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East Idaho Eats: Tacos Izcalli serves up a menu of local favorites

East Idaho Eats

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IDAHO FALLS — For nearly two decades Julio Ortiz and his family have served up fresh Mexican food.

Tacos Izcalli’s journey began in 2004 with a Rexburg food trailer. Ortiz and a family member noticed there were only a couple of Taco trucks in the area and not liking the flavor and quality of the food, they decided to open their own mobile restaurant.

“My dad started in Rexburg with this small little white wagon. I know he was nervous at first,” Ortiz’s daughter Natalia Ortiz told “You just have to wait for those people to come and once one person started, then they would bring other people.”

Eventually, the business moved to Idaho Falls. As more and more customers kept coming, the need for a more permanent location became apparent and Ortiz added his drive-through location in 2019 off 17th Street near Holmes Avenue.

With the more permanent location, the Ortiz family were able to expand their menu to include not only well-loved tacos, quesadillas, burritos and tortas but also a local favorite — Carne Asada fries covered in melty cheese. Customers can pick their choices of meat, including asada, a grilled steak, pastor, which is sweet and spicy pork, grilled chicken and more.

A quesadilla from Tacos Izcalli. | Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews

Natalia explained Taco’s Izcalli’s street tacos use two corn tortillas, choice of meat, onions, cilantro, with a side of limes and radishes. The restaurant also serves up its Gringo taco, which uses a flour tortilla with beef or chicken. The American take on the classic Mexican street taco uses whatever toppings a customer’s heart desires, including cheese, lettuce, tomato and sour cream.

“(We have) breakfast burritos that we serve all day,” Natalia said. “So if you’re not feeling tacos, breakfast burritos are another way to go.”

With having his restaurant for so many years now, Julio said he’s learned to follow his dreams.

“A business takes a lot of work, but take a lot of pride in whatever you do,” Julio said. “No matter how big or how small it is, take pride in it, be the best you can be at it.”

In addition to the drive-through location at 530 17th Street, Taco’s Izcalli still operates a trailer at 735 West Broadway Street. Its most up-to-date hours can be found on their Facebook page.

Food at Taco’s Izcalli on the grill is served up fresh and made to order. | Eric Grossarth,

Taco’s Izcalli’s location on 17th Street in Idaho Falls. | Eric Grossarth,