El Toro tacos. Photo from El Toro Centerville Facebook page
For my Dayton Taco Tour, I’d start at an El Toro (eltorobarandgrill.com). El Toro continues to rank at the top of the list with voters in the Best of Dayton polls. With a full menu to choose from and a number of locations that are nearly as plentiful as the dishes that are offered, there’s never an El Toro too far away. It goes without saying that there are more interesting things on the expansive menu than a simple crunchy taco, but some days call for something basic. If you are looking to celebrate National Crunchy Taco Day in a big way, this is a solid option.
El Rancho Grande (elranchogrande.info) would be next. With several locations, there are plenty of spots to choose from.
Next I’d head to Elsa’s (www.elsas.net) to wet my whistle with a Bad Juan, some crunchy chips and queso loco — a hot, white cheese sauce with diced peppers and ground chorizo sausage — and another taco teaser.
Agave & Rye Epic Tacos
Credit: Alexis Larsen
Credit: Alexis Larsen
I recently wrote about Agave & Rye and would be remiss if I didn’t include one of their “epic tacos,” served on double-shelled tacos — one crunchy corn to provide the exterior protection and one soft flour (corn can be substituted) to hold all the goodies in. A “love cushion” of refried borracho beans, queso or guacamole can be added between the two shells for $1 each. Adding to the epic nature of the taco are the creative ingredients and combinations.
The restaurant has 13 different protein options ranging from the chicken and beef you’d expect to butter-poached lobster, honey lacquered duck, mini crab cakes and peppercorn kangaroo.
The small chain based out of Covington, Ky., has opened a location on Troy’s public square at 2 N. Market St. where La Piazza Italian restaurant was formerly located.
The crunchiest tacos out there may be the deep fried shells at Victor’s Taco Shop (victorstacoshop.restaurantwebexpert.com), which would be my one go-to on the list to fulfill all of my crunchy taco goals. They are cheap and affordable and tasty. Almost all locations are drive-thru and walk-up service only with no seating. It’s no frills for sure, but it has the snap, crackle, pop that a crunchy taco calls for. With locations in Dayton, Xenia, Fairborn, Huber Heights and Springfield, this option also has some really convenient geography.
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