Photography by Kathy Tran

Beryl Romero became a server at Taco Diner 14 years ago. Now, she’s general manager. In an industry where female leaders are few and far between, Romero is the proud matriarch of her Taco Diner family. 

Taco Diner’s mission has always been family-oriented, and they favored female employees from the beginning. When the first restaurant opened in 1998, the staff was all female because of the love and care women put into their work, Romero says. 

Photo by Kathy Tran

The store caters to families in some creative ways. The drinks are made to pack a punch so that parents can drink in front of their kids and enjoy themselves while sipping a single margarita. The Lake Highlands location even goes as far as separating the bar area and making it 21 and over. Romero keeps the family feeling alive by making sure her staff has what she calls “humble hospitality,” especially with children. 

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“The kids are going to be your future guests,” Romero says. 

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Romero loves being one of the few women in the boys club. She thinks women can handle the job better and are more detail-oriented. It makes the environment warm and caring. 

“Being a woman general manager, it makes everyone say ‘wow’ because I’m running this place, and that’s what I love,” Romero says. 

Photo by Kathy Tran

Taco Diner is a chain restaurant but considers itself a collection of neighborhood restaurants, which means the Lake Highlands location is specifically catered to our neighborhood. It doesn’t look like any other location. New menu items are tested here before they’re added at other locations. Hits such as bowls, elote, the shrimp-and-chorizo taco and the signature frozen paloma all started here in Lake Highlands. 

There were rumors that the frozen paloma was introduced to replace the mambo taxi, but rest easy, the mambo taxi won’t leave the menu anytime soon. Taco Diner just needed its own signature drink to separate it from its sister store Mi Cocina. While the mambo taxi may be more famous, both drinks are equally good. Try one of each on the patio as long as you don’t have to drive the kids home.

Did you know? 

There are two doors: a blue door for the family friendly side and a clear door for the 21-and-up side. 

Taco Diner

7150 Skillman St. #190

Hours: 

Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

more info: tacodiner.com