This week's trip takes us north to Plaza Los Panchos in Machesney Park. 

You might have missed National Margarita Day yesterday, you can definitely make up for it at Plaza Los Panchos.

Plaza Los Panchos sits in front of the former Machesney Park Mall (honestly not sure if it's still called that or not) at the north end of the property. It occupies the same building that used to house Tom & Jerry's before they moved to their new location on 173.

This was the nicest interior of any Mexican restaurant we've been to on our reviews. The dining area was clean and the staff was dressed in very professional-looking uniforms. White shirts with black pants, they looked sharp. Also, the place was warm. Very nice when it was -8 last week.

Chips and salsa were served and drinks ordered. I got an horchata that was served in a formidable frosted beer mug. It was tasty but a little underseasoned for my liking. Priscilla got wild and stuck with water.

To be honest, the menu wasn't exactly what we were looking for. And that's not a knock on the restaurant. The last few places we were at had more of a "taqueria" feel to them. Plaza Los Planchos leans more in the direction of a Mexican restaurant if that makes sense.

The menu was filled with some wonderful looking entrees (looking at you carnitas) but we were here for tacos. I'll admit, I had a hard time finding just tacos on this menu. This is probably on me but the ordering process was a bit stressful. I couldn't really figure out what my meat options were in my tacos. So I went with just 3 steak tacos. The 4-seam fastball of tacos.

I ordered a simple steak taco and bean tostada which was served with a boat load of rice and beans.

Both orders came with rice and beans. They were great but unnecessary for quick lunch tacos. I definitely took an office nap after this lunch. We are also unclear on why Priscilla's taco was segregated from the tostada.

Chips and Salsa

  • Joe - 8 - Chips were warm and reasonably well salted. I appreciated the presentation of the mini carafe of salsa with individual ramekins.
  • Priscilla -8-In addition to being warm and salted, the chips tasted fresh and crispy.

Tortillas 

  • Joe - 5 - It was a lot of tortilla. I don't mind the double tortilla move but these were pretty thick, while at the same time brittle. I didn't have any blowouts, but it was close. Ended up ditching the second tortilla for my last taco and one was plenty.
  • Priscilla -6- You know me, one tortilla girl here. This taco had two. I had to give them an extra point though, because they had a third tortilla style option I haven't seen before. You could get a soft shell, hard shell or medium shell. What is this? I had to ask. Our server said they lightly fry the tortilla so it just a little crisp to it.

Fillings

  • Joe - 7 - Unfortunately, I was only able to try the steak tacos. They were very good. The tacos weren't overly stuffed. The pico de gallo on the side was a nice touch.
  • Priscilla -6-The steak taco had good flavor. Nothing remarkable. While it bugged Joe that my taco was wrapped in foil separate from my tostada, I thought it was a nice touch to keep it warm.

Value

  • Joe - 6 - A little pricier than some other stops. You pay a little more for a nicer ambiance.
  • Priscilla - 8 - Joe's a tight wad. It was worth being warm!

Intangibles

  • Joe - 7 - Very friendly staff. Great environment. It was actually warm inside! This would be a great place to have a few margaritas. Priscilla and I will have to go back when we don't have to return to work.
  • Priscilla - 7 -I'm in! While they don't have the taco variety we were looking for, they did have a large menu. I think this would be a great apps and drinks place.

Official WROK Taco Score:

  • Joe - 33/50
  • Priscilla - 35/50

 

10 Mouthwatering Pics of Doughboys Donuts