43810 Butterfield Stage Road #104
Temecula, CA 92592
I am going to admit something in this review that will open me up to ridicule for some unforeseen amount of time. It is with great trepidation that I admit what I was doing out in this area of Southern California. I am sure that within two guesses you could come up with my final destination of Pechanga Resort and Casino. Were we going to be gambling? No, we were here for a concert, and who we were here to see is probably the thing that will get me ridiculed, but I don't want to give it away just yet, plus it was time for dinner first.
I was not looking forward to eating at the food court at Pechanga, so Katie and I ventured off on our own to explore the culinary landscape of Temecula. Well, we did not actually just drive around aimlessly. I checked on-line reviews and blogs and found a place that people were raving about. It was about ten minutes away from Pechanga, so we headed off to Aztek Taco.
Aztek Taco has not been in this location very long from what I have gathered. They used to be located on Ynez Road, but have since relocated to a new shopping center, which is anchored by a Big 5 Sporting Goods and a Kragen Auto Parts. Not exactly stores that will bring lots of foot traffic into a shopping center. Nonetheless, during our Saturday night visit there was a very steady stream of customers, and sometimes the order line got to be five to six people deep.
Aztek Taco is basically a fast food Mexican restaurant. Ordering is done at the counter, then your food is bought out to you. The menu has everything that you would expect on a Mexican fast food menu; tacos, burritos, tortas, and rolled tacos are included here. After driving for an hour and a half, we were pretty hungry. Lucky for us our food was on our way to the table. Let's see how it all turned out for us.
Before we get to the things we ordered, here is a quick picture of the chips and salsas that they have at Aztek Taco. I kind of liked the chips here. They were a bit on the greasy side, without giving up on the crunchiness. The salsas were okay. They had a small pop of flavor, but their primary use was to add some moisture to the food.
Katie ordered something I have never seen before, the Two Chicken Taco Combo Plate ($6.99). Yes, I have seen tacos, but I have not seen tacos served quesa style. These tacos came with the chicken wrapped in a flash fried crunchy cheese, along with onions, cilantro, and guacamole, then placed on a corn tortilla. I liked this little twist on the standard taco. The chicken here was pretty tender, and the crunchy cheese added a nice texture. Katie liked these, but felt that they were just too rich. She would only get one of these on future visits here. She felt the beans and rice were good for what they were.
My friend Angel has been going on an on about a surf and turf burrito that he wants me to blog about back in OC. I have it on my list, but now I have been craving it ever since. At Aztek Taco they had a Steak and Shrimp Taco ($3.99) on their menu that could help me satisfy my craving for a surf and turf burrito. Not only did this taco contain shrimp and skirt steak, but it came with cheese, mushrooms, guacamole, and a house sauce. This taco was full of flavor. Plenty of steak and shrimp, fresh guacamole, and the house sauce added a decent flavor to this taco. The only thing that kind of got lost here was the mushrooms, but with all of these big time flavors, it was no big deal. The tortilla did an admirable job of keeping all the contents inside without breaking apart. After eating this, I can not wait to have that surf and turf burrito that Angel keeps yapping about.
When we eat in fast food Mexican restaurants, I almost always like trying Rolled Beef Tacos ($4.75). At Aztek they come three to an order, and are topped with guacamole, sour cream and jack cheese. These were just as good as others we have had. I thought they were fried well, and the beef inside was plentiful. The guacamole was little on the watery side, I like a little more chunk to my guacamole. Not bad though.
Aztek Taco had one of my favorite kinds of burrito, the California Burrito ($6.99). This classic burrito comes with carne asada, sour cream, guacamole, cheese, and french fries. This was a pretty large burrito. Almost as big as a half a loaf of bread, I did manage to finish this off. The french fries were predictably a little soggy, and the sour cream was a little too much, but this burrito did have some good going for it. The carne asada was tender and flavorful, while the guacamole was watery, but added some good moisture to this burrito.
I was pretty happy to have dinner at Aztek Taco. The food for the most part was all pretty good for Mexican fast food. The prices were a little on the high side, by at least a dollar or two. The service was okay on the night we were here. The line to order does get a little backed up at times, and the dining area is not exactly the biggest you will find. They do have a patio area, but during colder weather and peak meal times, tables can be at a premium. We definitely felt we got the better end of the deal by not having to eat at the crowded food court at Pechanga. Plus it gave us extra time to prepare for the awesomeness that was the band we were going to see on this night, Air Supply. Even though these Aussie's are into their sixties, they still put on a great show. Feel free to mock me all you want.
Out of five hearts, (because almost all of Air Supply's hits have the word "love" in the title), five being best to zero being worst, Aztek Taco gets 3 hearts.
For more information about Aztek Tacos, click here: http://www.aztektacos.com/index.htm