Go Loco Tacos Coming to a Gas Station Near You. Plus, Soft Serve Makes the Varsity Squad.

Categories: First Look

GoLocoInterior.jpg
LDD
Go Loco is a new taco fast-casual chain on mission to fill the bellies of travelers along the great highways and byways all across Texas. It's owned in part by Jim Baron, president of Blue Mesa Grill, David Pencsak of TNT Tacos in Austin, along with Ali Sharaf, president of Victron Energy, which has 180 roadside gas stations and "travel centers" throughout Texas. Add to the mix their director of operations, Robert Hauser, who helped start Qdoba. Can you envision the marketing plan yet? It's exactly what you think. A gas station-esque Qdoba that is surprisingly upscale.

Corporate structure details aside, let's chat about the tacos and overall experience. I found myself slightly famished one evening near a Go Loco, which was sandwiched between a massive car wash and a "travel center"(fancy gas station). But, I think we've all learned that the whereabouts of a taco joint says little about the end product.

"All of the restaurants will be paired with a gas station," said Julian Zorrilla with Go Loco. "But, it's a totally different kind of experience."

As for my experience with the food, first let me say this: Never have I written about ice at a restaurant, but the ice at Go Loco is amazing (see photo below). It's somewhere between snow cone ice and crushed ice. I made a Diet Coke snow cone. And I loved it.

The tacos, burritos, nachos and "Chimayo Market Corn" (see photo) were all good as well. I had two chicken verde tacos, which is shredded chicken cooked with tomatillos, serrano and poblano chiles. In the pot, it looks like stew. Covered with the creamy avocado verde salsa, it was great. The two tacos and drink, better known as the Loco Combo, was $3.99.

At this GP location, I counted about nine employees. When I asked about any of the food, (is that shredded pork?) they were quick to offer a sample. They said "hi" and "by" to everyone who walked in and out. They're giddy. Giddy is good to see.

Finally, there's the soft serve, which normally I'm not a fan of. It's like ice cream that gave up. Strictly JV squad (and not even a starter). So, when I saw the soft-serve dispenser, "wha-wha-wha-whaaaa" played in my head.

But, about halfway through our meal, an employee brought around a tray of samples of, what I failed to see was dulce de leche soft serve. What? Dulce de leche? We all hastily dropped our tacos mid-bite for a dessert interlude. A few minutes later she brought the remaining starting-to-melt cups to our table. Second interlude...

"This is something we get straight from Mexico," Zorrilla excitedly explained. "You can't get it anywhere else here."

Zorrilla said the dulce de leche (at $1.19 per cone) is something the spot is known for, along with the cups of chimayo.

Inside a Go Loco is not at all "travel center"-ish. It's completely shut off from the store; in fact, I didn't even see it. The restaurant is crazy art-deco with cool industrial light fixtures and some extreme color patterns.

Right now Go Loco is planning to build a new spot from ground up at Westmoreland Road and Interstate 30, along with requisite gas station and car wash. They're currently in Alvarado and Crowley, plus this new spot on the GP-Arlington border at Highway 360 and Mayfield and soon Burleson.

GoLocoTacos.jpg
Chicken verde tacos with creamy avocado verde salsa.

GoLocoCorn.jpg
Chimayo with fire-roasted corn.

GoLocoIce.jpg
Yes, ice. But it's amazing ice!

GoLocoSoftServe.jpg
The soft serve wins!


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8 comments
J_A_
J_A_

Why is all the cool stuff in Burleson? - Things no one says

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

Dear the LDD,

    I thought about you while watching people go down the Comal this weekend.  I just remember you almost meeting your untimely demise on that first set of falls. Turns out, several people I know nearly met THE MAKER going over that thing. I've never been over said falls sober, so, I dunno.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

Dear MR. GO Loco,

     This is a great idea, I would stop 9 times out of 10 at a place like this.......much better than the normal crappy fare.  In fact, I traveled nearly 2000 miles last week, and only stopped once for fast food at Allsup's......yes, the choices are THAT bad. It sucks having to pull over every 5 hours and cook chicken, or grill some pork. 

 

ps-When can we expect one 'ups" north side? 

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

 @laurendrewesdaniels 

Them Landa Park Falls are a killer!  I love all the riff raff that hangs out at that park. I didn't dare get my whole body in that water.....looked gross.   Spent the whole day at Schlitty, and then engaged in an eating tour of NB (Coopers OT BBQ, Naeglin's, etc.).  So full I couldn't drive to Lockhart Smokehouse.  The Big Chop is greatness, ordered 8 pounds of meat(s), ribs, etc. for 4 adults.  The sauce was weird though, and so was watching people eating off of paper. 

 

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

 @laurendrewesdaniels 

Good thing about Shlitterbahn is they don't care what you do!  We stayed on property, so I was always within 5 minutes from cold drinkage. Hell, the security guard even saw me chuggin' Bud Lights at the pool at 1 am, and wished me well. Methinks they repeal that dumb law; although in NB's defense, there are SO many drunk +ssholes doing stupid sh+t!   Me and the Kergie baby were severely waterlogged after 12 hours in water. 

 

ps-The Kergie teen and I walked around until 2 AM, observing the GREAT park after closure. Never seen so many wild animals!

 

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