My friend Becky and I like food. It’s kind of well documented. In fact we kind of fuel each other’s addiction. Kind of in a Sid and Nancy kind of way, I guess? I make her rice krispy treats and encourage her to make waffles, while she makes me bread and pretzels and makes me hungry for waffles. It’s a pretty vicious cycle.
Since we carpool to our races and Runners Anonymous events in Utah County, we drive together a lot. I will usually park at the U near her place and we always tend to drive up and down 800 South en route to the freeway. And, each and every time we will drive past Sears. Quite honestly there is nothing special about Sears (I think this is pretty common knowledge), it’s a tad worn down (this is being VERY nice in my assessment) to the point that you’d probably be better off just ordering from Sears.com.
But, but, but … what catches our eyes each time is the taco cart (it’s actually called Tacos Don Rafa, but I prefer the Sears Taco Stand) that stands on the corner of 800 S. and State Street. Everytime we have driven past there is always a line of people waiting for good Mexican food. In my mind it seems as though everyone in line is dancing and singing praises to tacos, burritos, enchiladas and everything wonderful that the Mexicans brought here to Utah. In essence it has become a magical place where I have felt like I HAD to one day get a taco from. After sharing these feelings with Becky she concurred and put it on her food bucket list as well.
So, for the past couple of months we kept telling each other that we were going to go get tacos from the Sears Taco Stand after our runs. But, for reasons here and there we just never got around to it, sadly. But, this past Saturday we resolved to make our wishes come true after a long training run down Little Cottonwood Canyon we would visit the cart. So after I drove her back up the canyon to get her car we drove over to Sears for our much anticipated trip.
Once we got there we quickly realized that we were kind of out of our element. There was a system to ordering that we didn’t know nor understand completely. Luckily, there was someone there in line to explain the procedure to us. I won’t lie it was a tad intimidating. I kind of felt like I was waiting line in for soup from the Soup Nazi (I would have said Taco Nazi, but I’m pretty certain that’s not totally PC these days). The last thing I wanted to hear was “NO BURRITO FOR YOU!”
But, I learned a few things about ordering during my trip to the Sears Taco Stand. So … I thought I would impart some of that wisdom upon you (because I know now that you’re going to be going to Sears for tacos. Trust me, you will after you read this post). It can be daunting, but if Becky and I can do it, so can you … trust me. But, here’s whatcha gotta do to get the best taco/burrito you’ll ever have, not just here in Salt Lake City, but, like, anytime in history …
STEP ONE: Make sure you go to the right taco stand. There are two of them. You want the one facing State Street, not 800 South. If you mess that up the magic is pretty much dead and I can’t guarantee you a life changing experience.
STEP TWO: Don’t spend an hour deciding what you. Go to the cart knowing what you want. It also really helps if you know the Spanish translation to certain meats. Case in point: I wanted a pork burrito, but didn’t know the Spanish name so I asked for carnitas in that burrito. Which … isn’t pork I found out, it’s a totally different kind of dish. So, I panicked and then ordered chicken. Come to think of it, I should have just asked for pork. But, I didn’t want to sound like an idea, which I ended up sounding like anyways …
STEP THREE: After you order and pay (the burrito is $3! THREE DOLLARS! That’s like $20 cheaper than Cafe Rio!) for your food the cook will hand you the basic base of the dish. In this case my burrito came with rice, beans, chicken and cheese. You then top it with everything else you want.
STEP FOUR: There are a couple of coolers full of toppings … cabbage, cilantro and onions, sauces, etc. You simply load up your food the way you want it. Easy breezy.
STEP FIVE: After loading up your burrito you then take a long look at it and realize that you PROBABLY loaded it up with too many onions. But, those fears quickly go away once you realize that you won’t be smooching anyone later that day anyway … so why worry?
STEP SIX: Once you get your food the way you want it you can give it back to the cook and they’ll wrap it up for you. Wrapping burritos really is an art I feel like I must learn at some point in my life. I just need a mentor willing to take an apprentice.
STEP SEVEN: Once you get your wrapped burrito back it’s important to make reference that it’s big as the latest baby you held. Then you handle that burrito like a newborn baby as you walk from the taco stand to your car.
STEP EIGHT: This is the most important part of the whole process. It’s important that you take a selfie with the party involved in the taco stand trip with your food in front of Sears. If you skip this step the world will never know how your life was changed. It’s kind of like you never even went. Always leave with a selfie.
STEP NINE: Then if you want to be a safe and responsible driver you should open up your burrito in the car and have a picture taken while you’re not paying attention to the road.
STEP TEN: But, more than anything you’ve got to find a place to relax, chow down and then a half hour later take a nap. A peaceful cat nap.
Now that you know how to order the perfect burrito from the best taco stand in Salt Lake City what are you waiting for? GO GET ONE!!! It will change your life forever, believe you me.