We’re All Winners!

As you know, we were voted “Best Mexican” again in the Washingtonian’s Reader Poll (the verdict is still out in Buck’s County but we have high hopes). And to celebrate, we’re giving away Free Chips and Fresh Mango Salsa* on Wednesday, July 22nd. Have you had our Mango Salsa? That’s why we’re giving it away! It’s sweet, satisfying, fresh and it’s fabulous. You’ll love it with all your heart. I swear.

So come on in July 22nd and celebrate our big win with us!

*purchase required. 

So the big news is that California Tortilla is turning 20 in August.  We’ll have a BIG celebration the first week, but you’ll just have to wait until next month’s Taco Talk to find out what it is, you curious cats, you.

With that said, you know what else is turning 20? Taco Talk. I’ve been writing Taco Talk for 20 years! C’mon – that’s got to be some sort of restaurant newsletter record, doesn’t it? (Fact checking customers – you know who you are – can you get on that?) Anyway, I thought it’d be fun to  include some of the Taco Talk excerpts that have gotten some of biggest responses over the years:  Ready?

In August 2008 I wrote that I would give the first 10 people who could identify what I thought was the funniest line in that month’s Taco Talk a free burrito. Over 2000 people wrote in—some got it right, but many just guessed. And a few helpfully wrote in to say that they didn’t think anything I say is funny. (At least they’re still reading.)

For those who are curious, here’s what I wrote…

Because we’re always looking for ways to make more money, I’ve been thinking of other ways to use California Tortilla food—kind of like how Arm and Hammer started promoting baking soda as not just a baking ingredient, but as an odor eliminator as well. (How they knew I have no idea. Did people start noticing that when they made their cakes with baking soda they were less stinky?)

I’m not sure why, but I couldn’t stop laughing when I wrote the last sentence. Something about stinky cake just struck me as funny. Anyway, I’m pretty sure most people didn’t think of this as nearly as funny as I did, and quite honestly it doesn’t seem nearly as funny now, but I remember at the time not being able to breathe I was laughing so hard. Something’s wrong with me.

For some reason people really seemed to respond to this October 2013 excerpt about my now 89 year old father:

A couple of years ago I congratulated Hugh Hefner in Taco Talk on his marriage to a 24-year-old and then wrote that, coincidentally, my 84-year-old father would soon be announcing his engagement to Miley Cyrus. In the next month’s issue I was forced to issue a retraction because my father informed me that this would not be happening, mostly because he had no idea who Miley Cyrus was.

Well, this just in:  I spoke to my father yesterday and apparently in light of recent events, he now knows who MileyCyrus is and is willing to reconsider the engagement.

You have no idea how many responses I got from lawyers when I wrote the following in August 2001:

I just received a very scary letter from a lawyer saying that we must immediately stop using the slogan, “Burritos as big as your head.” I’m pretty sure it said continuing to use the slogan is punishable by death. We’re reasonable people. Do these letters have to be so threatening? I would have been much more receptive if he’d written:

Dear Madame,
Please stop using the silly slogan, “Burritos as big as your head.” I have a client who’s also using this silly slogan and he’s mad. He gives me more money than you do and I’m saving up for a pony.

Your Friend,
Timmy the Lawyer

I had one lawyer write to me that he was teaching Taco Talk in his ethics class. I told him I think the students need to get their money back.

October 2010 I was forced to write this retraction after thousands of readers questioned our new charity affiliation:

As many of you may recall, in my last email I wrote about how excited we were to be affiliated with Share Our Strength, a fabulous organization that’s dedicated to ending childhood hunger by 2015. At least that’s what I meant to write. What I actually wrote was that Share Our Strength is an organization dedicated to ending childhood by 2015. That’s right—childhood in general. And it’s not just any organization—it’s a fabulous organization that’s dedicated to ending childhood. Could there be a worse typo about saving starving children? I’m pretty sure the lawyer stopped teaching Taco Talk in his ethics class after that.

On that note, thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading Taco Talk for the past 20 years. I realize how lucky I am that this is my job—and how lucky I am that you’re such a funny audience. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Here’s to another 20 years! (Doesn’t that sound like a nightmare?)

Have a safe and happy 4th!