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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chronic Tacos is making extreme Mexican food addictive in Orange County, CA

Chronic Tacos is definitely an extreme sports hangout. Wee Man, of Jackass fame, is on their cups and the motif is just right for the skater or surfer in your life. Daniel Biello and Randall Wyner had an idea to make fast, fresh, made-to-order Mexican food with large portions at a great price. With the recipes from the Bonilla family, their dream became a reality in 2002 when their first store opened in Newport Beach, CA. Almost 10 years later, they have expanded to 36 locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Canada.

The concept is different from your usual fast food Mexican restaurant. Everything is made before your very eyes. It’s setup like a sandwich shop so you pick your vehicle (from tacos to burritos to nachos and anything in between), pick the meat (pollo, carne asada, al pastor, carnitas, or shrimp), and all of the fillings from beans, rice, cheese, sauces, and vegetables. It’s always best when you can make it to your liking.

Getting’ hungry? Let’s start with their Burritos which are monster 13” tortillas stuffed with white lime rice or Spanish rice, your choice of black, pinto, or refried beans, cheese, cilantro, onions, and salsa (to your liking, of course). The first combination we tried was a Wet Al Pastor Burrito with cheese, onions, salsa, Spanish rice, black beans, squeeze of lime, cabbage, and cilantro. The wet sauce had an overpowering tomato flavor. Al pastor was good, but not great. The rice, beans, and salsa were ok, nothing special.

The second combination was a Grilled Shrimp Burrito with cheese, refried beans, onions, cilantro, green sauce, and lettuce. The grilled shrimp is amazing - perfectly cooked, crisp and sweet, and seasoned just right. The refried beans are good, nicely flavored, not too salty or greasy. Well combined flavors if I say so myself! You’ll definitely have an OMG moment or two! Thumbs up, way up!

Beef and Chicken Flautas with chopped peppers, cheese and onion inside served with salsa and guacamole for dipping. The Beef Flautas are juicy and have a good beefy flavor. The chicken, on the other hand, was rather flavorless. Fortunately, the guacamole is chunky, flavorful and really saved the day for this dish. The flauta itself was fried to perfection with a great crunchy texture that you’d expect. Thumbs up on the Beef Flautas!

Fatty Tacos are served up street-style on your choice of flour or corn tortilla with veggies and salsa. We tried the carnitas topped with guacamole, green chile sauce, onions, and cilantro. The carnitas are a little on the sweet side and more like pulled pork with a soft texture. I prefer my carnitas on the salty side and with a crispy texture. I must say, the combination of flavors worked really well – sweet, creamy, and tangy. The corn tortillas are wonderfully light with a sweet corn flavor. Definitely a mind-blowing experience! Thumbs up, way up!

Tortas are homemade talera “bread” smothered in refried beans and topped with veggies, guacamole, and salsa. We tried carne asada with refried beans, guacamole, spicy salsa, onions, and cilantro. This is one manly sandwich. It’s HUGE! Just half of it was almost too much for me. The flavor combination was different for a sandwich, sort of like what you would have inside a burrito but on bread instead. It’s a little messy but good. It’s like a Mexican Sloppy Joe. The bread was a little too soft so it got soggy too fast. Grilling the outer crust more might help. Near the end, you’ll need a fork to eat the rest.

I saved the best for last. Chronic Tacos stocks Choco Tacos for dessert. Vanilla light ice cream swirled with chocolate sauce packed in a waffle cone taco shell and covered in chocolate and topped with nuts. These are made by Klondike so “What would you do for a Choco Taco?” It’s the great end to a great meal.

If you’re looking for some ridiculously addictive Mexican food, slide on over to Chronic Tacos. It’s real food for real people.

Savings Tip:
  • 2012 Entertainment Book (Orange County Edition) – 2 coupons: Enjoy one complimentary menu item when a second menu item of equal or greater value is purchased up to $6; Enjoy 10% off any catering order

Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
D├ęcor: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 4 out of 5 stars

For more information:
Chronic Tacos
5365 Alton Pkwy Ste D
Irvine, CA 92604-8613
949-653-8226 (TACO)

Chronic Tacos
7520 E Chapman Ave Ste A
Orange, CA 92869-8521
(714) 639-9826

1 comment:

  1. the one in Havasu is a great time! definitely one of the best spots to hit up during spring break!

    love the place!

    have a good one
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