Restaurant of the Week: Taco Man

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Taco Man, 9617 Central Ave. (at San Bernardino), Montclair

It’s a new restaurant — well, it opened in 2013 — but it’s in a vintage building, a Tastee Freez that dates to 1961, which in Montclair is practically the Paleolithic period. After a string of taquerias and other businesses in that spot, Taco Man spiffed it up and moved in. It was, and remains, a catering business that now has a brick and mortar location. (They produced a cute video prior to their opening.)

There’s no interior seating, but there is dining in the covered breezeway, where there are four picnic-style benches and a counter with seating for 10. And of course they have takeout.

I had lunch there on a hot day back in February and returned this week for a second meal and more photos.

The first time, I had three tacos ($1.49 each, bottom): carnitas, al pastor and cube, a mixture of chicken and chorizo. Really good street taco-style tacos, with the pineapple atop the al pastor a welcome touch. It didn’t surprise me to learn that owner Israel Miranda is a native of Mexico City as those are the type of tacos I had on my visit there in 2011.

This week I tried an al pastor burrito ($6.50, middle), which also has the pineapple, as well as finely shredded cabbage (the effect was like slaw) as well as onions, beans, cilantro, sour cream and salsa. A little different, but tasty, and also large and filling. They also have a double burrito named The Big Donk, plus quesadillas and a couple of healthier options, a protein bowl and low-carb tacos. They have vegetarian and vegan options too not reflected on the menu.

Its website┬áhas the restaurant’s menu, story and more. Alas, the former Tastee Freez doesn’t have ice cream cones.

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  • Tim

    Isn’t the site of El Pavo? I went there from 1985 until the late 90’s when I would go to the range at CIM and drive all them miles home with dinner for the family.

    • davidallen909

      Possible, but I don’t know.

      • Bob House

        I believe that was El Pavo. I used to drive by occasionally in the 90s and wonder why someone would name a restaurant “The Turkey.”

  • Bob Terry

    The old Tastee Freeze at Mission & Towne in Pomona just changed hands, too, but I drove by too fast to notice who was now there or if it was empty. And what’s with a native of Mexico using sour cream? I guess it’s cheaper than creme fresh but not on my order! I will be definitely stopping in this week.

    • davidallen909

      “Hold the sour cream.” I hear ya. Let us know what you think after you visit.