In November, ASA approved funding for Taco Taco Taco, a new club centered around — that’s right — tacos.
The club informally started six weeks ago after a Tuesday night worship service when a group of students made a spontaneous decision to go to Taco Bell. The unexpected success of their journey inspired the taco lovers to start a tradition of Taco Tuesdays. As senior Hosea Kost said, “[tacos are] exactly what I need to fill my heart.”
While most restaurants in Sioux Falls close by 9 p.m., a lot of the places that serve tacos in Sioux Falls (Giliberto’s, Abelardo’s, Inca, Chevy’s, Azteca) stay open later than regular restaurants. Derek Hamre, manager of Taco Taco Taco, said that this is convenient for club members’ schedules.
Starting at 9:30 p.m., the club goes to different restaurants around the city and ranks the quality of the tacos (taste, smell, variety and cost) and the ambience of the restaurant (cleanliness, friendliness and decor) on a 10 point scale. So far, they’ve been to Abelardo’s, Chevy’s, Burger King and Taco Bell.
On Nov. 19, the club met for their first official meeting as an ASA-funded group and returned to Abelardo’s, which is the newest competiton for Giliberto’s — an Augustana favorite. When they went once before as an unofficial club, they ranked it a 7.5 out of 10 based on their food service inspection rating.
Since the first meeting at Taco Bell, assistant manager Maddi Barness has worn her pink taco socks to every outing. Even though she couldn’t attend the last meeting, Hamre said “her socks were still there in remembrance of her spirit: her taco spirit.”
Taking Barness’s pink taco socks back to Abelardo’s and setting them on the table in her absence, the club members discussed the Sioux Falls Health Department ranking of Abelardo’s (75 out of 100 points). They agreed that what the restaurant lacks in cleanliness, it makes up for in delicious tacos with hot and crispy shells.
But most of the conversations held in the Mexican restaurant — decorated with flags, large paper flowers and colorful plates adorning the walls — reflected the cheerful atmosphere of the restaurant itself. The club members talked about their day, recent gossip, difficult classes and joked about theoretical situations, like if motor oil contains calories (it does.)
Beyond the camaraderie shared through tacos at places like Abelardo’s, the members of Taco Taco Taco also have a mission to serve the Sioux Falls community. They plan to partner with Feeding South Dakota and use some of their recently acquired ASA funding to pay for food they will then donate or serve to those in need.
ASA Senator John Walker said he didn’t even know about the club until recently and believes that more people will join with time. Hamre said he agrees with this sentiment, hoping that a larger social media presence and future fiestas on campus will draw more people to their cause. Currently, @augietacotacotaco has 212 followers on Instagram, even with only one post on their page. They hope to become more active in the upcoming months by not only notifying the student body of their next taco adventures but also by ranking the restaurants they have been to and posting their personal findings.
Senior Mollie Varpness said that the club is “a bunch of students who need to get off campus, and tacos are the way to do it.”
Taco Taco Taco gives students a chance to have fun and relax with friends.
With finals week coming up, the power of tacos may be needed for students now more than ever. Follow their Instagram or send them an email to get notified when and where their next taco endeavour will take them.
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