Photo courtesy of Darin Kuna of the Growing Up in Upland Facebook page
The Matador Salad was a simple taco salad sold at Mi Taco, an Upland fast-food stand at 7th and Mountain that operated from 1966 to 2006. After the restaurant closed and readers began lamenting the loss of the Matador Salad, the original owners provided me with the recipe, which had appeared in the Daily Report years earlier. (The building was remodeled and in 2008 became Connal’s.)
The salad was served in a foam cup and consisted of shredded lettuce, seasoned ground beef, sliced olives, shredded cheese, a slice of tomato on top and a mayo-salsa dressing. It was adorned with a taco shell, broken in half lengthwise and stuck in the salad so that the shells looked like the horns of a bull. Hence the Matador Salad name.
I wrote about the salad and said anyone who wanted a copy could email me. More than 200 people have done so, many recounting stories about their love of the restaurant. I wrote about that, too.
Despite the intervening five years, people still email now and then requesting the recipe, and I always comply. For the sake of posterity, though, I’m now taking the step of simply posting the recipe here on my blog, where anyone can find it.
I have yet to hear from anyone who’s made the salad, by the way.
Makes 4 Servings
2 heads of lettuce, shredded
1/2 pound of taco meat, browned & seasoned to taste
1 small jar of salsa (your choice)
1/4 pouund of mild Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 large tomatoes, sliced
1 can black olives
1 bag plain tortilla chips
Mayonnaise sauce (see below)
Layer salad in large bowl in the following order: lettuce, mayonnaise sauce, meat, salsa, cheese, tomatoes & olives.
Place tortilla chips around edge of salad & serve.
Mi Taco’s “SPECIAL MAYONNAISE SAUCE”
8 ounces mayonnaise
3 ounces whole milk