Urban Landscape + Lifestyle Photography

Taco Cabana blue hour and capturing memories

Patio, Taco Cabana - Austin, Texas

Patio, Taco Cabana – Austin, Texas

About 20 years ago, I ate at my first Taco Cabana and my food world changed. I had just moved to Austin from the East Coast — my interest in Tex-Mex just starting. As you can imagine, the East Coast is no hotbed of Tex-Mex cuisine. Taco Bell was the only thing I could find back there and it was better than the sit down restaurant, Chi Chi’s. I was so taken with Taco Cabana’s food that I ate there twice a day for weeks on end.

Now, I still visit several times a month. Sure, there are better Tex-Mex restaurants in Austin, but as a fast food joint, Taco Cabana still does a nice, mostly consistent, job. Being a creature of habit, I have a happy hour margarita and bean and cheese nachos for 3 bucks before I go the my monthly photo user group meeting. At my last outing, my pre-user group meal coincided with blue hour. I took these photos to document a place that I have such fond, tasty memories.

Salsa Bar, Taco Cabana - Austin, Texas

Salsa Bar, Taco Cabana – Austin, Texas

The chain has gone through several remodels, with the latest happening recently. The food has pretty much stayed the same but the place has upgraded aesthetics and better service. The latest design has transformed this place into a modern and always colorful destination. Really for the price of a standard fast food burger, you can’t go wrong here. Plus, when is the last time you got margaritas and beer at your local McDonald’s.

Blue Hour Exterior, Taco Cabana - Austin, Texas

Blue Hour Exterior, Taco Cabana – Austin, Texas

I want to take more photos at everyday, mundane places. They are not breathtaking Grand Canyon vistas but arguably have more relevance to me. My small Olympus Pens really work in situations like this. I can shoot great quality photographs without looking strange or raising suspicions. Whipping out my DSLR just doesn’t feel right and a place with fond memories deserves more than a grainy point and shoot capture.

Photographs taken with my new Olympus E-PM2 with the 14mm f2.5 lens.

Click on the photographs to see a larger image and hover over the photos to see the exposure detail.

9 responses

  1. I remember Chi Chi’s. Thankfully they are all gone. I like the lettering on their outside signage. Happy, cute, shakin’ ;-) Always good to find a nice hole in the wall with decent food. I prefer Greek to Tex Mex myself but there’s always room for a good burrito.

    December 14, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    • Not surprising that Chi Chi’s no longer exists. Greek can be good too.

      December 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm

  2. I know you don’t “do” awards. and for this one, you can do as little (nothing) or as much as you feel like. My goal is to pass it to people who’s blogs really mean something to me … and your does and has since the beginning … and was the first blog I ever followed and what got me into it in the first place. So complain all you like about pesky awards, you got it and can do as you please with it. You can get lots of these and each time, you just add another star. So here’s a star for your walk of fame — http://teepee12.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/blog-of-the-year-2012/ — on this strange morning.

    December 15, 2012 at 8:42 am

    • No complaint from me. Thank you, Marilyn.

      December 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm

  3. It’s another award. Actually, it’s the same award … another star for your Blog of the Year, 2012 award. It’s my fifth. I don’t know how many you have, but I hope is at least a bit of a Christmas gift! Happy, merry and joyous celebrations!

    http://teepee12.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/blog-of-the-year-2012-and-now-we-are-five/

    And I’m going to reblog this tomorrow. I really LOVE that picture.

    December 22, 2012 at 12:18 am

  4. Santa has way too many awards, so he’s dropping a bunch of them for you to do with as you choose. There are some real goodies in there, including another star for the Blog of the Year 2012, and 4 or 5 others. Take’em all, take your pick, enjoy. It’s Christmas, almost!

    http://teepee12.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/blog-of-the-year-2012-six-stars-and-the-liebster-most-inspiring-versitile-and-reality-awards-too-plus-my-favorite-youll-see/

    I broke down and order the Panny 14mm 2.5. I’m not sure I would get much use out of the Panny 20 … I keep waffling on that. Meanwhile, take what you want, leave the restt, if’s okay. I’m so overloaded I can’t do anything more except try to keep from falling down and going boom before the holidays are over!!

    December 22, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    • Marilyn, I hope you like the 14mm, as you know I use it quite a bit. There is a wide-angle and fish-eye adapter you can attach to it too. I have the wide-angle I may have to get the fish-eye in the future.

      I’m getting things wrapped up here before I go on my holiday vacation so I’m pretty busy too. I’m really grateful that you find my blog helpful and interesting. I may not partake in the awards sharing, at this time, however, I do appreciate your nominations.

      December 22, 2012 at 3:16 pm

  5. Todd Coerver

    Hi. My name is Todd Coerver. I’m Chief Operating Officer for Taco Cabana. Just wanted to commend you on the beautiful work and thank you for your kind words about TC. It’s nice when people recognize the effort we have been putting into the brand the last couple of years to upgrade the facilites and service while maintaining our focus on food quality.

    All my best,
    Todd

    April 11, 2013 at 11:33 am

    • Thank you Todd, For your kind words. Great job on the redesign.

      April 11, 2013 at 2:35 pm

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