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Welcome To Taco John's

Reporting from Minnesota, Phil. Redwood Falls, population: 5,200. Home of my girlfriend, as well as 1 of the over 400 Taco John's franchise locations, a restaurant I had never heard of aside from her continually saying "Taco John's," when she meant to say "Taco Bell." When I would question her about it, heard tales of the wonder that is Taco John's, and that I didn't know what I was missing.

Apparently there are still 23 states that don't know what they're missing since Taco John's is now in 27 states in the US, none of which are in the Northeast or California. You can find a list of their locations here. Taco John's is independently owned.

However, while visiting her here in Redwood Falls (RWF, as the kids call it) there was no doubt that I had to check the place out. Fortunately, it was not hard to find, as you can spit from one side of Redwood Falls to the other.

Note: Though it might be reasonable to assume that Redwood Falls has not yet entered the electrical age and as a result I was unable to charge my camera, the truth is that I forgot it in Miami.

This entry is filed in Taco John's.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 by Jonah.


TJ's, as we call it in RF, has been grossly underrated in this article. please disregard. potato ole's are splendid.

things not mentioned in the article:
APPLE GRANDES, choco tacos, 15 year old boys working behind the register, potato ole bravo, and taco burgers.........

are all scrumdiddleyumptious

rating: 7.85

Posted by: minnesota jen at March 17, 2006 01:31 AM

Taco John's provides the best soft shell tacos available thru fast food. They are what Taco Bell was before corporate America's test marketing screwed up!

If you've never experienced a taco at a seedy spot in Phoenix or Tuscon, then maybe you should forgo "Corporate Bell" and experience Taco John's.

Try the salsa verde if you have nads.

Posted by: Taco Dave at May 20, 2006 12:41 PM

Taco John's sucks!

Posted by: Matt Gleason at June 18, 2006 03:08 PM

Apparently another poster already wrote what I was going to write, but I'll say it again
Taco John's SUCKS! It Bites the Big One! The
food is greasy,and almost cold when served and
it tastes like it has sat around for hours.
If you are constipated visit Taco John's! You'll
be on the "crapper" an hour after arriving home!
Our family calls it NOT Taco John's but Taco Toilet!

Posted by: RJ at June 26, 2006 03:05 PM

I knew that my tenure in Minot, North Dakota was not going to be altogether pleasant when, on the ride to the Air Force base from the airport, I asked if there was a Taco Bell in town (yes, this was among the first things I inquired about after touching down). The rube who picked me up said--like it was commensurate, which it surely is not--"There's a Taco John's..." Aargh!

The next five years of my tour-of-duty in ND were punctuated by frequent three-hour road trips to Bismarck, the closest Taco Bell.

Taco John's had two things to recommend it: the Potato Oles are really pretty tasty, and the trays were easily stolen and made fun mini-sleds for the long ND winters...

Posted by: Holmes! at November 6, 2006 02:01 PM

I love Taco Johns Food. Im looking for the Green Hot Sauce recipe. Anyone know it?

Posted by: Orion at November 28, 2006 12:48 AM

The green taco sauce is just whole fire roasted jalapenos pureed. And for the people complaining about cold food and shit, go to a real taco johns, not one run by 15 year old boys.

I always liked the food there. Comparing it to taco bell is an insult to anyone with tastebuds. Taco bell is a very "mellowed" taste. Who cares if they came first? That doesn't make them good. Taco johns actually seasons their food, and potato oles aren't just tater tots, they're seasoned as well. It is fast food, but it's a far cry from taco bell's bland food.

I worked there for a couple months and it's the only food establishment where I didn't get sick of the food. Granted I found a good non-fast-food job after a short time... I still enjoy their food though. A rarity after eating the same thing daily for months.

And Holmes! ... I think I know you hahaha. Come visit the Dickinson TJ's.

Posted by: Alpha-Methyl at September 21, 2007 12:49 PM

Now that I think about it, it's been about 8 or 9 months that I've worked there... Anyway. They definitely aren't as good as say... chipotle's, but not even comparable with trashy place like Taco Bell...

Posted by: Alpha-Methyl at September 21, 2007 12:52 PM

I don't mind Taco John's food I think some of it is pretty good. I think the work ethics is what needs to be worked on. They need to get rid of managers who have more than one family member working under them. They also need to train the managment team that it is not ok do deal and do drugs on the job. And for those of you who like to stereotype don't put all 15 year old boys in the same catagory. I happen to have 3 children working for them and one happens to be a hard working 15 year old boy.

Posted by: Cindy at September 21, 2007 05:14 PM

I agree with all those that have defended Taco Johns. I work there, a manager for about a year now. What you need to understand is how much Taco Johns is NOTHING and I repeat *nothing* like Taco Bell. I've worked at both places. I know what I'm talking about. Taco Bell uses powdered beef. Powdered beef? What the f***? That sounds like a stool softener more so than actual 85% lean ground beef, don't you think? Taco Johns uses only grade A beef. Not a powder. It's slow cooked beef with onions and seasoning. A real recipe. Real cooking. The ole's are practically the same as tater tots you could say, yes. More like the hashbrowns from Burger King's breakfast menu than that though. What makes the Ole's so extraordinary is the patented ole seasoning which, among other things, consists of seasoned salt and paprika. I agree, too, on the statement made about 15 year old boys. Sounds like a bad hiring manager to me. Either way you look at it though, I got sick every time I ever ate at Taco Bell. And after they showed me how to make the beef, I looked at my manager and said "I'm sorry. I have to quit. This place is no where near my standards for a restaurant. I only work for food that I feel comfortable serving." And I left.

Posted by: Kris at October 8, 2007 03:39 AM

Comparing Taco Bell and Taco John's is no contest in my opinion. If you want commercialized corporate america crap most of which tastes like crap, then Taco Bell is for you! Potato Oles, Meat & Potato Burritos, Apple Grandes, even just a Beefy Burrito from Taco John's are all excellent! Oh, and the Green Chili was GREAT on a quesadilla. (I think it's discontinued now.) Did you know their corn taco shells are cooked fresh daily? Taco Bell gets theirs precooked. You can tell by the stale texture. Taco John's nacho chips are cooked fresh daily as well. Also, Taco John's meat is cooked fresh using fresh meat, fresh onions and a unique blend of seasoning.

Also, don't condemn an entire company on "cold food" that you got from one of their establishments. If you are getting "underseasoned potato oles that taste just like tater tots" or "cold food that sat for hours", I'm willing to bet that is a result of poor management at that particular store. Every food chain has their "black sheep" that don't exactly uphold expectations so keep that in mind.

I occasionally eat at taco bell. The Crunch Wrap with spicy chicken isn't bad and I like their Gorditas. If Taco John's would carry those items, I wouldn't have a reason to eat at Taco Bell ever again.

Posted by: UberN00b at December 12, 2007 12:19 PM

Warning notice: I haven't eaten at a TJs in 20 years. I have no idea what they're like now.

That said, when I was in College, TJs beat the serape off TB ... if you were going for the cheaper items. TB at the time seemed to have two very distinct quality levels of ingredients, and the stuff that was marked "suitable for human consumption" seemed to only make it into items with the word "supreme" in their names. If you were splurging on the top-of-the-menu items, then the difference wasn't as dramatic.

Also, if you like spicy food, there's no contest; TBs hottest sauce was only slightly warmer than TJs mild sauce, and I believe TJs kept their hot sauce in sealed containers under ice water in order to keep it from spontaneously combusting.

Posted by: Bob at February 1, 2008 11:38 PM


Posted by: lisa at February 9, 2008 07:58 PM

Does anyone know what is in the meat of the TJ's taco's? I have heard hamburger,seasonings & onions, but isnt there also refried beans mixed in it also? And what kinds of seasonings? Taco Johns Rules.

Posted by: Orion at March 28, 2008 10:23 PM

hi! we lived in peru indiana until last year and we loved going to taco johns. my husband and i live in summerville,s.c. now and we have not found a taco johns here. do you have any taco johns in the area? your taco burger is the best!!!

Posted by: Michael Ballard at April 16, 2008 11:37 PM

Taco John's is the best fast food taco establishment ever. Green sauce and Taco Tuesday's can't be beat.

Posted by: Girardo at June 9, 2008 03:39 PM

I recently made a visit home to the midwest after living in California for 10+ years. I was hungry for tacos and stopped at the Taco John's. On the menu was something I had totally forgotten about: the Taco Burger. I ordered one and it was delicious! I went back and got a second one! Now I'm back in CA and craving Taco Burgers daily! And the closest TJs is in Nevada!! Taco Bell is okay, but TJs is much better!

Posted by: Joe at June 17, 2008 04:42 PM

I loved Taco Johns when I was a kid in TN. Unfortunately all near me closed down. I used to get 2 tacos, potato oles and a Mr. Pibb real cheap and it tasted great. Now that I am an adult I have better taste so if I ate at one now it would probably ruin my childhood experiences. Anyhow, I really do like their food and they are certainly more tasty that Taco Bell.

Posted by: TJ Lover at July 13, 2008 07:53 PM

It's by far the best fast food restaurant that serves tacos around.
I like Taco Bell's food alot but it doesn't even compare to Taco Johns.
In fact I think I'm going to go eat there tomorrow. :)

Posted by: RAZZ at January 20, 2009 05:26 PM

I'd like to let you all in on a little secret. Yes, Taco John's rules, as does Taco Bell. If you only have a couple bucks in change on you, you can fill up on a couple tostadas from the Bell. Taco John's is better food, but it's a lot more expensive. I have worked at Taco Bell for two years and John's for over ten, and neither used powdered beef. Some Taco John's locations use fresh beef, but corporate recommends and most locations use boil-in-bag just like Bell. And to Cindy: nepotism is never a good thing, but do you actually think that people who aren't high are going to want to spend their lives making tacos and bossing around teenage brats? Honestly, the food is good at whichever place but from my personal experience I can say that I wouldn't have stayed in the Taco business for so long if I didn't smoke weed there every morning. Tacos rule.

Posted by: Queen Taco at February 3, 2009 07:33 PM

so... bell vs. john's, hmm
john's isn't bad but i'll have to admit that i would definitely prefer taco bell. there are a taco bell and a taco johns in Shakopee MN, they are right across the street from one another. i often bye potato oles at taco johns and than promptly rush across the street to taco bell to buy every thing else. taco johns meat is often room temp or cold, and john's hardshells are never crisp,taco bells hard shells are crisp and the meat is warm. taco bells pricing is also superior and taco bell is open later the specials at taco john's on certain days of the week can almost meet taco bells normal daily prices but their not open long enough for me to normally hit both in one night so some time i settle for taco bells's nachos. shakopee... the best of both world's, taco bells hard shells + taco john's potato oles = a little bit of heaven.

Posted by: JKrpgdude at February 7, 2009 01:23 PM

Taco Johns in Omaha rule. They ahve great food and they are nice to talk with. A little slow in speed but wow they actually have seasoned beef not boil in the bag. They are number one fast food Mexican in Omaha try the one on 168th Dodge or 108th Maple they rock

Posted by: Mark at April 21, 2009 01:38 PM

As with any restaurant, each individual restaurant in a chain can be better or worse than the average. The Taco Johns we have in my town is great, far better than the Taco Bell just down the street. Taco John's gives you a lot more meat than Taco Bell, too.

Oh, and if you think Potato Ole's taste like plain tater tots, you clearly had them at an inferior location. Potato Ole's have a great seasoning and great flavor. They're not tater tots either, more like potato medallions.

Posted by: Daron at October 11, 2009 03:31 PM