Taco Maker Mexican Grill had me at goodbye. As I walked out of the fast fooder across the street from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, the manager and her young staffer behind the counter both called after me, thanking me for coming in and hoping that I enjoyed my food. Hospitality management, indeed.
Unfortunately, everything before that wasn't so hot.
Taco Maker Mexican Grill is a Puerto Rico restaurant that is beginning to franchise off the island. Its first mainland locations are in Orlando.
Despite the name, tacos don't seem to be a major part of the menu. In fact, after looking over the menu board for some time and seeing burritos, nachos and a bowl option, I had to ask the young woman if they had tacos.
They did, as it turned out. And, happy day, they were two for one, but only for the chicken and ground beef options. And they were out of ground beef.
So choosing chicken was the easy part. No time wasted contemplating the type of tortilla as flour was the only one offered. (Soft, at least; a hard shell was also available, which would presumably be corn, but I don't do hard shell tacos.)
But then came all the accouterments to add to the taco. Lettuce, tomato, cheese, beans, onions, cilantro. So many choices, but no hot sauce. When I asked if any was available, the server cheerfully said yes and grabbed a gallon container from the reach-in under the counter and glubbed some into a plastic ramekin.
The chicken meat in the taco was a tad mealy. I guess any other lack of flavor was my own fault for not choosing the right toppings.
For college students across the street, Taco Maker might offer a quick, inexpensive, void-filling meal option. But there are too many other taco makers in town who do them better.
Taco Maker Mexican Grill is at 9924 Universal Blvd., Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-601-6225. See the website for the other Orlando location.