465 S. University Avenue
Today I had to drop my car off for some work that was to take about 1-1.5 hours. Since the mechanic is on 3rd south in Provo, I figured this would be a good time to try out Taco Riendo, which Dan Wells (on Twitter: @JohnCleaver) recommended. I’m not a fan of tacos, which he recommended, so I opted for a burrito.
But first, this restaurant is probably doomed. When I first moved to Provo, and for several years afterward, the shiny, chrome-covered building this place is in was a Wingers. Then it was, very briefly, a Thai or Indian place. Now it’s a Mexican joint. Maybe it’s location; maybe people don’t like to see their reflections on the exterior of the restaurant they are entering. I don’t know.
But to judge by food, service, price and overall experience, the place has a future.
Usually I get my massive Mexican burritos from El Azteca. They have an extensive and fairly original menu which features lots of mango and citrus. Most of El Azteca’s food is great. Some is too busy.
But Taco Riendo seems focused on getting a few things very right. For example, the cheese. I don’t know what that type of cheese is called, but it was marvelous. It had a deep flavor and really added a lot to the excellent beef that I ordered as filler in my burrito.
Now. I was seated at a booth and had water, chips and salsa within 5 minutes of sitting down. I ordered soon and had my food within another 8 minutes. It came on a sizable plate with an onion, lettuce and cilantro garnish. The burrito had to be 9 inches long and was very thick. I knew right away that it would provide lunch for 2 days.
Beef, rice, beans, cheese and nice flavors all spilled out when I cut into the burrito. It was piping hot too. The beef is nicely done; it is absolutely carne asada and it is the best carne asada I’ve found in Provo. I poured a bunch of my nice, peppery salsa over the burrito, added some garnish and went at it.
It was a winner. Also, the place was full of what you might call ‘subject matter experts.’ I’ll take that recommendation any day.
So the food was good. The burrito was $5.50; it looked like the chips and salsa were bottomless; and if I had gotten a soda it would have run me another $2. I spent $8 on a tasty lunch that was served hot and fast and that will actually be lunch tomorrow too. The prices of other items were a little high, especially if you’re there for lunch, but the serving sizes are enormous. Many of the items can be shared between two people if you want some frugality and still plenty of food.
I give Taco Riendo a score, relative to other Mexican food around here, of 4.5 out of 5 stars.