Edible Dives: Taco Casa
Greenville’s legendary taco joint is still serving up classic fare after more than 30 years.
Start by thinking of those street tacos that you found somewhere in Mexico City, and remember that particular flavor and place that you still tell stories about. Next, think of the glorious carnitas that your neighbor made for the potluck, and the hangover-ending leftovers he heated up and put on tortillas for you the next day with homemade salsa verde. After that, think of that time you stopped for Tex-Mex on a road trip through Houston, and the tacos and charro beans that tasted so right with a cold Saint Arnold.
Now, put all those tacos out of your mind.
In the diverse caucus of taco-dom, there is room for another kind of taco, one that is distinctly American, born of the era of Old El Paso and fundamentally akin to chopping up a good cheeseburger and putting it on a soft shell. I love that kind of taco too, and in Greenville, the place for that kind of taco is Taco Casa. It’s been that way for more than thirty years now.
I started going to Taco Casa when I was fifteen, in their first decade, and I haven’t stopped. I would skip out of my high school campus under dubious excuse to make a run for a Taco Grande, no olives. Or more properly, four of them, all for less than the five dollar bill burning a hole in my Bugle Boy jeans. Later, on the first evening my wife and I left my newborn son with a sitter, we bought diapers and then treated each other to a Super Sancho at the Casa. Later still, when I left the Upstate for a five year career jaunt elsewhere, I never returned home without making a detour down Pleasantburg for cinnamon chips. Taco Casa has been a constant in my life, and I love them with a peculiar, cash-only, made-to-order, value-priced kind of love.
Among the reasons for you to love them, too, is their beautiful consistency. Taco Casa has been making reliable food, at a reliably low price, in exactly the way you order, for the entirety of my sentient existence. I have never had to wonder if my favorites are still on the menu or if my cup will have a new logo. Their service is a perfect efficiency, starting with the friendly greeting at the register and ending, usually seconds later, with your called number and a red tray of delicious, tortilla-based delight. Taco Casa has no pretense. Do you have cash? They have tacos. Make room in your heart to love another kind of taco.
1002 N. Pleasantburg Dr.