Sarah Castillo, the inspiration behind Taco Heads, thinks good food should also be good for you. Judging from the popularity of the Blue Zones-inspired menu items at her Cultural District restaurant, taco aficionados agree that plant-based is “muy bueno.”
The Taco Heads story began in 2008 when Sarah Castillo set out to create the perfect taqueria experience for a cult-following of taco lovers. She sold tacos from a trailer in the West 7th area of Fort Worth. As popularity grew among late-night taco fans, the trailer evolved into one of Fort Worth’s first successful food trucks. Taco Heads opened its first brick-and-mortar location in Fort Worth’s Cultural District in January 2016.
It didn’t take long for the new restaurant to become Blue Zones Project Approved. Sarah, who is a big believer that healthy can also be delicious, had added Blue Zones-inspired items to the menu even before Taco Heads opened its doors. The result makes plant-based Blue Zones menu items easy to spot: better-for-you Blue Zones items are highlighted with a blue checkmark and featured first within each menu section. Not surprisingly, these tacos now account for 11 percent of all those sold at Taco Heads. The restaurant also introduced a fresh-fruit dessert option: fresh pineapple with lime and chili powder. The item is now the restaurant’s number-one selling.
In addition to highlighting the Blue Zones options, Sarah puts a variety of Blue Zones best practices into play. All tacos are served a-la-carte so that customers don’t mindlessly consume extra calories with side dishes they may not want. Plates are 10 inches or less, helping limit consumption. And all new Taco Heads employees and servers are versed in Blue Zones Project principles and best practices when they are first brought on board.
But Sarah doesn’t stop there. To further the good health of guests, Taco Heads offers customers 15 percent off their food total if they “move naturally” to the restaurant on certain days. “Seeing people walking on Montgomery Street is really cool,” said Sarah.
Sarah says joining the well-being initiative and becoming a Blue Zones Project Approved restaurant has positively impacted her business. “Although Taco Heads has always promoted clean and healthy living, we now have a respected organization that further confirms our dedication to health and wellness,” she said. “Fort Worth needs a place where you can eat and not feel disgusting.”