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Food Review: Taco John's Fried Chicken Tacos

Taco John's Honey BBQ Fried Chicken Taco
Still on the Wichita Taco John's Menu Board and their site specific website, but no longer available

By Mike Thayer

The Taco John's Honey BBQ Fried Chicken Taco is no longer available in Wichita.

The limited time offer was very limited.

Taco John's has two fried chicken tacos on its permanent menu, one with a chipotle lime sauce, the other with a jalapeno ranch, here's the description from the website:  Our bold and crave-worthy Fried Chicken Taco changed the fried chicken game! This taco features crispy, all-white meat chicken tenders wrapped in a soft, flour tortilla and topped with your choice of zesty chipotle lime or spicy jalapeño ranch, crisp shredded lettuce, and all-natural Cheddar cheese.

In mid-June, they introduced a new sauce flavor for those Fried Chicken Tacos, Honey BBQ, a limited time offering.   It's still being advertised big and bold online to include the Wichita Taco John's website and I've been wanting to try it, so today I went across town to the only Taco John's in Wichita to get a couple of those Honey BBQ Fried Chicken Tacos.  

The Taco John's in Wichita, again, the only one, is located in a Kwik Shop on West Street.  Never having been there before, I drove right past the place after getting off of Kellogg (400).  I blinked, all I saw was the Kwik Shop on the corner, missing the Taco John's tucked away in the north end of the Kwik Shop building.  Enabling the GPS and driving around the block, I pulled in to order some carry-out.

There were five patrons ahead of me in line at 11am.  "This place must be pretty decent if there's a line for tacos at 11am," I thought to myself.  I took my place in line and checked out the menu board.  There it was, prominently displayed at the top of the board, the New Honey BBQ Fried Chicken Tacos.  The ordering went fast and it was soon my turn.

Taco John's Chipotle Lime Fried Chicken Taco Combo
The chipotle lime sauce is quite nice

"Can I help you?" said the lady attendant.

"Hi, I'm going to try that new Honey BBQ Fried Chicken Taco in a combo please," I said.

"That's no longer available, it was for a limited time and the company stopped sending us that sauce," she said.

"Wow, that kind of defeats my purpose of stopping in today," I stated in a bit of shock.

"We do have the chipotle and jalapeno versions," she replied.

"OK, I'll try the chipotle," I said.

It was a nice save by the attendant, but I do have to say I was a bit disappointed.  In completing the order and paying for a small combo which includes Potato Ole's (hash rounds) and a drink, I thought about saying the Honey BBQ option should be taken off the menu board and off the Wichita Taco John's website (it's still an online order option), but I remained silent, I wasn't in the mood to become a curmudgeon and the chipotle version of the fried chicken taco was a nice Plan B.  After receiving my cup for a soda, I was instructed to use the Kwik Shop soda fountain which I found to be a bit of an odd setup and not a good one.  Not in a line of sight from the restaurant, you kind of have to hunt for the drink area.  Of the two fountains, one was without Dr. Pepper, there was the carbonated water, but no syrup coming from the tap.  The other fountain was kind of trashed up, but it had Dr. Pepper, so I dumped my carbonated ice and filled up with fresh ice and my soda of choice.  Walking back from the Kwik Shop area to the Taco John's corner, my order was soon ready and I was out the door.

Taco John's Fried Chicken Tacos
The inside look, not shy on the sauce

The unveil of the taco wrappers did not disappoint.  These things looked good! 

In taking that first bite, I was immediately hit with the chipotle lime sauce, that smoky, slightly spicy flavor from the pepper and the tartness from the lime.  The breading on the chicken was nice and crunchy, seasoned well and the chicken itself was tender and juicy.  Complimented by the fresh lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese and warm tortilla, this was a really nice taco.  The chipotle lime option is a good one, but I was left wondering how the Honey BBQ would have been.  Side note:  The Potato Ole's (hash rounds) were good, perfectly fried, not greasy.

Costing me $10.84 for the small combo meal, I'm giving Taco John's Chipotle Lime Fried Chicken Tacos 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars, they were tasty.  But if I was scoring the Taco John's located at 656 S West St, Wichita, KS 67213, itself, it would be 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  Advertising/promoting something you no longer offer is a problem.  Sure, I was apparently a bit late to the Honey BBQ party, but pull the advertising promo then if you're no longer offering it!  The self service drink set up relies on the management of a convenience store and in this case, mismanagement of a distant soda machine.  The tacos were also a tad expensive.  In comparison, a similar order from Taco Bell, two Cantina Crispy Chicken Tacos with Avocado Ranch, Fiesta Potatoes and a small drink would run you $8.47.  Taco John's is not worthy of a repeat buy.

Website:  www.tacojohns.com/ks/wichita

4 stars(for the tacos)

3 stars(for Taco John's)

Taco John's Fried Chicken Tacos
It's a nice fried chicken taco bite

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