A legendary local restaurant is celebrating 46 years of serving the Tuscaloosa community. Known for its delicious Mexican dishes and distinctive cactus sign, Taco Casa opened its first restaurant on Tuesday, August 20, 1974-- 46 years ago today.

Taco Casa's first restaurant was located on 10th Avenue in Tuscaloosa, next to St. John Baptist Church, the culmination of a former Alabama football punter's dream. Rod Wilkins, who played for the Tide under Coach Bear Bryant, saved enough money to open his first restaurant by serving as an official at local high school games.

Rod and his family worked tirelessly to serve fresh, fantastic Mexican food, and Taco Casa quickly earned a reputation for quality. The Wilkins family soon franchised, expanding into Northport and beyond.

Taco Casa noted the milestone in a Facebook post today, prompting comments from residents who opined about the tacos, tea, and sanchos that led them to love "the Biggest Cactus in Town."

Even after near a half century in West Alabama, Taco Casa is still locally (and family) owned and operated.

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