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Taco Del Mar plates diversity

With the uprising of many fast food Mexican restaurants, a unique spin seems necessary to stand out from the rest of the pack. Taco Del Mar, located on the corner of Champlain and Shephard, easily achieves this goal.

Upon entering the small Mexican restaurant I was greeted with a friendly aroma of different beans, salsas and meats. On the walls hung many pictures of ocean views and various pieces of beach paraphernalia, such as surf- and skim boards.

The sounds of soothing music by artists like Jimmy Buffet added to the relaxed atmosphere. The laid-back theme helps make this restaurant a welcoming after-school hangout for high school students.

“I like the beach theme,” owner (referred to as T.J.) said. “It reminds me of the 30 years that I spent working at sea and the many places I saw around the world.”

Those at Taco Del Mar strive to provide inexpensive meals while still maintaining generous portions paired with nutritional content.

“We offer fresh choices for our customers,” T.J. said. “I think that people want to eat healthy food and get large portions for a good price.”

With so many choices of classic Mexican snack foods and delicacies, the possibilities are almost endless. I chose a chicken burrito with pinto beans, cheese, rice and an extra-spicy habanero hot sauce. I also opted for a double serving of meat for $1.35 extra. All together the burrito cost about $7.

The hot sauce complimented the traditional flavors of the burritos, yet the meal still possessed a modern flair. The chunky salsa set the burrito apart from classic counterparts.

My mom bought a combination plate of two tacos, while my dad ordered a burrito similar to mine. Tacos of all genres are offered, with different types of meat, cheese and vegetables available.

The only downside to the tacos is that they often need to be eaten with a fork due to the overfilled shells. However, using utensils during the meal does not subtract from the tacos’ exceptional taste.

Both the food and the service are excellent. An ordering procedure that is set up much like Chipotle and Subway allows people to view ingredients before choosing their meal. Most of the menu items cost fewer than $7 and can fill even the hungriest customers.

In addition to gigantic burritos and tacos, Taco Del Mar offers many other Mexican food choices such as quesadillas, salads and platters. On a previous visit, I ordered a quesadilla platter, which included a large serving of beans and rice. The chicken used in the quesadilla was cooked to perfection and the mix of spicy meat and cheese made the dish worth ordering again.

Similar plates are also offered with the choice of a few enchiladas, an enchilada and a taco, or a choice to build your own plate. All of these dishes, including the quesadilla platter, cost around $6.

The friendly service found behind the counters of Taco Del Mar makes the restaurant an excellent choice for those hoping for nutritional food as well as superior Mexican cuisine.

Taco Del Mar is located at 1568 E. Champlain Dr. in the Via Manta

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