The Vibe: Starting as a food truck in Tampa’s Seminole Heights, Taco Bus retains some of its kitschy charm (catchphrase: “Broken English, perfectly spoken”) as it morphed into a small fast-casual chain with eight locations from Lakeland to Sarasota.

Finding It: 126 S. Kentucky Ave. | Map

Good to Know: Like a lot of fast-casual restaurants, you stand in line to order. Unlike a lot of table-service Mexican restaurants, chips are extra. You’re looking at an extra $2.99 for chips and salsa or $4.99 for fancier dips.

Signature Dishes: El Jefe: “Weighing in over 2.5 lbs … two tortillas, double rice and beans, cheese, sour cream and guacamole. A portion of the proceeds is donated to local first responder charities.”

Service: On opening day Wednesday, the staff kept the long counter line moving and food coming fast.

Menu online? Yes

Imbibing: Despite late-night hours, don’t go looking for alcohol. You’ll find U.S. and Mexican soft drinks, pineapple water and horchata.

Dietary Diversity: Multiple vegetarian and gluten-flee options; for vegans: soy strips and dairy-free cheese substitute.

Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.

Digital: Web | Facebook | Twitter

People Are Talking: (Since it just opened here, these are based on the Brandon location, until now the closest to Lakeland) Yelp – 3/5 stars | TripAdvisor – 3.5/5 stars

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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