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South Dakotans Want to Help Scratch Your Taco John’s Itch

Her interest piqued by the latest Noshtalgia column, Sioux Falls, S.D., native Heather Fluit reached out to HOH about her epicurean Everest.


“I’m disappointed to see that no one advocated for Taco John’s in your call for hard-to-find regional food,” Fluit, who spends her days handling communications for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, shared.

The beloved chain, originally born in Cheyenne, Wyo., currently serves roughly half the United States, marshaling most of its resources in the northernmost and central states. The closest outpost to D.C. is in Athens, Ohio.

But TJ lovers needn’t despair.

Fluit and the rest of the South Dakota State Society (she’s on the board) will be doing their best to re-create Taco John’s signature snack, the Potato Ole, at Saturday’s 5th Annual Taco John’s event.


Attendees will be privy to a make-your-own taco bar, frosty keg beer and, of course, all the makeshift Potato Oles they can eat.

South Dakota State Society Social Chairwoman Maren Colon said staff has already acquired the 20-25 pounds of Taco John’s recommended crispy potato crowns for the event. Meanwhile, Fluit said they fully expect to spend all Saturday morning cooking (turkey fryer to the rescue!) and seasoning — with proprietary spices sent from the Taco John’s resto in Pierre, S.D., no less — the fabled spuds.

But you better act fast: Colon said that the “West-Mex” noshfest will likely need to be capped at 100-odd guests.

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