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Above, a large Valentino's pizza with half Chicken Bacon Ranch and half Supreme. Daily Record photos by Nick Castillo

Foodie Friday: 2022 Favorites

Thursday, December 29, 2022

In the final edition of 2022, we look back on some of our favorite spots we visited for  Foodie Friday this year.

El Arco Pupusas Restaurant

A new, welcomed flavor arrived in San Marcos in 2022.

El Arco Pupusas Restaurant dishes out delicious and authentic Salvadoran and Honduran food.

What we got

During our visit to El Arco, we chose to sample one La Revuelta pupusa — chicharron, frijoles y queso (pork meat, beans and cheese); Revuelta Carne Molida, a ground beef mix served with beans and cheese; and Frijol con queso (beans with cheese).

Below left, three pupusas from El Arco Pupusas Restaurant in San Marcos served with three salsas and curtido — pickled cabbage salad in apple vinegar.

The word pupusa comes from the Pipil Nahuatl native language, which means “stuffed tortilla.” The pupusas served at El Arco are stuffed with a plentiful amount of fillings. The tortillas are more on the doughy side compared to the tortillas usually found in Texas. But the tortillas are nice and flavorful. Each pupusa was excellent. My favorite was La Revuelta. The way the pork, beans and queso combined with the tortilla made for a great choice. Each pupusa is $2.99 plus tax.

If you go:

El Arco is located at 714 E. Hopkins St. in San Marcos. The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. El Arco is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Phone: 512-210-8005

Hawaii Poke

If you’re searching for a fast and tasty lunch option, Hawaii Poke might be an answer to your quest.

As someone who never sampled poke before our visit, Hawaii Poke was a welcomed surprise. Poke is a Hawaiian dish featuring diced raw fish. This San Marcos spot offers healthy and fresh options for a quick and affordable meal.

What we got

During our visit to Hawaii Poke, I went with white rice as my base to the poke bowl then I added seaweed, green onion and cucumber. For my proteins, I chose spicy salmon and shrimp. To make the meal saucy, I picked Hawaii Poke’s Hawaii poke sauce and spicy mayo. To top off my meal, I added avocado, corn, carrots and fried garlic.

If you go:

Hawaii Poke is located on the bottom floor of The Lyndon at 200 Springtown Way, Suite 106.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Phone: 512-667-7091

JAX Burgers, Fries and Shakes

A new burger spot opened up shop on the Square in May. JAX Burgers, Fries and Shakes dishes out classic American fare between burgers, chicken and fries.

What we got

We had to sample JAX’s burger when we visited. I chose the Baja burger ($10), which came with a hearty and juicy beef patty with bacon, jalapeños, mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and American cheese on a toasted sesame seed bun. This was a huge burger. Everything was nice and flavorful. The bacon and jalapeños worked well with the mayo and mustard combined with the veggies. If you visit JAX’s, the Baja burger is worth a try.

If you go:

JAX Burgers, Fries and Shakes is located at 117 E. Hopkins St. and is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday.

Taiwan Bowl

Are you looking for a delicious Asian spot where you’re greeted by friendly staff? Taiwan Bowl is just the place. Located near Texas State University on Chestnut Street, this local eatery offers great Taiwan cuisine for an affordable price.

What we got

During our visit to Taiwan Bowl, I tried the restaurant’s crispy chicken with noodle soup ($11.50). This was an excellent choice. Despite the 100-degree heat on the day of our visit, this noodle soup was simple and excellent. The broth was savory, the noodles were just right — nice and soft — and the broccoli was fresh. The noodles combined with the crispy chicken served on the side made for a great lunch.

If you go:

Taiwan Bowl is located at 804 Chestnut St., Suite A.

The restaurant is open from 12-9 p.m. on Tuesday-Thursday; 12-10 p.m. on Fridays, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturdays; and 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. on Sundays.

Phone: 512-214-8095

More info:

Non La Vietnamese Fusion & Bar

Looking for a new food spot to try out? A new Vietnamese fusion restaurant in San Marcos — Non La Vietnamese Fusion & Bar — in August.

What we got

During our visit to Non La, I went with one of my favorite Asian dishes — Drunken noodles. This dish, which originates from Thailand, came with Non La’s house savory brown sauce with vegetables, scallions, onions and wide pho style noodles. I chose the lunch portion with chicken, which came out to $9.

If you go:

Non La is located at 200 Springtown Way, Suite 112.

The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Phone: 512-667-6555


Valentino’s Pizza

A downtown staple has reopened with a fresh take on a San Marcos classic.

Co-owners Cody Taylor and Harlan Scott, who also own Industry, reopened Valentino’s Pizza in August  to much fanfare from San Marcans awaiting its return.

What we got

During our visit, we split a large pizza in half. My dining companion selected the supreme Pizza on one half, which comes with red sauce, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, bell peppers, caramelized onions, green and black olives. I went with Valentino’s chicken bacon ranch, which is topped with bacon, smoked chicken, provolone, mozzarella and ranch.

If you go:

Valentino’s is located at  110 N. LBJ Dr. in San Marcos.

Kitchen hours: 11 a.m.- 11 p.m., Sunday-Wednesday; and 11 a.m.-midnight, Thursday-Saturday.

Slices are available until 3 a.m on Thursday-Saturday.

Phone: 512-967-1100.

Taquitos Mi Rancho

Sometimes curiosity gets the best of you.

If you consistently drive down Hopkins Street heading toward H-E-B on weekend nights, there’s a yellow food truck with cars surrounding it and people walking up. Next, you might search the place up on Google Maps and find that it has a 4.8 rating. So, naturally, you have to give Taquitos Mi Rancho a try.

What we got

During our visit, I went with the mini taquitos, which came with a choice of meat either pastor, lengua, chicken fajitas, carnitas, tripas, chorizo, bistek or cabeza. I went with two pastor tacos and two carnitas tacos. The tacos came with grilled onions, raw onions, cilantro and lime on the side. The tacos were topped with queso fresco. The pastor was nice, tender and full of flavor. The carnitas tacos were tasty. Try them with red salsa if you’re wanting a spicy addition to your meal. The green salsa wasn’t as spicy but is well worth a try.

If you go:

Taquitos Mi Rancho is located at 651 East St. The food truck is open 11 a.m.-1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; and 11 a.m.-12 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Taquitos Mi Rancho is closed on Tuesdays

Phone: 830-312-9395

The Halal Project

Get lost in the sauce.

That’s The Halal Project’s slogan and it’s easy to do so with the food this new San Marcos restaurant is serving. This fresh eatery dishes out tasty wraps and rice dishes.

What we got

I went with a combination over rice ($10.99) and loaded French fries ($3.99). The combo over rice came with beef, lamb and chicken shawarma served with a side salad and topped with white sauce and hot sauce. The loaded fries came topped with white sauce, hot sauce and ketchup.

If you go:

The Halal Project is located at 312 University Drive, Unit 312 A.

The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Phone: 512-216-6076


San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666