Monday, May 12, 2008
Memories of Taco Tico
When I first moved to Columbia in 1979 I did not have much money and my first job was at Woodhaven Learning Center making 10 cents above minimum wage. It may not of been a high paying job but it was the most rewarding I've ever had. Working with handicapped children and young adults was hard work, especially for someone who had no training in the field. College kids were drawn to Woodhaven for various reasons ie. helping the less fortunate, flexible working hours and days, hanging out with or picking up other students (girls) etc. Since we were not making much money everyone frequented the less expensive restaurants like Taco Tico.
Taco Tico had two locations in Columbia, one on Worley St. near the now defunct Biscayne Mall and the more popular location (for us) on the Business Loop. I believe it may have been where you continue going North on College Avenue and end up in their parking lot. They had the standard fare for a Mexican chain but their tacos were every one's favorite. The tacos were the greasiest things I have every ate and they tasted so good! Taco Tico had a flavor of its own and even with grease dribbling down our chins we consumed them by the dozen. I remember they were cheap but I do not recall the 1979 price. I recently looked up Taco Tico on the Internet and found they are still in business in the bordering states. Why they moved out of Columbia is a mystery but I remember a rumor that they used cat or dog food for the taco filling. It probably help in their sales, especially with college students because we thought that was cool. Every time I drive by the two old locations I remember the good times I had with my college friends at Taco Tico and even feel like a road trip to the nearest location. Maybe some day.