Taco Del Mar, Keizer Station
It seems like the new Keizer Station is getting a new chain store almost daily. Plenty of parking, in fact, the parking lot is so spacious, to go between stores you still need to drive. But if you insist on walking, there is one pedestrian path between Ross Dress For Less and Taco Del Mar. On this walk, you get a great perspective of the mass development happening in our neighbor city to the north. The architecture and floor plan reminds me of every other big box development built in the late 90's. I imagine, soon enough, if you live in Keizer, you'll no longer need to shop and eat along river road. There has been some speculation that Trader Joe's was thinking about moving into this new super mall. Box to box next to the other chain stores, it would be an indication to me that TJ's has totally sold out. Anyway, I was excited to hear that Taco Del Mar was in this new mega mall. They have a TDM in SE Portland that's in what looks like an old gas station or drive up diner building. The place is always packed even in a competitive Portland dining scene. In Keizer TDM looks more like your typical fast food joint and less like a creative, up in coming business model, kind of like Trader Joe's fifteen years ago. So get in line, and order your Mexican food as you like it. They have a fairly simple menu of tacos, burritos, salads and quesadillas. For just over six bucks I ordered the two tacos, one with carne asada and one with chicken, chips and salsa and a drink. The food was tasteful and the taco shells were full of meat. The chips were crispy and fresh and not at all greasy. This is way better than Taco Bell and fresher than Muchos Gracias for about the same price. If I could complain about one thing, it's the tiny size of the salsa container that comes with the chips. There was only enough in the little dish to provide salsa for about half of my chips. When I went back up to get more, the guy at the counter was so busy, I had to speak up to get his attention to get another small container. Next time I will remember to ask for two when I order. I know Eat Salem readers hate it when I review fast food, but this is a good one and worth mentioning. A sign on the wall says, that this is Taco Del Mars 250th store, maybe 251 could be located a few miles south in our town.