California Tortilla

Taco Talk
July 30, 2015

Taco Talk: Issue 241

Taco talk

On August 4th California Tortilla will be 20 years old! Can you believe it? You know who else has a birthday on August 4th? President Obama. That’s right — we opened on August 4th and the leader of the free world’s birthday is August 4th. Coincidence? (Yes. That’s what a coincidence is.)

We’ve got a week full of great promotions and we hope that you’ll celebrate with us. Just look at all the hoopla we’ve got going on:

  • Monday, August 3rd: Double points Day — all customers receive double Burrito Elito points!
  • Tuesday, August 4th: every customer will get a scratch-off card and everyone’s a winner. (Prizes are valid from Aug.8-15th)
  • Wednesday, August 5th: Free chips and queso (with purchase) when you say the secret password “HAPPY ANNIBIRTHERY” (Fun fact: the first secret password was spatula.)
  • Thursday, August 6th: Throwback pricing. We’re offering all of our Chef-Inspired Burritos for the same price they were back in 1995!
  • Friday, August 7th: Free cupcake with purchase. Yum.

We hope you can celebrate with us — it’s going to be a great time.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PAST 20 YEARS

Because you are all dying to know, I thought I would give you a highlight from each of the past 20 years. Ready?

  • 1995: The first California Tortilla opens in Bethesda, MD. The people of Bethesda can’t wait to find out what a burrito is.
  • 1996: We have our first Pop Tart Day. Kellogg’s kindly donates all 6 Pop Tarts.
  • 1997: Sales skyrocket when Tony Kornheiser eats one of our fajita platters on the air.
  • 1998: We get an e-mail address! Our first email is to Tony Kornheiser—asking him if he can eat more fajita platters on the air.
  • 1999: We add fish tacos to the menu. No one buys them so we take them off.
  • 2000: We’re told by a source inside the White House that we’re “the restaurant of choice for White House staffers.”
  • 2001: We host our first Doggy Yappy Hour on our patio. At one point 50% of the dogs have gotten sick. (We’re hoping to keep this from the White House staffers.)
  • 2002: We start franchising. Taco Talk must now be approved by company lawyers. Yikes.
  • 2003: I announce in Taco Talk that Buddy Ebsen from the Beverly Hillbilly’s has died. This takes the alive Buddy Ebsen by surprise. (Where were the company lawyers that day?)
  • 2004: We add coffee to the menu. Nobody buys it but our employees start working really fast.
  • 2005: We win the first of many awards for our fresh, flavorful and fabulous food. We’re disappointed that none of the awards come with cash prizes.
  • 2006: We have a promotion where you throw a ball into a hoop behind the cashier’s head. Shortly thereafter I stop being in charge of promotions.
  • 2007: We retire our mascot “Chippy” because everyone thinks he’s a piece of pizza.
  • 2008: We launch the Burrito Elito card. We give away millions of dollars in Burrito Bucks in a very short time. We did not see that coming.
  • 2009: We have a slogan contest. And although we don’t end up picking a winner (that’s time consuming!), our personal favorite is, “Cal Tort: Friendlier than grandma with less ass pinching.” We like it because this person seems to have such an interesting grandmother.
  • 2010: We add fish tacos to the menu and everyone buys them. (What happened in those 11 years, people?)
  • 2011: We debut our catering hotline 1(855) CAL-TROT. And then the following week we debut our non-typo catering hotline 1(855) CAL-TORT.
  • 2012: We roll out a brand new look that proves to be wildly popular with customers. At the same time, we remove my picture from all of the cups and chip bags, which seems to be equally popular with customers.
  • 2013: We open a California Tortilla in Qatar. The people of Qatar can’t wait to find out what Mexican food is.
  • 2014: We’re voted Best Mexican by Washington Magazine readers. Still no cash.
  • 2015: We’re voted Best Mexican yet again. We’ve given up on the cash.

Thanks to all of you for making it a wonderful 20 years!

AND FINALLY…

A special shout out to Mills — he was our first employee and he’s been with us all 20 years. Thank you for sticking with us all these years, Mills. We couldn’t have done it without you!

 

What is your favorite Cal Tort memory from the last 20 years? We would love to hear them!

Speak Your Mind

86 Comments

  1. Mike says:

    Happy Annibirthery!

  2. Eden Godfroy says:

    My favorite memory is having my wedding rehearsal dinner at the Rockville Cal Tort. Partially because my husband and I are obsessed with Cal Tort and partially because we were two poor teachers.
    Love you Cal Tort!

  3. Jeannette Moore says:

    Fun to be with family/friends to enjoy the good food and nice fresh selections!!

  4. Jeannette Moore says:

    Fun!!

  5. Carol Bruno says:

    When in the September 20, 2010 Taco Talk Pam announced that

    “And not only will you be hailed for your fine fashion sense, but for your generosity as well–all of the profits from your tshirt purchase will go to Share Our Strength, a fabulous organization that’s dedicated to ending childhood by 2015.”

    1. Pam aka Queen of Burritos says:

      I love that you quoted that verbatim, Carol.

  6. Jeannette Moore says:

    Enjoy celebrating with friends and family!

  7. Gary Peters says:

    My favorite memory is the first time I walked in and saw the wall of hot sauces to sample. I thought only restaurants in Heaven would be like that.

  8. Matthew Heeke says:

    My favorite memory is when a co-worker challenged me as to who could lose the most weight in the fastest amount of time. I discovered the “Crunchy BBQ Chicken Ranch Salad’ lost 30 pounds, and never looked back. Even though it isn’t on the menu anymore, that is the item I still order the most. Thanks for making a diet taste great!!!

  9. Renee says:

    My family frequently eats at the Crystal City location and my son attends the daycare across the street. One of our favorite Cal Tort memories was me winning a happy hour and sharing our prize with his whole class of two year-olds and their parents. It was probably one of the loudest days ever at Cal Tort but the kids LOVED eating together outside of school and the parents enjoyed actually enjoyed learning each other’s names rather than just being “Logan’s Mom”.

  10. Sven Nater says:

    The cold day in winter when my 5 year old son and I showed up at the Rockville CT at 10:30 AM, not noticing that it was closed and not 11 AM. The friendly staff not only let us in, they were happy to make a cup of my son’s favorite Chicken Tortilla soup. I’d like to see them do that at Chipotle. Long Live CT.

  11. Raych says:

    I remember the time I was hungry then got a burrito from you crazy cats…then I wasn’t hungry.

  12. Jimmy Rogers says:

    I remember pretty much all of those steps from 2006, onward. Nice job, Caltort!

    My favorite memory is my first time going to a Caltort ever! My then girlfriend and her brother brought me to the place. They tried out Dave’s Total Insanity Sauce on chips (I declined). Once they started crying, I begged some sour cream to balm their tongues. 😛

    Now to go back to my usual habit of correcting people who say “Caltor”.

    1. Pam aka Queen of Burritos says:

      We want to know what happened to the girlfriend, Jimmy?

  13. Andrew Sutton says:

    I worked in NOVA for the last decade and you restaurant was one of my family’s favorites. My daughters have gone to your Manassas store from day one. We particularly loved how kind the employees were and well run it was. The manager was great! (I am sorry I do not know his name)

    My family and I moved to NC right at a year ago. The Manassas store will be our first stop when we make it back to the area. We’d also be your first customer in NC when you build a store here (hint! hint!).

    Happy 20th and thanks for the great food!

    Andrew

  14. Pam aka Queen of Burritos says:

    Keep ’em coming!

  15. lymaris says:

    Awesome food and very fast service love going there with my family. You guys rock keep up the great work.☺

  16. Emily says:

    The “welcome welcome!” guy at the Bethesda Cal Tor in the mid-90s to early 2000s.

    1. Pam aka Queen of Burritos says:

      I was JUST telling him yesterday that he should start doing that again! (Can you believe he’s still with us?) I can’t wait to show him this comment.

      1. Peter says:

        Wait! We talk about that guy all the time! Which CT does he work at? He’s still around?! I figured he had become a long-term fixture selling burritos at Phish shows!

  17. E Doan says:

    Happy Anniversary!!!! You always have such GREAT promos…See you in Doylestown next week!!!

  18. Janet says:

    My favorite memory: twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed of asking whether you offer a discount for Senior Citizens (politically correct for “Old Farts”)

  19. ds says:

    My favorite Cal Tort memory was the first time I took a bite of a Cal Tort taco – I swear I hear trumpets sound and angels sing. (It really was THAT good!)

  20. Sabra (San Diego to DC Transplant) says:

    WHY did I move here from San Diego? There’s NO good Mexican food here! Wait. What’s that? California Tortilla? No way. Fresh food? REAL quac? Queso that tastes like queso??? It’s a miracle! Now I can stay. Thank goodness because avo’s and burrito’s are the best thing on the planet! Congrats on 2 decades, an entire score CalTort, way to go. Thanks for being you.

  21. Michael La Place says:

    My favorite memories are eating burritos at the original location on Cordell Avenue in Bethesda….and taking in the sun on the front patio on nice days. Thanks Pam for always smiling and being so friendly back in those early days. Best wishes for continued success. And guess where I’m eating every day next week!

    1. Pam aka Queen of Burritos says:

      Thanks, Michael! I hope to see you at the Bethesda Cal Tort! (You’ll have to introduce yourself though. And I’ll probably have to introduce myself to you again. We were all so young back then, weren’t we?)

  22. Harry Friedman says:

    I love your Monday Spin the Wheel for FREE Food and the many FREE FOOD given away over the years !!!
    And of course, I love my Burrito Bucks that I earn on each visit for MORE FREE FOOD !!!!
    Oh yeah, one more favorite thing is your Blair Hot Sauce as I love those key chains that come with the bottle, ha-ha !!
    Guess, that is more than One Favorite memory, huh ?

  23. Kevin says:

    My favorite memory is winning a Cal Tort t-shirt on Monday night!

  24. Kathleen says:

    Fairly new to Cal Tort, but since I found you in Mt Airy, I just can’t get enough. The biggest problems is trying to decide what to eat. I love it all

  25. EVE BOYLE says:

    Always good food. Happy Annibirthery! :)

  26. Gary Toney says:

    I believe one your keys to success is quick turnover. Even during peak times a table can usually be found. I’m sure that’s because folks can’t wait to finish their food to escape the 80’s music that constantly plays. I know that gets me out of there! I mean how many electronics drums can one listen to while noshing.

  27. Vivian says:

    One halloween a friend and I were eating in the Bethesda Cal Tort when the woman from Night Dreams came in and handed out battery operated headbands with antennas and flashing lights. I still have mine, and it still works.

  28. Angel says:

    Fresh….. Better than ch****e..

  29. Paul says:

    Several years ago we were enjoying lunch at our favorite Cal Tort when a he-man type came in. He went up to the manager and demanded a taste of the hottest sauce on the wall. The manager graciously poured him a sample cup and handed it to him (grinning like the Cheshire Cat). He-man swallowed it in one gulp. Last we saw of him was as we left. He was still in the parking lot leaning on his car gasping for air.

  30. Nancy B says:

    When CT–no not a cat scan–opened, I dragged my family there because I had a coupon and we needed a place to chill out during an elementary school birthday party. When the time came to pick up our child, my family voted me off island to be the chauffeur. While I was gone, they ordered more food.. Life is beautiful.

  31. Sheri says:

    Haapy anniberthery! I remember my first burrito at the California Tortilla in Williamsburg, Va. I was hooked on the food, the atmosphere…and the newsletter! That site closed, so I moved to State College, Pa where a new CalTort opened…Im pretty sure my hubby, sons and I havent missed a week, sometimes going as many as 12 times a week collectively. You guys rock!

  32. MIke Ford says:

    Bethesda CalTort is the first restaurant I go to when I come back to town.
    It’s great to see Mills in the store occasionally. Love the Monday wheel, ( don’t like all the weights,tho).

  33. Danielle S says:

    My favorite memory is beating each cashier I challenged at rock, paper, scissors. I’m also always excited when the penguins show up in the newsletters, or when Pam personally responds to an email I’ve sent. I CAN’T JUST PICK ONE MEMORY!!

  34. Eric Wagner says:

    It was when one opened right next to the place I get my haircut. It immediately became a monthly treat in the two years since!

  35. Bill McIntyre says:

    Best place to listen to Duran Duran

  36. Jim A says:

    Many favorite memories to choose from, but my introduction to Cal-Tort was in Baltimore on Pratt St. A few of us guys from work went to a seminar near there and stumbled onto Cal-Tort for lunch. What a treat! We worshipped at the wall of hot sauce and were hooked. Always looking for another Cal-Tort, I found one at BWI airport and Univ. of Del. campus. Taco Talk and non-stop promotions always keeps it fun. I have to wonder how you make any money.

  37. Thomas Martin says:

    Happy Annibirthery!!!!! :)

  38. Joyce says:

    One of my favorite visits was when my adult coworker challenged my young teen son to a very hot sauce eating contest. They cried and I laughed. Apparently I can’t take them anywhere.

  39. Brian says:

    My favorite Cal Tort memory is the 1st time I took my 6yr old and she wanted a kids burrito with taco beef….then she says dad can I get some of that Queso in my burrito and that #6 or #7 hot sauce you like….Proud dad moment!!

  40. Valerie Murray says:

    I have many great memories. I started coming to the Bethesda one when it opened. Typically, my coworkers and I would go to Cal Tort, or Ricky’s Rice bowl across the street. My favorite memory is when I was pregnant with one of my kids and I was craving Cal tort. We came in to the one in Bethesda but I live in Olney. I said to the cashier, I wish you would open one near me in Olney and they said, we are!!! So happy! love Cal Tort and all your great taco talks! Really, I do, they crack me up!

    1. Pam aka Queen of Burritos says:

      Thanks Valerie! We opened in Olney just for you. We’re glad you’re enjoying it!

  41. Lynelle says:

    My first visit to California Tortilla was in Olney. I knew this was a place with a sense of humor when I saw the huge chain on the pen for credit card signing. Loved the food. Was thrilled when a store opened in Laurel where I lived. Was disappointed when it closed.

    1. Pam aka Queen of Burritos says:

      The pen on the chain is my single favorite thing we’ve done and it kills me that I didn’t come up with it. (In my defense, when my partner suggested it, I immediately made him go out and get the chain and pen. Does that count for anything?)

  42. Carol says:

    Favorite memory is the day we first had CalTort at the free grand opening of the Montvale NJ location….we thought why not let’s see what this is all about…we are big fans ever since and can’t wait for the one in my town to open soon…

  43. Mary says:

    Eating cal tor tacos every single night of driver’s ed class in Bethesda because they were the quietest menu item to eat during videos (I was shushed when I ate a chip and learned my lesson), and now think of tacos whenever I pass by the old ranger surplus below the classroom

  44. Steve says:

    Years ago on a visit to Cal Tort in Bethesda (the only location then) I got to meet Pam for the first time. What was strange was when it was my turn to order, Pam actually called me by name. We had never met before. Nice trick, Pam. Come to Cal Tort for the mind games, stay for the burritos.

    1. Pam aka Queen of Burritos says:

      We’re very tricky people, Steve! (I kind of remember that. How did I know your name?)

  45. Jeannie says:

    My favorite memory is still in the crystal ball. It’s when your first store in Hagerstown opens (preferably in the North end of town.) 😀

  46. Kayla says:

    My favorite memory was when I first started working for Cal Tort and my coworkers and I took hot sauce shots. It was horrible

  47. John C. says:

    I go back to the late 90’s when I worked at NIH & a coworker turned me on to CalTort on Cordell. I became a regular, still remember the picture of Nipsy Russell in the Monday Wheel. I was promoted & sent downtown but missed CalTort a bunch – until one opened in my neighborhood in Arlington! I go there regularly, reunited with my favorite burrito stand.

    1. Pam aka Queen of Burritos says:

      I miss Nipsey! We actually had to get permission from his manager to put his head on the wheel. It kind of amazes me that he said okay. (Or that we even asked, honestly.)

    2. Bill says:

      I ran into the original Cal Tort in Bethesda years ago when I was attending construction meetings for a project at NIH. I now work within walking distance of the Rockville restaurant. Not good for my diet but YOLO. It’s lunch time. I think I’ll go for a walk.

  48. Susan says:

    My favorite memory is winning free burritos for a year by sharing what I would do with an extra $5 a week. I never win anything and this was so awesome. I was telling everyone, friends, aquaintances, random strangers….you name it, I told them! I think I earned all those free burritos through the great advertising I gave you all. Many people learned about you and tried it because of me…you are welcome! 😉

  49. paul says:

    being a kid again and getting mixing sodas in one cup! what a wonderful soda machine in the Royersford store!!

    oh yeah – the heavenly Guac to assist with passage of the Massive Burritos

  50. Dave says:

    The first year the Olney location was open, I got an invitation to a Holiday Party with free dinner because I was one of that locations top customers. I thought everyone ate at Caltort 4-5 times a week, what made me special? Anyway, when I arrived the place was packed. I guess I wasn’t as special as I thought. I didn’t have time to wait around for my free dinner, but they gave me a bag full of coupons that lasted months. Now I live in far north Jersey. Far from any Caltort. :-( I really miss the place. I still have my original orange Buritto Elito card and use it when I’m back in MD.

  51. KELLY says:

    My favorite memories are when my teenaged daughter has BEGGED us to take her to Cal Tort. She still gets the kids make your own chicken fajita. If she ever is on death row, that’s the last meal she will ask for. Go Cal Tort! Happy Annibirthery (and to President Obama, too). Sure hope you’ll send him some free food on his birthday.

  52. L Hancock says:

    Taco talk is my favorite memory. For years when my daughter was in dance classes I would drive her over, drop her off then go to the library and study. When she was done we would go to Cal Tort and order dinner to go and on the way home we would read the taco talk out loud to each other (obviously this is when it was in print form) and crack up! It is my favorite part of every month. It is also so wonderful how approachable Pam is. You guys are the greatest.

    1. Pam aka Queen of Burritos says:

      Aw thanks, L! (After such nice comments you’d think I’d know your name, wouldn’t you?)

      We hope to see you next week!

  53. Kerri says:

    My husband won an entire Wall of Flame a few years ago from you and still thinks he is a celebrity every time we go into the Frederick location! He is so proud of his hot sauce collection.

    Also, just last week, the cashier apologized for not knowing my name, as he knows I’m in there all the time. Then, the manager was helping with food prep and questioned my order because “you always order a bowl and this is for a regular burrito.” Little did he know, I changed things up and got a quesadilla that time!

    Just two reasons why me and my family love Cal Tort so much!!

  54. Jean W.B. says:

    I started hanging out when CalTor was in the OLD Bethesda location. I loved the wheel and the funky “this is my place” feel. When I was moving back 18 months ago, I tried to go to the old location- and was devastated when it was missing. Thankfully, I wasn’t driving, and I turned my head and saw the gorgeous new store on the corner. Crisis averted. Pam & Alan feel like extended family, and I am so proud of how far they’ve come!
    Today, my children LOVE CalTor too, and the vibe is forgiving of boisterous small kids. The kids meals are very well thought out, thank you!
    Hey, do you ever think about summer bands on the patio, like you used to do in the late ’90’s? I also loved the colored paper Taco talk.

    1. Pam aka Queen of Burritos says:

      Wow. What a nice comment, Jean! Please come visit us next week — I print a Taco Talk on colored paper just for you!

      1. Pam aka Queen of Burritos says:

        And in keeping with tradition, I made a typo in my above reply. (I wonder if you’ll ever see this? I have no idea how this works.)

  55. George says:

    My (very) friendly neighbourhood Cal-Tort opened two years ago (they just had a big 2nd birthday bash), but as it happens, I only fell into it in early 2014 when my sister and I were trying to find a place to grab a quick bite. Our choices were: a slightly nearby Wendy’s, Chuck-E-Cheese, Cal-Tort, or the Chinese restaurant next door (you get four guesses as to which one won out, but the first three don’t count). Memory #1 was that experience.

    Anyway, I fell in love with the food, and it’s become my favourite go-to place even though the 5 mile trip has required a 15 mile detour since on account of a missing bridge (it closed last July and will remain so till next July). But it’s always worth the trip. The team there is first rate and very friendly, making each visit memory #2.

    After her first taste, my wife has made Cal-Tort her go-to for catering her office Cinco de Mayo party (two so far), as everyone loves it. I keep introducing people to Cal-Tort, sometimes with a little resistance (“I’m in love with ______; it’s so good!”), but it always becomes their favourite as well (the resisting folks say “OMG, where has Cal-Tort been all my life?”). Call this memory #3.

    Two words: Ramen Burrito! I love creative, and this one takes the… uhm, tortilla(?) in that department. Cooking competition participants excluded, who other than Cal-Tort would have thought of something like that? I just wish that it had made it to the permanent menu as opposed to being a “limited time” thing. None of my friends or family ever got to try it. In short, the Ramen Burrito is a very fond memory #4.

    The fact that I cannot pick a single memory, but have four ought to say something in and of itself! 😉

  56. Barbara says:

    My favorite thing is Pam’s Taco Talks!

    1. Pam aka Queen of Burritos says:

      Thanks Barbara! You have no idea how much I appreciate that

  57. Stan Myles says:

    August 4 is also my 25th wedding anniversary! I’m trying to get my wife to agree to the anniversary dinner at Cal Tort.

  58. Janet M. says:

    My favorite memory was when my sister and I went to the Laurel store (no longer there, so sad when it left) because I heard you could win free burritos for a year. Well, guess who won free burritos for a year? Not me but my sister did!!! I wish you would come back to the Laurel area!!!

  59. Seth says:

    Long live the Bacon Chicken Club Burrito!

  60. Karen says:

    Thank you for bringing it to my attention that I am awarded a “FREE” burrito of my choice on my birthday! I actually looked forward to turning 60 this year. I hurried over to CT & got my all time fav “Blackened Chicken Ceasar” burrito. I couldn’t remember if these were always MEGA HUGE burritos or if I was just treated special on my special day. Anyway, I celebrated my BD two days in a row with this MEGA burrito as I could not possibly eat it all in one day. CT in Frederick is my favorite place to enjoy good Mexican food & rewards <3

  61. Rob S says:

    I fell in love with CT in College Park, MD; years later my wife and kids are huge fans & we go at least once a month even though the closest one to us is way out of our way & makes us pass by at least three other burrito joints.

    Also, I’m another burritos-for-a-year winner!… I wrote a radio ad script that was, as far as I know, never used. I can’t say the same for the prize! Yum!

  62. Stacy says:

    Last meal I ate before I went into labor with my first son.
    and, first meal I ate after giving birth to my second son.
    Both boys are hooked!!
    Happy Annibirthery!!

  63. Karen says:

    I was a regular at your then new Cabin John location when I worked nearby. My co-workers and I loved to lunch there and enjoy the fresh food, reasonable prices, and fun and funky atmosphere. You catered my son’s high school grad party much to the delight of our guests. Between jobs I seriously considered applying to be a spunky cashier because I thought I had the chops and the spunk (and I loved the idea of being around the yummy food all the time). My fav Cal Tort meal is the Taco Salad with Grilled Chicken!

  64. Elise Browne Hughes says:

    One of my favorite memories is winning tickets to the Barenaked Ladies concert at Merriweather a couple summers ago. The music was good, and the VIP area (with special VIP bathrooms!) was fun, but the best part was learning that the reason we had been entered to win the tickets was that we were Cal Tort Top 100s. We were proudly embarrassed to have consumed enough burritos, salads, and chips & queso to land that title!

  65. Louise says:

    My son and I have been coming to your Olney location since it opened. I love the Honey Lime burrito and Chicken Tortilla Soup, and my son loves the steak soft tacos. We usually read snippets of the latest Taco Talk to each other while we wait for our food, and have really been entertained by the crazy sense of humor. We certainly plan to help you celebrate this week! Happy 20th!

  66. Naomi says:

    My favorite Cal Tort memory was sitting with my 3 kids, watching the macho high school dude declare to his friends that he could totally chug the hottest hot sauce from the wall of hot sauces. We happily offered him the bottle of Endorphin Rush that we had at our table, and watched as his friends poured a tablespoon full into a little cup. Macho dude swigged the sauce. His face turned an alarming shade of reddish purple and his eyes bugged out. His friends were half laughing, and half wondering aloud if he was ok. Finally macho dude gets his breath and voice back, and let us all know that he almost lost his burrito.

    This was a great lesson in swaggery bragginess. My kids now enjoy a few drops of hot sauce on their delicious Cal Tort burritos and have no desire to chug the 10+ sauces.

    Oh, we also really enjoyed Cal Tort catering for my kid’s graduation party! I was a customer at the original Cal Tort in Bethesda, and have been a loyal fan ever since. THANKS!!!

  67. Ed Meiman says:

    I was out of work and scrounging change to pay rent. I got my email for my birthday burrito and had my first non-microwaved meal in two months. Thank you for your wonderful support and food of course.

  68. richard says:

    ah, the kabob burrito – definitely my best memory that hasn’t happened yet.

    i do miss the pens on battleship chains though.

  69. Jeanette McVeigh says:

    I just wish I knew about California Tortilla 20 years ago…
    I love love love the fish tacos and my family loves eating here.
    Happy Anniberthery to you and many more.

  70. China Bay says:

    I’ve been going to California Tortilla since I was 15 and worked at the guitar store one block away from the Cordell location. I remember when there were desserts in a case at the front and the same guys would answer the phone every time I called – I had a usual order and they knew it! (I’ve always wanted to be a regular somewhere and this was the best possible place to be one!)

    I moved to NY after college and went through some pretty severe CalTor withdrawl so I would always make sure to stop in when I was back in town. After college, I moved to Philadelphia and was overjoyed to find out that there was a California Tortilla a quick 45 minutes away!

    One of my favorites moments was when I WON a burrito contest after submitting a video about how much I love CalTor. I was featured in TACO TALK!! (I went to my local CalTor and picked up a printed copy so I could keep it forever). I still show new friends my video on YouTube, I’m very proud!

    I love how fun Taco Talk is every month and I eagerly look forward to the newest dose of Pam Felix humor every month.

    Happy Annibirthery California Tortilla!!

  71. Martina Lemmerhofer says:

    Happy Annibirthery!
    Time flies when one is having fun.
    Eating at CT from the beginning and one of my favorite things was to read Taco Talk while waiting in line. Of course then I took extra long trying to decide on the order. Thank Pam!
    I remember cups and napkins without your faces. Wow,it took a really long time to use all of those up. Did you start the franchise so you would have places to stack them up ?
    One last word : churros! Was I the only one buying them ? I still miss them.
    Taco on !

  72. Matthew says:

    When the rainy day password for free chips and queso was Smoogy. We had to write it on a piece of paper and not say it in the restaurant. I wrote out the slips for my coworker and they couldn’t ready my writing and accused me of making up the name to trick them. Who ever heard of Smoogy?

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