Rubio's Tacos

The Great Groveland Taco Quest

Posted on Posted in Adventures, Traveling

Cloudy skies at Quest call for epic taco adventures! In the 2.6 miles between Supermercado Jalisco and Mi Guanajuato, there’s at least 7 places to satisfy a rainy day taco tummy. Our goal? To unscientifically evaluate each one in order to provide our Very Qualified Opinion on the best damn taco this side of RaceTrac gas station.

Supermercado Jalisco and Coyote Rojo

The Supermercado is the classic Questies tried and true taco stop. We’d all been there before, and they were closed on Sunday, so we didn’t officially get a taco from here for the Taco Quest. Opinions were pretty consistent though. The tacos are decent, but, in Belinda Boulter’s words, the place smelled funny. However, special points were awarded for the Supermercado’s free toppings bar.

Coyote Rojo is your run-of-the-mill sit-down free-tortilla-chips Mexican joint. We weren’t into that life so we crossed Coyote Rojo off the list.

Gonzalez Trading Post

If getting a haircut, massive double-yolk eggs, Bud Light, and a bomb ass taco are on your list, the Gonzalez Trading Post is where to go. Around the right side of the building, you’ll find a tiny take-out window and some green picnic tables littered with left behind cilantro leaves. Indoor seating is also available. Our carnitas tacos were topped with plenty of cilantro and onion, and red and green sauce and lime were served on the side. The carnitas were cooked to perfection with super tasty, crispy edges. Gonzalez earned the votes of Belinda, Richard Westmoreland, and Jeremie Hill for best taco. Stop #1 on the GGTQ was an epic success!

Tacos at Gonzalez Trading Post, Groveland, FL
Tacos at Gonzalez Trading Post, Groveland, FL, March 2017. Photo: Sara Weaver.

King Tacos de Don Ramon Food Truck

Stop #2 is another Questie classic. Who doesn’t like food trucks? Thor Froh even has a taco truck song. We ordered 6 tacos asada and sat on the picnic tables out front. Don Ramon’s was busier than Gonzalez, and it took about 6-7 minutes to get our food, compared to a 3 minute wait at Gonzalez. Our tacos had lettuce and tomato this time, and the red and green sauces were spicier than our first stop. The tortillas were slightly greasier, but I was a big fan of the steak inside. Although the taco truck didn’t earn anyone’s vote as their favorite, we’re all pretty grateful for the taco truck’s deliciousness on wheels.

Taco Truck Tacos
Tacos at Don Ramon's Taco Truck in Groveland, Florida, March 2017. Photo: Sara Weaver.

Rubio’s Mexican Food Store

We walked over to the Marathon gas station right next door to the Food Truck to try out Rubio’s tacos. Even though these two taquerias are side-by-side, each had about the same number of customers - proof the the taco business is alive and well in the tiny towns of Groveland and Mascotte. Rubio’s doesn’t get any points for location. Tucked in the back of the Marathon with some dingy booths, you’d hardly know it was there. We ordered chicken tacos, which were served with avocado, green chili, lime, and green sauce. The avocado and green chili additions were a major win for Rubio’s, along with their extremely tasty and perfectly chewy tortillas. The lack of atmosphere didn’t phase me much, so Rubio’s earned my vote as favorite (and Belinda’s second-favorite). If you’re ever in Groveland, Rubio’s is a can’t-miss stop on your path to taco enlightenment.

Rubio's Tacos
Rubio's Tacos in Groveland, Florida, March, 2017. Photo: Sara Weaver.

Mi Tierra

Whatever Rubio’s lacks in atmosphere is made up 400 yards down Highway 50 at Mi Tierra. It’s indoors, has air conditioning, an expansive parking area, and bathrooms. This time, we ordered 6 carnitas tacos. While we were waiting, John Simon, Heather Renihan, and Michelle Haag joined the 6 of us already on the trek. You could say the GGTQ was becoming quite the fiesta. Our tacos arrived with a notable addition - sliced radishes. Yum! All for just $1.30/taco, our cheapest stop yet. Thor Froh was a big fan of the low cost and fun atmosphere, so Mi Tierra earned his vote for best taco.

Mi Tierra Tacos
Carnitas tacos at Mi Tierra in Groveland, FL, March 2017. Photo: Sara Weaver

Mi Guanajuato

Our final stop brought us to the almost outskirts of Mascotte, Florida. Mi Guanajuato earned the Miss Congeniality award above any taqueria thus far. With a patchwork parking lot, tiny, jam-packed food store aisles, and an outdoor seating area consisting of a single, lopsided 4-top table, the colorful little store left a lot to be desired. Our waiting time was the longest, but our steak tacos were served in individual to-go boxes with two extremely spicy sauces on the side - spicy red and an orange mango sauce with a kick. We also had the option between small and large tortillas, so we chose the bigger ones on the theory that bigger is better, and we were right. They had a lot of lettuce on top, and were quite filling. Davis Straub was particularly happy with the larger taco, so Mi Guanajuato got his vote for best taco.

Tacos at Mi Guanajuato, Groveland, Florida
Tacos at Mi Guanajuato, Groveland, Florida, March 2017. Photo: Sara Weaver.

The Results

After 5 tacos at 5 taquerias, we drove 100 yards to Mascotte’s best (only) bar, The Breeze, to discuss our favorite taco joints over shots of tequila. The landslide victory belongs to Gonzalez Trading Post with 3 votes, while Rubio’s, Mi Tierra, and Mi Guanajuato each earned 1 vote. Surprisingly, the Quest favorites, Supermercado Jalisco and Taco Truck, didn’t earn a single vote. However, we all acknowledged that there wasn’t one bad taco in the bunch. Actually, we all agreed that each and every place was pretty darn good. Your takeaway? If you’re not flying a hang glider and really need a taco, Groveland and Mascotte will not disappoint.  

Tequila Shots at The Breeze, Mascotte, FL
Tequila Shots at The Breeze, Mascotte, FL, March 2017. Right to Left: John Simon, Rich Westmoreland, Michelle Haag, Sara Weaver, Heather Renihan, Jeremie Hill, Thor Froh. Photo: Bartender. 

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