How Many Taco Tico Locations Are Left in Kentucky?
If someone were to ask you what you think the most popular Mexican restaurant chain in the country is, I bet you'd say Taco Bell. I certainly would. And we would both be right.
Elrestaurante.com bills itself as "your source for Mexican and Latin food service trends." So, its tabulation of the top 100 Mexican chains is one I'm going to trust. And, with nearly 6,000 locations nationwide, Taco Bell tops the website's list by a very healthy margin. And you'll notice that both fast casual and quick service (fast food) establishments make up that list.
What you see around the top probably doesn't surprise you in the least. What I saw down at #41 DID come as a bit of surprise. In a tie with Cantina Laredo and Don Pablos (two chains I've never heard of) is Taco Tico, a chain I thought no longer existed. But nope, there are 37 locations, and each is now privately owned.
It's funny. I actually don't recall even hearing the WORD "fajita" before the 80s, so I enjoyed the part where the guy asks how to eat one.
Listen, this era, for me, was the Taco Tico heyday, but only because there was one right next to campus when I was attending Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. In fact, it was the closest fast food restaurant to my dorm. We ate there all the time.
But I don't think there was ever one in Owensboro; I've exhausted every form of search on Google regarding the topic. And then I saw this at tacoticokentucky.com:
Taco Tico first arrived in Lexington in 1974. By 1981, a total of 15 Taco Ticos opened across Kentucky. Locations popped up from the Dixie Highway in Louisville to Trademark Shopping Center in Corbin to Shoppers Village in Winchester along with other locations in Lexington, Bowling Green, Danville, Richmond, Frankfort and Versailles.
However, if you were or ARE a big Taco Tico fan, you'll have to drive to Lexington; that's where the only three remaining Kentucky locations can be found. I guess, since all of them are now privately owned, that would explain why they all look so different. Regardless, Taco Tico must still be a very popular dining destination in the Lexington area; it was spotlighted a few months ago:
Listen, we really did eat a lot of Taco Tico, but for the life me--after perusing this menu--I cannot remember what my favorite item was:
Maybe I'll just have to pay a visit the next time I'm in Lexington and find out. I'll keep you posted.