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Sunday, March 6, 2010, I spent the day enjoying big-time rodeo action at the 21st Annual Ranch Hand Rodeo and Ranch, Rope and Performance Horse Sale (Whew!  That's a mouthful...) in Winnemucca, which just happens to be northern Nevada's largest rodeo event.  I had so much fun, and stayed so in-tune with the action that I, quite literally, forgot to eat anything (I'd enjoyed a "continental" breakfast of a bowl of cereal and a stale doughnut at the motel) so by mid afternoon, I was ready to enjoy a bite to eat.  So I headed back to the motel, and went next door to Raley's, where I enjoyed a delicious tri-tip sandwich.  The sandwich and a undocumented number of beers kept me going for a few hours until the hunger pangs returned.  I was, as always, in the mood for Mexican food, but there weren't any restaurants close by, and driving was out of the question, yet across the street, like a guiding light, stood a TacoTime outlet, so it looked like time for a taco.

Photo:  Winnemucca's TacoTime at sunset, with picturesque Winnemucca Mountain in the background.

TacoTime in Winnemucca is a clean, modern, cookie-cutter fast food store that just happens to sell "Mexican" food.  In reality, it's about as authentically Mexican as Taco Bell, and  since I've spent a lot of time in Mexico eating tacos and other food sold on the streets from street vendors, and I know what authentic tacos are all about, and I had no illusions that I would be enjoying real Mexican food.  You walk in, place your order from the lighted menu board, pay the gal, she makes your order, and you either eat it there or take it elsewhere.  Slam, bam, thank you m'am.  Just like any other fast food outlet.

I walked up to the counter and placed my order of ground beef soft tacos with Mary, the gal behind the counter, who appeared to be the only employee on duty at the restaurant.  That made it a one-on-one situation, as I was the only customer in the store.  At TacoTime, soft tacos come in only two flavors:  Ground beef or chicken.  Don't even ask for tripa, cabeza or carne asada, as you'd probably just be rewarded with a blank stare.  After placing my order, and paying for it, I had the pleasure of watching her make my tacos, scooping the various ingredients from stainless steel bowls and placing them in a pre-determined sequence on a large flour tortilla.  She then rolled up the tacos and tucked the ends in, burrito style, placed each taco in a paper wrapper, rolled up each wrapper, and placed to tacos in a TacoTime paper sack.  Since I'd ordered my tacos para llavar... oooops, no Spanish spoken here, she handed me the back, and cheerily wished me a pleasant evening.  I hiked across the street back to my motel, and enjoyed my meal.

Photo:  The dining room at TacoTime and the lighted menu above the order counter, with the spotless stainless steel kitchen in the background.

Photo:  Mary makes my tacos.  The tacos are surprisingly good, and they're made with very fresh ingredients.

Each taco utilized a large, quite thick, flour tortilla, and included a very ample portion of marinated, lightly seasoned, ground beef.  Garnishes were shredded lettuce, a few tomato wedges, and shredded cheese of unknown nationality - probably American.  Condiment was sour cream, as I elected not to garnish my tacos with the runny sauce contained in those little plastic squeeze packages.  The ingredients were fresh, the presentation was quite attractive, and as I ate the tacos, they held together very well, and the ingredients didn't fall out of the tortilla.

Photo:  I opened one taco for the photo, with the other one still in the paper wrapper.  The tacos come rolled up in the style of a burrito.

Honestly, the tacos were quite good.  Not authentic Mexican by any stretch of the imagination, but they were nicely done, cooked well, very filling, and very reasonably priced.  If you place yourself in the mind-set that you're eating an "American-style" taco, you'll actually enjoy your meal.  But if you're looking for authentic Mexican cuisine, look elsewhere, as it just doesn't happen at TacoTime.

1400 West Winnemucca Blvd.
Winnemucca, NV 89445
775 623-0900

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