The global nexus of the Taco John's campaign lies in the windy town of Rawlins in south-central Wyoming, a few miles from the Sinclair Oil refinery where friendly green dinosaurs ascend the stratigraphic column to donate their blackened, liquefied remains to heavy industry.

Taco John's is a Wyoming-based enterprise. Their logo features a stylized Mexican fellow in a big sombrero; their menu, heavily reliant on something resembling tater tots, is Mexican in roughly the sense that Colonel Sanders was a colonel. In fairness to the company's management, they don't call it Mexican, but rather "West-Mex." The tacos are tasty, anyhow.

As a previous commentator has noted, the food's quality is consistent and a good deal better than the other taco franchises. You can expect your taco to taste the same in the middle of Iowa as it would in Cheyenne.

But it won't be the same taco. The corn might've come from the same stalk, the beef from the same cow, the lettuce from the same head, and the oil from the same friendly green dinosaur soybean. But the Wyoming taco will be about three times the size of its Iowan cousin.

The Rawlins restaurant is king of the Taco John's. Rawlins tacos are stuffed so full that the shell might break just from picking it up. Two of these things are enough to kill my hunger for several hours, and I'm a big guy. It's too bad the size of them drops off so much as you depart from that town. First rapidly, then gradually tailing off toward a skinny, meager taco, it's sort of an inverse square law of taco size. Maybe the Sinclair refinery is emitting some sort of undiscovered particles. "Tacons." That'll win you a Nobel prize.

A Taco John's in Cheyenne or Laramie will serve you a nice big, cowboy-sized taco, but it won't be a dinosaur-sized taco. Head up north to Sheridan and your taco will be noticeably thinner. By the time you get into Montana, it won't be much bigger (though still much tastier) than something you'd get from one of those chains whose name rhymes with "hell."

There are no Taco John's franchises in California. The chain does have one lonely outpost in Reno, Nevada, in a Mexican neighborhood full of cheap, hearty Mexican food served in actual Mexican restaurants run by actual Mexicans. Between the puniness of this Taco John's offerings and the robustness of its competition, there's no reason to eat there.

In a town in Iowa that shall remain unnamed, there is a truck stop with cheap diesel fuel and a Taco John's franchise. Of course, the tacos taste good, but they don't contain enough beef to offend a Hindu. The condiment table has a sign warning the locals to keep their children away from the jalapenos.

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