There's no drive-thru window at Taco Bell's upscale concept, rumored to arrive in Chicago. U.S. Taco Co. first location opened in August in Huntington Beach, Calif., is reportedly opening its second location in the country at 1439 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park, according to DNAinfo.
Put those packets of fire sauce away, as this concept differs. U.S. Taco Co. offers lobster and steak items aimed at a more affluent set compared to the teenage customers depicted in a Taco Bell ad. Here is U.S. Taco Co.'s website, which lacks any reference to Taco Bell, the fast-food chain with 14 locations scattered around Chicago.
Instead of chalupas, U.S. Taco Co.'s menu features items like "The 1%er" (flatbread topped with lobster), "Wanna Get Lei'd" (grilled mahi mahi, "Polynesian" sauce) and "The Hot Chick" (crispy chicken, Buffalo sauce, blue cheese). Crave breakfast cereal in a milkshake? Try the "Friggin' Fried Ice Cream" shake that features Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Though the names differ, these items are more in line with the menu at Velvet Taco, the Texas import that arrived earlier this month in Chicago.
The California location has received generally-positive reviews on Yelp, but will U.S. Taco Co. be a consolation prize for diners who won't wait in the long lines for seats at nearby Big Star? Is there room for yet another taco joint in Wicker Park? Stay tuned.
[UPDATE: A Yum! Brands rep writes in to say that this location will be a regular Taco Bell, not a U.S. Taco Co. DNAinfo has removed their story. Get that fire sauce back out.]