If you have been in Emporia for some time, Casa Ramos, 707 Commercial St., would certainly be a familiar name. Taco Express is owned and operated by Alvaro Ramos and his father Ricardo Ramos, at the original Casa Ramos location, 201 Commercial St. It offers all the best parts of Alvaro and Ricardo’s cooking, from the original restaurant with their own special flare.

Despite being a smaller restaurant, the menu surprisingly features more than a dozen varieties of tacos, burritos, tortas and larger entrees all for an affordable price compared to Casa Ramos. When I first moved to Emporia, one of my very first meals was a macho burrito from the original restaurant, so after talking with Alvaro and his father I decided on the potato and pepper cream chicken burrito with a steak taco.

For about $10, I relived some great memories of how comforting the restaurant experience can be. The space itself is decorated with the family portraits of the Ramos family. They have deep roots in the community, and that is something chain restaurants can never really achieve.

The burrito was packed with rice and beans, creamy cut potatoes, peppers and piping hot chicken. While the food at another restaurant is really centered around entrees, much of the food at Taco Express is a la carte, but does usually come with a fair amount of rice and beans without upping the cost. The steak taco was expensive, and I certainly prefer hard shells, but the meat was juicy, and the red peppers went great with the salsa bar they had set out.

Taco Express offers a friendly and familiar, but new taste that’s certainly worth crossing the train tracks for. Of the many places I have eaten it is always the Ramos family that puts a smile on my face.

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