Caramba! taco review

10 Feb

If you head straight down Glendale Avenue near the Historic Glendale area, you will pass Caramba!

It’s difficult to miss the establishment with its bright red, green and white decor. The slogan will capture your attention as well.

My initial intention was to head to a different taco place. However, “Where you don’t peso(pay-so) much,” immediately caught my attention. At first I didn’t understand why they had a currency name as part of their slogan, but after a few repetitions in my head I understood.  I slammed  brakes and turned to Caramba! 

The decor inside matched the outside. Red, green and white dominated the space from the floor to the tables. Spanish talk-radio played in the background. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating is available at Caramba! Most of the tables remained empty as it was not lunch time.

I made my way to the register and noticed that food preparation area looked much like a taco truck. The front consisted of metal paneling covering the assembly line like taco preparation. If you want your tacos in-house there are plastic brown cafeteria-style trays to use.

I ordered two carne asada tacos that cost $2.56 each from the extensive menu. My total came out to $5.86 for the two tacos.

While waiting for my tacos, I noticed that Caramba! had a recognition from the New Times magazine up on their wall. They’d been awarded “Best of Phoenix” in 1995.

After a few minutes my tacos were ready.

I thanked the cook and headed home with my bag.

I took the contents out of the bag and discovered two containers of salsa.

Finally, after much anticipation I opened the container and saw the two carne asada tacos. Limes, salsa, and lettuce were off to the side.

The two tacos were stuffed with the carne asada filling, although it looked greasy and had a weird substance covering it. It turns out that at the bottom of the tacos was some guacamole. Upon further examination, I discovered that the tacos were actually made up with two tortillas. In between the two corn tortillas was a little bit of yellow cheese.

Ready to chomp down, I picked up the taco only to find that it easily broke apart.

From then on I had to make mini tacos with the broken tortilla and the filling.

A few bites later, I was not impressed.

Filling: Though there was plenty of filling, it was also a little overwhelming. The double tortilla strategy would have worked in this situation, if it had not been stuck together with cheese, to scoop up the extra filling.

The meat was a little greasy, and the guacamole did not mix well with it. A better option would have been to give the guacamole in a separate container. Also, the meat had too much of a spice that gave it a strong after taste.

Tortilla: It didn’t do anything to help the taco. It fell apart too quickly and was a little bland. The meat was not soggy, so it was probably not the cause of the tortilla falling apart.

Presentation: When closed, the taco did not look too bad. However, the meat that did peak out did not look appetizing with the guacamole and excess grease mixed.

Price: $$

Overall: I give Caramba! one Bella the Chihuahua. The tacos did not hit the basics of the categories and left much to be desired. Caramba! may have won an award in 1995, but it’s time to move on.


5421 West Glendale Avenue

Glendale, AZ 85301



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