Catering from Taco Del Mar

A sample plate from Taco Del Mar catering service (Kaneohe location)

Burger King’s slogan is “Have it your way”. While that sounds great for burger enthusiasts and picky eaters, it’s gotta’ be a nightmare for the hard-working employees behind the counter who have to make it YOUR way. That said, imagine if fast food burger joints offered their wares self-serve buffet style, with stacks of plain Jumbo Jacks® or Quarters Pounders ® in unassembled form in respective order of build: first tray buns, next tray patties, next tray cheese, next tray lettuce, and so on and so on.

Now apply that same fast food “your way” concept south of the border and you have what we have here with a quite tasty catered lunch our office enjoyed a couple months ago via catering from Taco Del Mar.

I’ll come straight-up and say I love Taco Bell. FWIW, the place offers completely satisfying Tex-Mex grub on the cheap. While I couldn’t eat there every day, once a week to once a month, it hits the spot.

What always makes me chuckle is when I see a “new” menu item from The Bell, which is essentially the same ingredients assembled a different way. lol I’m still waiting for the Nacho Taco™, where they pile nachos on a taco. How hard is that? lol Or the Nacho Burrito™, where, what else? They wrap nachos in a tortilla. Common’, that ain’t rocket science!

The ultimate would be the Taco Bell® “Cha Cha Cha” Shake™, where they take all the core ingredients: tortilla, meat, rice, beans, cheese, veggies, etc., and put it in a blender Jamba Juice style. Now THAT would rock!

But until Taco Bell® or Taco Del Mar® collaborate with Jamba Juice®, we’ll have to rely on good ‘ole creativity to reinvent how a tortilla is consumed. And nothing can afford us a better opportunity to do that than with a self-serve buffet line of all the goods, catering style, which is exactly what we have here from Taco Del Mar®.

As Taco Bell says, “Think Outside the Bun”, which is how you must think at Taco Del Mar as well, laying the foundation of your latest and greatest creation with either a soft or crunchy tortilla…

Soft flour tortillas

Crunchy corn tortillas

Now select your choice of meat, either ground beef or shredded chicken…

Seasoned beef

Seasoned chicken

Balance that out with some greens…


In the spirit of Christmas, add red to that…


Cheese lovers rejoice…

Mexican cheese blend

Now it’s time to open all the windows and loosen your belt, then make your choice of two styles of beans, either refried or black…

Refried beans

Black beans

Gohan, Mexican style…

Spanish rice

Now you can rebuild the entire meal on the side in a slightly different way, nacho style…

Tortilla chips

Red sauce


Sour creme

Finally for dessert, have a cookie…


Now looking at this spread, without instructions or experience on how all that stuff is plated, the possibilities of the outcome could practically be infinite, right? Does the rice go in the tortilla or on the side? Does a soft tortilla mean it’s only for making a burrito? Can I make a burrito out of a crunchy tortilla? lol These are the burning Jalapeno questions. Hey, speaking of which, where’s that!?

As you’ll see in the next sequence of plates assembled by my beloved coworkers, how one assembles a Tex Mex meal, may just help map out their inner soul…

This person is organized, regimented and particular. They enjoy reading non-fiction novels, walks in the park and taking care of their pet Shih Tzu.

The person who made this plate is an experienced culinarian, and would probably know how to pair the right wine or even beer with this dish. He/she is also probably adventurous yet responsible in making decisions.

This person probably wears and has taste in really nice clothes, yet doesn’t ever hang it up neatly in the closet, but has it lying around piled up high on their dresser or on the floor in the corner of the bedroom (that’s YOU, isn’t it?!).

This person is trying to make a plate lunch out of Tex Mex food. Witness the dominance of rice with the beans spread on it, Zippy’s Chili and rice style. Also take note of the lack of a tortilla, either crunchy or soft. This person doesn’t even like sandwiches. In fact, we might as well offer he or she a pair of chopsticks to eat this. Perhaps we should have also given them an ice cream scooper so they could dish the guacamole in the shape of a ball, Mac’ salad style. lol When this person isn’t working, they’re in a t-shirt, shorts and rubbah slippahz, and enjoy fishing and kite flying as a hobby.

This person enjoys all that life has to offer (two kinds of tortillas, plus the chips), yet indeed know what their preferences are (lack of rice).

This person probably drives a silver car, has a white leather couch, a black Poodle, eats Cup Noodle 5 days a week and is probably still wearing the same pair of shoes they were given as a birthday gift by grandma 10 years ago (the broken tortilla shell). lol

Wow, give a person a tortilla shell and a bunch of toppings and I told you the possibilities would be endless! Suprisingly no one rolled one up burrito style. I’m not sure what that would indicated from a psychological point-of-view, but it must mean something. Perhaps we all like to see exactly what we’re getting ourselves into (vs. a burrito where it’s all concealed under wraps). Or maybe we like to keep our options open (adding a little more cheese here, salsa there, etc.).

How would you have assembled your plate, given the choices above?

Whatever the case, our catered lunch from Taco Del Mar was delicious. While, like Taco Bell, they’re not going to topple authentic Mexican mom & pop restaurants such as Los Chapparros anytime soon, it’s still a nice change with enough variety in the basic spread to satisfy just about everyone.

After all that zesty goodness, it’s time for dessert..

Cookies and a brownie

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”


8 thoughts on “Catering from Taco Del Mar

  1. Pomai, I heard Taco Bell is serving Kalua pork. Is it true and in what way are they doing it? This entry is very interesting but I have a Tex Mex restaurant across the street where I live.

  2. I would be that really greedy, yet anal, person who tries to load a little of EVERYTHING on her plate while trying to make sure that the beans don’t touch anything else. What do you say to that, Doctor?

    (Love your Taco Del Mar buffet analysis, BTW!) 🙂

  3. Jenny, based on your plating arrangement, it sounds like you’re also particular and regimented, yet liberal at the same time. You drink beer – even really bad, cheap beer, yet prefer sipping it out of an expensive crystal wine glass. And if its a fine vintage wine, you chug it quicker and sloppier than a drunken sailor, yet still out of an expensive crystal wine glass, not a stein.

    All the presents under your Christmas tree are organized by color, with green wrapping paper ones on one side, and silver ones on the other. This, while the ornaments and lights on the tree are put on with no rhyme or reason, having purple, blue, green and mauve one mixed all over the place.

    Does that sound about right? lol

    ~ Doc

    Turner, if this looks good, yet not convenient, you really should check out Los Chaparros, which is not far from Kaka’ako in the Moi’ili’ili area. I did an extensive review of the place on this blog.

  4. LMAO, Pomai! Not even close! My presents haven’t even been wrapped yet, and when it’s time, I will lug out all da cheap mismatched 75%-off gift wrap I bought after Christmas. It’s the only way us pakes can justify paying money for something that will be ripped up.

    I’m not a beer drinker. I’m more of a moderately-priced wine drinker, and I drink it out of glass (not crystal) wine goblets that I picked up by the case at Linens ‘N Things.

    Thanks for the laugh. You made my day. 🙂

  5. I miss Taco Del Mar, they opened two up here in my part of Washington State, and now they’re no more. If you can handle a full one, go for it.

    But the kalua pig taco… hui, bugga sound ono.

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