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Friday, August 14, 2009

Buns & Torts: Naugles Lives On

Our other Naugles entries:

Naugles, RIP
Petition to Del Taco: Bring Back Naugles!
Naugles Bun Taco at Del Taco
Del Taco Orange Shake Reboot
Buns & Torts: Naugles Lives On

Or CLICK HERE to read it all at once. UPDATE: see here for information on a Naugles revival separate from Del Taco.


BT's Buns & Torts
1530 S Mooney Blvd
Visalia, CA 93277
(559) 636-9066

Listing on Yahoo! Local

Listing on Ask.com's Citysearch

B T's Buns & Torts on Urbanspoon

No known official website.
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You might wonder why I am mentioning a place in Visalia but it has some definite ties to a once prominent chain in Orange County. This has been mentioned in the comments of some of our Naugles entries before but Naugles lives on in a place called Buns & Torts in Visalia and is run by Jeff Naugle, who I believe is a nephew to Dick Naugle, the founder of the much loved Naugles chain. Buns & Torts really is Naugles but I believe they have to operate with a different name due to Del Taco owning the Naugles name now.

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A faithful reader of our blog here, Eric, found out about this place during a conversation with me about Naugles and it just so happened that he was getting ready to take a trip with his family to Yosemite. On said trip he made a little detour off the freeway and found Buns & Torts and took a number of photos to share with us. Before he got back he e-mailed me:

Just wanted to let you know we had lunch at Buns and Torts in Visalia.........................it was awesome! we took a bunch of pictures that I will be sending to you when we get home..............it tasted just like the old Naugles that I remember.

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When I talked with him after his trip he said that this place is "straight up Naugles," so Naugles fans should be sure to go there if they are in the area. Eric also e-mailed me this remark:

Buns and Torts................that visit will not be my last................I intend to stop there again the next time I get a chance.............it brought back some really great memories.

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They even post Dick Naugle's famous motto that so many people have mentioned in the comments in our other Naugles entries.

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Yes, they have the popular Mexican salad cup.

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They also have hamburgers there (including the Ortega Burger) and a reviewer mentioned on their Yahoo! Local listing (see link at top of entry) said they are even better than In-N-Out.

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Yes, they have red and green burritos.

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I believe this photo is of the cheese burrito. Eric's daughter tried it and thought it was a quesadilla but the more she explained to me what it was like the more it sounded like the cheese burrito so many commenters in prior entries fondly remember.

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Eric also confirmed that they have the old Naugles root beer shakes; if you don't see it on the menu then ask for it. We are still crossing our fingers that Del Taco will bring back the Naugles menu but until then keep in mind that Buns & Torts is authentic Naugles. Thanks to Eric and his family for accepting my commission to scout this place out and for sending all the photos in. The complete photo album can be seen here at flickr.

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CLICK HERE for our extensive Naugles coverage, including, but not limited to, our petition to get Del Taco to bring them back.

24 comments:

Veronica said...

Dang! I was just in Napa this weekend. Would have for sure visited this place if I knew the background. Next time! :) Naugles rocks!

ChristianZ said...

Now you'll be armed with knowledge for your next trip. Take more pictures if you can.

Jeff said...

I am humbled by the comments and number of people asking for Del Taco to bring back the Naugles menu!

Dick Naugle was my Uncle, I do own BT'S in Visalia and use the orginal Naugles receipes he gave me in his own handwriting.

Something most are not aware of is that Dick Naugle was one of the co-founders of Del Taco. There was a non-drive thru Del Taco in Barstow and two men, last names of Jamison and Hackbarth, along with my Uncle formed Redi Foods which was the Del Taco we know today. He sold his interest to his partners because he was always "cutomer orientated" while his partners were "profit orientated....Thus the creation of Naugles. For some unknow reason Del Taco does not mention his involvement on their web site.
I could go on for ever! If interested in the "true facts" about Dick Naugle/Naugles drop me a note @ jeff.naugle@att.net

ChristianZ said...

Thanks for the new comment Jeff. I've mentioned some of your facts in other entries but you obviously know more about the situation than I do.

Ken & Wendy said...

I can't tell you how much I want to go to Visalia and try BT's RIGHT NOW! I'd spend the whole trip trying to decide what to order. A 3 hr drive would give me plenty of time to think, right?

*excited* !

ChristianZ said...

Thanks for the second comment. Please make sure to read all SIX of our Naugles entries.

Jeremy said...

Just ate there yesterday!!! Great Red Burrito!!!

ChristianZ said...

Good to hear. Thanks for the comment, Jeremy. They may have recently completed a remodel there.

Rockin Chicago Dave said...

finally I found my BEST Mexican fast food restaurant! ROAD TRIP!!!

ChristianZ said...

Glad to inform you about it. Come back and leave another comment after you make it to Buns and Torts.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Southern CA and remember going to Naugles. I now live in Visalia and am SO HAPPY that we have BT's! I eat lunch there 2-3 times a week and it tastes just as good as before :)

ChristianZ said...

Lucky!

Jeremy said...

I just ate there again yesterday on the way back from Yosemite. Take the 198 East to Mooney, and go south for 3/4 quarters of a mile, and it is on the left. The Taco and red burrito were so so so good!

ChristianZ said...

Glad you were able to make it there again and that the quality remains high.

Mark said...

Just stopped by BT's yesterday after hearing about it from a friend. Definitely the Naugles I remebered. If you're ever anywhere near Visalia do yourself a favor and stop at BT's

ChristianZ said...

They've definitely got good stuff there.

Jason S. said...

I was born and raised here in Barstow, California. We used to have a Naugles here and I miss the heck out of it! Yes we have Del Taco as we are the birthplace of it. However, i would stop going there and go back to Naugles if it were to ever return here again!

Anonymous said...

I happen to live in Visalia. I am a native to So Cal and remember going to Naugles quite a bit.
I love going to BT's. For anyone who is driving through, I recommend stopping to enjoy some goodness. It is not to far off Highway 198 and Mooney Blvd.

ChristianZ said...

Thanks for the comment. I recommend it too.

w said...

If I ever make it that way I'll definitely stop by. I grew up eating at Naugle's in the 70's and even worked at the one on State College between Anaheim Stadium and the drive-in from the time it opened in 1985 till 1986. It became a Del Taco after the merger.

I worked the graveyard shift so it was always interesting to see the sorts of customers that drove through--business really picked up when the bars closed at 2AM. Being by the Stadium celebrity customers also sometimes came through the drive through. Kenny Rogers managed to get his limo driver to take him through.

On that shift we had to do a lot of the food prep and restaurant cleanup so I learned a lot about the food items, menu and their processes--I learned how to take apart of lot of equipment. I think I might even have some of that from the training we were given somewhere in an old box...

The food was always fresh and very high quality from major restaurant suppliers. Nothing artificial or low quality from them. When I look back I'm also amazed at how large the menu was and how many food items we could make. I can't think of anywhere else then or now with such a large menu.

Portions were always large and from a profit standpoint a problem so they started requiring us to measure and weigh things and learn the correct portions to serve. Even so we often gave extra large portions to the regulars who we came to know by first name. They came back often....

We were one of the first locations to do the fajita which was a very new item back then. We would open packages of the steak already cut into strips and had the spices and other ingredients to marinade the steak for that day. Fajita tacos and the Steak and Egg burritos used that fajita meat. Great food!

I miss the food even though I have to confess after eating that food at least twice a day every day I worked for almost a year it did start to get old...but that's almost 30 years ago so I sure miss it now.

ChristianZ said...

Thanks, W, for the lengthy and informative comment. Can you contact me through http://www.nauglestacos.com?

Baconheart said...

I live in L.A. and remember Naugles very fondly. Would love to get up to Bun & Torts in Visalia some day; I've been craving a 'Mexican Salad' since the dark days of the Del Taco take over. One thing I remember about Naugles was the quality of not only the food but the workers. I remember that at Naugles you saw more more people in their 30s and 40s working than teenagers. I believe Naugles paid people better than other food chains; their business model was much like that of In-N-Out in that they wanted to retain the best workers possible. And this better employment model made for happier workers; a better product, and loyal customers.

Naugles was by far one of the very best American fast chains ever.

ChristianZ said...

Thanks for the comment. You never know, Naugles might be coming back.

Anonymous said...

Oh man. Many a late night egg burrito run after the parties in high school. Regularly went to the one on Placentia Avenue for lunch from Troy High School. One year the Thanksgiving turkey got ruined at a friends house. We ended up going to Naugles for dinner!