have said, it's Maya, Sonora, or sadly, Taco Bell. I also really like Pineda for carnitas and barbacoa.

              There are also many, many taquerias on Lake St. between 35W and Hiawatha that I haven't tried. Perhaps this warrants a new thread?

              1. Okay, I'll defend them - I actually like the place but I wouldn't compare them to the tacos you'd find in Mexico, or even CA for that matter. To me, they're Texas tacos, which I think are pretty good but different. On the plus side, they have good beer on tap and their queso dip is pretty tasty in an ultimate junk food sort of way. And the habanero sauce is addictive after you regain your breath.

                5 Replies
                1. re: latte4me

                  Good to know about the queso dip and habanero sauce.

                  Are there any specific tacos there you recommend? Maybe I haven't tried the right one(s).

                  I don't think it's the style of taco that makes Rusty Tacos bad, as I've enjoyed tacos in Texas with flavorful, nicely textured fillings and handmade tortillas. I don't think it's the Texas style of RT's offerings, but the lousy texture of the tortillas (alternately rubbery/soggy) and the bland, universally mushy (except for the fried chicken and, I think, fish) fillings. One day we ordered basically one of each taco from the menu to share and "taste test." I systematically went through tasting, then taking notes to see which we liked most. About halfway through, I threw all the food that was left and my notes away. It seemed pointless. Everything we tried was miserable. I'm sure I acted too hastily, perhaps throwing the baby out with the bathwater and/or the one gem among stones, but I pretty much concluded I didn't feel like patronizing a place where I'd just proven to myself that at least half of the menu offerings were unpalatable.

                  My husband did love the fried chicken taco, for the record. I thought just the concept of it was disgusting, so perhaps that one is a keeper for people for whom the concept appeals.

                  I've enjoyed some of their sauces.

                  The ambiance of the place doesn't bother me at all. I just want good food. About every 6 months or so we try again, because it's the most convenient taco place to my usual stomping grounds, and then we are sadly reminded why we don't go to this place.


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    TDQ, I feel almost exactly the same way about Rusty Taco.

                    The fried chicken makes some sense. It's like a fish-taco where the fish is deep-fried. And as I understand it, those are a thing. And I think Sonora Grill sometimes does a fried-chicken tacos...with oranges.

                    1. re: JimGrinsfelder

                      I've never really liked that So-Cal style of fried fish (or fried chicken) taco, but I'm willing to accept that it might be delicious to others, such as my husband, so I let those folks be the judge of that. My husband liked it.


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        El Burrito Mercado is just across the river. Not to mention a dozen other (non-Mexican) places that are close by, on University or on Grand Ave. Why suffer with bad fast food?

                    2. Go to tacos = Andale, Maya, Sonora Grill. For the same money (or less) they blow Rusty Taco away.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Brad Ballinger

                        I heartily agree with Brad on the three nominees.

                      2. Have not been to a b&m location, but the Rusty Taco truck is the only street vendor in mpls who's taco shells consistently fall apart after one bite. How does a specialty taco truck manage to mess up a shell?