Chain Gang Round Up: Taqueria Del Sol and Quaker Steak & Lube

Two popular chain restaurants are coming soon to the Philadelphia area and both are hoping to shake things up a bit.

First, there’s the “inventive” Southwestern/Mexican cuisine that has created quite a fan club for Taqueria del Sol–a Southern fast-casual mini-chain operating out of Georgia. The restaurant group that runs Taqueria Del Sol has already been nominated for multiple James Beard awards, and they insist that their eclectic take on a Mexican-based menu (heavy on the Hatch chiles, which is nothing but a good thing) creates a unique dining experience. Taqueria del Sol has only four locations thus far (all in Georgia), but founders Mike Klank and Eddie Hernandez are looking to expand. Their website boasts a number of “Coming Soon” locales–including three new spots in the Philadelphia area. Eater Philly has reported that the chain will be moving to Willow Grove, Delaware County, and Center City by the end of 2012.

Next, there’s the “motorsports-themed dining experience” coming to town in the form of Quaker Steak & Lube, which will be hitting Philly full-force with its corny delights next year. So what is it that makes this place so popular? Well, beyond the obvious NASCAR theme and crazy-crap-on-the-walls pedestrian appeal, The Lube claims to have the “Best Wings USA” (no, that’s not a typo), and that–along with more than 20 types of wing sauce, covering the spectrum from ranch dressing to a Triple Atomic clocking in at 500,000 on the Scoville scale–is apparently enough to keep over 45 locations rocking every night.

With ten outlets already open in Pennsylvania (and two more coming soon), Quaker Steak & Lube is now aiming to plant three more in Philadelphia, with the first scheduled to open in April 2013. And when that day comes, look out for things like All-You-Can-Eat Wings Tuesdays and a 100 oz beer called the “Lube Tube.”

Yeah, we’re laughing, too.

Taqueria Del Sol [Official website]

Quaker Steak & Lube [Official website]