FORKS DOWN: Chicken Tacos

We try three Mexican restaurants in search of the best chicken taco

February 1, 2023

Senior Evan Johnson holds a chicken taco Oct. 25 at Juan Jose’s Taqueria. (Brody Carlson)

Juan Jose’s Taqueria

Chicken Tacos with Cilantro and Onions



Juan Jose’s Taqueria is a new restaurant tucked in the strip mall on Shawnee Mission Pkwy and Pflumm. It’s a small area with an atmosphere that didn’t quite pull me in. After ordering, we sat down in a small leather booth and waited for our food to come.

I was slightly nervous to try the taco, but when I did I was met with a beautiful taste of chicken. The texture of the chicken, combined with the cilantro and onions was incredible. The corn tortilla definitely overpowered the taste slightly. What the restaurant lacked in presentation it definitely made up for in quality of the food. I plan on coming back to try their other dishes.


Juan Jose’s Taqueria provided a solid taco experience. After my first bite, the softness of the shell was fluffy and the texture of the taco complimented the other ingredients. A good ratio of chicken, cilantro and onions was also present. After squeezing the lime included with the dish, it added some welcome tanginess. After finishing the dish, I felt the most satisfied in comparison with the other locations. Out of the three tacos, this one was a step above the rest.


The tacos at Juan Jose’s Taqueria are about as authentic as they come. A corn tortilla filled with classic street taco ingredients. Cilantro, onions and the flavorful seasoned chicken chunks are all equally balanced and you get a taste of each one in every bite. Even the yellow corn tortilla contributed its own flavor to the dish. I highly doubt the lime slice is even needed, but it enhanced the experience even more. The texture was pleasant and this place was my favorite overall.

Senior Sophia McCraney holds a Baja Chicken Taco Oct. 25 at Sancho’s Streetside. (Brody Carlson)

Sanchos Streetside

Baja Chicken Taco Basket



Sancho’s Streetside is a building off Neiman and 65th St. with a very run-down appearance. Walking in, it had a nice rustic bar aesthetic with several arcade games and televisions. After sitting down, a waiter was almost immediately at our table to take orders.

When I had this taco the first time, I really enjoyed it. The initial taste of the smoky chicken and overall flavors were excellent. When I went back to try the taco after my initial review, it was not as mind blowing as I remembered. There’s not much that was horrible about it but not much that was fantastic, either. It wasn’t anything special.


After my first bite into the baja chicken taco, the smoky flavor of the chicken overpowered the rest of the ingredients. I didn’t feel I was able to enjoy the arugula, cheese or chipotle creme sauce through the thick taste of the chicken. Even though it drowned out the rest of the ingredients, the taste of the chicken was far from unpleasant. I enjoyed the subtle kick of spice in the meal. Overall, I think there was room for improvement with this Mexican dish.


The baja chicken tacos came in a group of three with chips and salsa on the side in a classic basket tray. I found the staff was very friendly and easy to have a laugh with. These soft-shell tacos were quite meat heavy, but its flavor was nice and smoky. I’m known for not doing great with spice, but I can appreciate it. At Sancho’s, the tacos had just enough spice to make your nose run, but not so much that it’s hard to eat.

Senior Veronica Meiss holds The Gringo Oct. 31 at Margaritas Bar and Grill. (Brody Carlson)


The Gringo with Chicken and Rice



Margaritas, located on Quivira and 79th St., has always been my family’s go to restaurant for any sort of event; birthdays, graduations, awards at school, you name it. Despite coming all the time, I had never tried their chicken tacos.

Upon taking the first bite, I was met with the immediate taste of cheese. I couldn’t taste the chicken over the overwhelming flavor of cheese. I was only able to judge the taste of it when I took it out of the taco to try it separately. I definitely enjoyed the texture of the taco, the chicken added a nice buffer between the crunchy lettuce and shell. While I did enjoy the chicken version of the Gringo, I definitely prefer the beef. Overall, I would recommend this dish to anyone who loves tacos.


The first thing I noticed when picking up my chicken taco from Margaritas was that the shell felt like a combination of a soft and hard shell. The texture was a little odd, but did not detract from the taste of the taco. The contents of the taco were equally balanced and I feel that the ingredients worked well together to create a coherent taste. However, the taco played it very safe and I was not presented with any bold flavors. It felt generic, but not boring. The taco presented me with a familiar taste and felt as standard as chicken tacos get.


Slightly expensive, the only hard shell taco was about as basic as tacos get. I have no complaints when it comes to flavor. I am a sucker for soft shell tacos so unfortunately, in my personal bias, these will ultimately rank lower. However the balance of hot and cold ingredients is acceptable although it is very cheese and meat heavy. Typically, when I go to Margarita’s chicken tacos are an afterthought because in all honesty the beef is ten times better.

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