The Fried Taco
When you hear ‘taco,’ you may naturally think of Mexican food, but at The Fried Taco, a world of other tastes lights up the diverse menu. Heavy influences of tangy, bold Puerto Rican and Caribbean cuisine create the most exciting flavor combos of slow-simmered meats, house-made salsas, creamy sauces, crunchy slaws and more. In each delicious pairing, you can taste the hours of experimenting and prep time that went into the multi-faceted creations. Stuff all that house-made goodness in a corn tortilla and fry it. The light, crispy shell and soft, melty inside will change the way you love tacos.
On Island Time
What better way to savor unique fried tacos than in a laid-back atmosphere where nothing but excellent food and great service are taken too seriously. Owners Ruben and Kristal Pacheco feel that a meal should be a celebration that brings people together. “Ruben always says he’s ‘on island time,’ “Kristal laughs. “In many cultures south of the U.S., people truly enjoy life more, take their time preparing meals with love, and enjoy eating and drinking together. We really wanted to bring this to our concept.”
Inspired by Ruben’s mom, who, as a child, loved the fried tacos of a beach vendor in Puerto Rico and later began making her own, Kristal and Ruben started The Fried Taco food truck in 2016. In 2019, they opened their first restaurant in Midtown OKC, and in February 2022 were excited to open in Edmond where they live. Kristal says the location at the Icehouse Project, with multiple restaurants and an enclosed courtyard, was the reason they opened in Edmond. “As the parents of four children, we know it’s not easy to have a ‘nice meal out’ because you’re trying to keep the kids from being bored,” Kristal admits. “Here, parents can sit outside and have adult conversations while keeping an eye on the kids who are having a blast climbing on the giant grasshopper!”
Punch and Crunch
One of the best-selling tacos is the slow-simmered brisket with cheddar cheese and house-made white BBQ sauce, nestled in a tortilla and fried to airy perfection. Dunked in the purple Sriracha slaw with a vinegary tang and a finish of heat on your lips, this is everything you love about brisket but in a bold new way! Another top choice is the Old Fashioned Beef Taco—like a delicious cheeseburger, reinvented with Puerto Rican seasoned ground beef.
While perusing the other inventive fried taco choices, don’t overlook the empanadas. They are like turnovers, with meat stuffed in dough and fried to a flaky bite. The creamy dill dipping sauce is a fantastic finish. You can tell there is as much thought and expertise put into the unique sauces, dips and salsas as the foods themselves, and the pairings are simply superb. Most tacos are gluten-free and there is a dedicated empanada fryer. Vegan jackfruit tacos are also fried in a dedicated gluten-free fryer.
The yuca fries with house mayo ketchup and the tostones—unripened, smashed, double-fried plantains—give customers a taste of the Caribbean. Wash it all down with the Coconut Lavender Lemonade. “It’s something I came up with when working in a hot food truck used to trigger my migraines,” Kristal explains. “It quickly became one of our top-selling items and it’s one of my personal proudest achievements.” Roast-at-your-table s’mores and dessert empanadas complete the feast.
Visit 119 W. 2nd St. at The Icehouse Project, Edmond, or 308 NW 10th at the Collective Food Hall, Midtown, or thefriedtaco.com. Catering and food truck bookings are also available.