In the movie Selena, Edward James Olmos' character was planning on opening a Mexican restaurant. One of the reasons he gave for his decision was that “gringos love Mexican food”. Given the number of Mexican restaurants out there, this examiner would have to agree. However there is one thing that “gringos” like more than Mexican food, and that is Mexican fast food. Don't believe it? Then look at all of the taco restaurants out there from the regional chains like Taco John's to large multinational ones like Taco Bell. There are even a few mom-and-pop taco restaurants out there that offer a similar style of dining. One of these mom-and-pop places is located just 20 minutes from Fort Smith in the city of Sallisaw. That restaurant is Taco Pronto.
Ask people outside of Sallisaw about Taco Pronto and they may look at you funny. However those who live in Sallisaw may say something different. Taco Pronto has been providing delicious tacos, burritos and other Mexican fare for the last 5 years. The restaurant is the brain child of former Sallisaw chiropractor Dr. Darryl Nets. While it is unclear why he chose to open a Mexican fast food restaurant, the one thing that is clear is that they serve some of the best food west of the Arkansas/Oklahoma border.
So what is the cuisine like? Despite being your standard Mexican fast food fare, the menu offers quality items at relatively reasonable prices. There is even a “fixin's bar” for those who are looking for taco sauce and fresh Pico de Gayo. The only thing that this examiner would not call it is “authentic”. Now, the reality is that the last place diners would expect to find authentic Mexican cuisine is at one of the many “taco joints” that are out there, however Taco Pronto has taken it to a whole new level. From the big purple neon sign overlooking I-40, to the co-branding of Geno's Pizza, to the Blue Bell ice cream bin located at the front of the store, Taco Pronto is the living definition of excess. People go into Mexican restaurants to order Mexican food. People going to Taco Pronto can order pizza by the slice. While this is not the first time that this examiner has seen co-branding before, this time it seems to feel...almost wrong.
Despite its shortcomings all that really matters is the food, and Taco Pronto does a great job at that. So the next time that you are driving west on I-40 and you are getting that craving for a taco, stop by that building with the big purple and neon sign and try some very well made tacos and burritos.
Taco Pronto is located at 1201 W. Ruth Ave Sallisaw, OK 74955.
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