On the Menu: Taco Cabana's Burrito vs. Bowl

tacocabanabowl.jpg
Recently, I received some kind words from a reader regarding my favorite fast food chicken dish, Taco Cabana's #4 combo (stewed chicken burrito, with chips and queso).

jacobG wrote:

"Kevin, for the love of God, please find another subject to write about. You clearly know absolutely nothing about food. That burrito was the most disgusting piece of crap I have ever tried. HP editors, are you really this hard-up? Save us from this garbage, and Kevin, go learn something about decent food."

Don't get me wrong, I love my #4. I've been a loyal follower for quite some time. But maybe, just maybe, jacobG was right.

Well, at least a little right. I still disagree that Taco Cabana's stewed chicken burrito is disgusting. But he is right that I need to find another subject to write about. And I did. Introducing Taco Cabana's new Taco400 bowl -- with stewed chicken!

Would it measure up? Let's first take a look at the cold, hard facts. The caloric intake of my #4 combo was a whopping 1040 calories. My God! The Taco400 bowl with stewed chicken -- try 330 calories. These new bowls come with a variety of ingredients, but all total under 400 calories. My bowl of choice included black beans, lettuce, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, salsa roja and chicken.

I was initially concerned about the product being dry. This was not the case. The juices from the black beans, salsa, and chicken provided all the moisture and flavor this salad needed. For $5, this was a perfect lunch. It was delicious, healthy and inexpensive.

Sorry, #4, your days are numbered.

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27 comments
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Peter
Peter

Oh please... Katharine, you make it sound like it's your sacred duty to eat every single restaurant in Houston, and never eat at the same place twice. As to the purpose of your position, if you take it that seriously, shouldn't you be the one checking out the happenings at places like Yelapa and not just relying on Twitter to do your job for you. However, i guess you're right. With 5,000 restaurants to eat at this year, you are going to be one very busy woman. I hope the Houston Press is giving you a raise, and helping to pay for your gastric bypass when you're done.

Wendy
Wendy

This is all fine and good, but ever since I had the equivalent at Tacos A Go Go (pollo guisado taco salad) this TC version doesn't really do it for me. I don't like the beans from Taco C. The flavor is too smoky to me. It kind of overshadows the other ingredients. That and my stomach usually hurts after eating there.

Kevin Shalin
Kevin Shalin

Bruce R...go to TC..order the stewed chicken bowl and I bet you will like it. Also, keep an eye out this week for a post that may mention you.

SirRon
SirRon

Dear tiny newborn baby Jesus: Please let it be a Top 5. Amen.

Chef504
Chef504

Last night I went TC and sampled their street tacos. Pretty damn tasty. Ya it aint breaking the bank, but does good food always need to break the bank. I will as a chef readily admit that sometimes folks get swept away with hype, and names, and brands, and titles. Food writers are great to a point, but I often find them to be silly with their judgements. Sometimes food is a great sometimes descent, and sometimes horrible. In the end it all turns to shit.

youBEEillin
youBEEillin

if this were on the brunch menu at Anvil, on the happy hour menu at Beaver's, or the lunch menu at the already-over-hyped Walsh/Caswell eatery, you fools would gobble it up, gladly pay $12 and claim it was the most innovative (yet authentic) Tex-Mex creation since your mama

ec
ec

You got that right! Last year, Yelapa was on the Press's radar as to die for, now the Press is putting out twitter feelers to see if anyone's been there recently. Guess it's not that good after all. All about hype!

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

You're right; the last time I ate at Yelapa was in mid-November, right before L.J. Wiley left. And no, I haven't been back since then. But it's only January. And there are 5,000 restaurants in Houston. I don't have the luxury of eating at the same places all the time, as that would kind of defeat the purpose of my position. ;)

So, yes, I was curious last night to see what peoples' experiences have been since the chef left, and was echoing someone else's original Tweet. That does not equal EOW thinking that Yelapa is "not good after all."

Goodness.

Bruce R
Bruce R

youBEEillin, that is absurd. That you think there is little difference between Taco Cabana and the places you mention shows how ignorant you are.

Guest name
Guest name

There is a BIG difference between Anvil and Taco Cabana...TC is much better. And thank you to the author for not writing about Anvil.

youBEEillin
youBEEillin

but are you denying that I'm correct?

Bruce R
Bruce R

youBEEillin, I appreciate that some places are over-hyped and warrant being called out in an emperor's new clothes sort of way, but I don't think the examples you provided are those sort of places. As for the Caswell/Walsh restaurant, yeah it has received attention in the HP but that's not surprising. And since the restaurant doesn't even exist yet it's probably unfair to assess whether the hype is warranted, or whether the food is similar to Taco Cabana's (which is pretty dull).

Bruce R
Bruce R

Despite all the free goodies (cilantro, pickled jalapenos, salsa, etc.) for some reason the food is bland and boring.

Hollywood Montrose
Hollywood Montrose

Yep see I'm what ya call a "food writer" as in I eat cheetos with chopsticks.

Kevin Shalin
Kevin Shalin

Sorry...meant "fills" you up, not "feels" you up.

SirRon
SirRon

Looks like it needs sour cream... and guacamole... and queso.

And bacon.

Kevin Shalin
Kevin Shalin

It's still a tasty lunch that feels you up. I don't typically eat the bowls anyway.

Itsbeenawhile
Itsbeenawhile

It feels you up! I'm running not walking to TacoC!

Ed T.
Ed T.

Maybe they can offer them in the airport food courts - an extra layer of security, and far cheaper than the backscatter x-ray!

Me
Me

Cathy is right. That bowl is only under 400 calories if you nix the shell. Duh.

Guestname
Guestname

T-cab is awesome. If it tastes good then dammit it tastes good. Who cares if meals are made by a top chef with organic ingredients and cost $50 per plate.

Cathy
Cathy

The shell alone has 390 calories.

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