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Cherished for Their Tacos with a Distinctive Texture, SENOR TACO (Okinawa City) Has Captured Our Hearts for Over 30 Years
post : 2019.03.13 06:00
Established in 1954, the Plaza House Shopping Center (in Okinawa City) gained fame as “Japan’s first shopping center”. Right next to the entrance to the Fair Mall at the center of the Shopping Center is “Senor Taco” with its pop, American style logo. This taco shop has been happily satisfying its customers for over 30 years.
They’ve kept true to their original tastes from the time of opening and has quietly led the fast food and B gourmet scenes in Okinawa as one of the pioneers in local taco shops.
Just like its proud history, the interior of the shop has a retro-American and old Mexican atmosphere from the 70s and 80s. The feel is what you would expect from a shop in Plaza House, which opened during a time when Okinawa was still administered under the US government. The unique and distinctive “champuru (mix)” of cultures in the appearance is both nostalgic and comforting. As you can see from the number of customers that continue to come by from the shop’s opening at 11:00 all the way to closing time, Senor Taco’s is a very popular place! The customers are of all ages and from all over, from local regulars, repeaters from out of town, and domestic and overseas tourists. You can tell they have a strong following of customers.
Without a doubt, the reason for their popularity is their famous tacos. The taco shell is what you might call a ‘hybrid’ of soft and hard shells. The freshly fried shell is crispy and crunchy on the outside and has a great texture. And the inner part of the shell where the taco filling is tucked in, is chewy and soft. This is their original ‘soft-hardness’ in their taco shell that they have continued to serve the customers over the decades, and is a texture you won’t find at any other taco shops in Okinawa.
The nicely sized taco shell is about 14 centimeters in length, and the filling inside is truly simple. Overflowing from the shell are fresh tomatoes, shredded lettuce, grated cheddar cheese, and taco meat with layers of tastes that suggests various hidden seasonings and ingredients (aside from ground meat, there are beans, potatoes, onions and others mixed in). Also remarkable is the Senor Taco’s original salsa which has depth in its flavor and a spicy kick that will get you hooked! What’s also unbeatable is their price, at 200 yen per taco (before tax). Their taco plate with three tacos for 550 yen is a popular choice among their customers.
Senor Taco also offers other great Mexican dishes, too. For example, if you’re hungry, I recommend their Enchilada (600 yen + tax) that comes with two tortillas stuffed with rice and hashed potatoes, and a side of salad. The chewy tortillas of the Enchiladas are deliciously topped with taco meat, their original sauce, and melted cheese. It’s not just appealing to the eyes, but will surely hit the spot!
If you’re looking for something different, their Burrito Deluxe (550 yen + tax) is popular with the Mexican food lovers. The distinctively shaped hard shell is about 20 centimeters in diameter, filled with the same ingredients as their tacos, topped with guacamole and sour cream. You can enjoy it as is, or add their special salsa to bring all the yummy tastes of the ingredients together, and enjoy the layers of different textures.
They also offer Taco Rice (the Taco Rice shown in the photo below is their Small size at 300 yen, their Large is 500 yen, both before tax), Hamburger, Omelet, and various other dishes. Their side menu includes Tostada, Cinnamon Chips, Onion Rings, and other mouthwatering items. Of course, all of these are available for takeout, too.
Senor Taco is Okinawa City’s proud, Mexican fast food shop with a long history. With their wonderfully delicious tacos, they will surely continue to please all those who discover the shop!
Address: 1F Plaza House, 3-1-6 Kubota, Okinawa City, Okinawa
Hours: 10:00 to 22:00
*The prices mentioned in the article are current as of December 2018.
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Kiwamu Ogawa (Qey Word)