Nothing in Lubbock today compares to the Lone Wolf experience of the mid-2000s.

I once went to Lone Wolf around 2007 and as I was sitting and enjoying my country burrito with an order of chips and salsa a woman came into the restaurant and yelled, "I DON'T CARE IF I GO TO JAIL TONIGHT!"

Consider my ears perked. My friend and I exchanged glances of concern before rubbernecking around the corner to see what the fuss was.

Apparently some domestic disturbance between one of the line cooks and his lover, maybe an ex-lover, had spilled over into the taco assembly line. They took the spat outside, which was good for us because we had the window seat. Now, if I was to encounter this exact situation again I'd probably do my best to intervene, but because this lady had seemingly instigated the action I thought she'd be able to handle herself.

She did handle herself to a point. There was another employee who came out and got between the couple, who were mostly just screaming and spitting at each other, for a time. Eventually the action died down enough to where we could leave without walking into the hubbub. As soon as we got into my Jeep Grand Cherokee, I'll never forget this, the man flew back into the scene punching the woman with both fists and a foot all at the same time.

Yes, I witnessed an Ultimate Punch at Lone Wolf. The line cook connected, unlike Hot Rod.

ULTIMATE PUNCH!!! - GIF on Imgur

Months later my friends told me they didn't think I could eat 25 tacos in 30 minutes. I told them it'd be easy and it'd only cost like 12 bucks to prove them wrong at Lone Wolf. We hopped in the whip and drove to Lone Wolf to accept the challenge.

All of my friends ordered lunch, then I stepped up and ordered 25 tacos.

At Lone Wolf, you'd get a number and they'd call it out so you could pick up your food. Pretty standard. The place was small enough that the woman at the counter could just say the number at a moderate volume and you'd go collect.

The woman behind the counter, I think her name was Teresa but it's been a while, was reading the numbers as the orders came out. "Number 75," she'd drone. "Number 76." She'd said the numbers a dozen times already today. "Numbers 77 and 78." It was unexpectedly busy for the late afternoon and we were sitting at the large table right by the counter, so I'll never forget how she delivered the call when she got to me.

She didn't call out a number. She didn't call my name. She could have given me a head nod as we had locked eyes, but instead, it was "25 TACOS!" as loud as she possibly could. We didn't tell her it was a contest; she just inherently knew the moment needed the pizzazz.

That's the Lone Wolf difference.

I once had a Bible study series at Lone Wolf called Trinity and Tacos.

I met my first cross-dresser at Lone Wolf.

Ordered my first pitcher of beer at Lone Wolf. Probably Keystone Light...what a rebel.

I remember complaining to all my friends when the tacos went from 49 cents to 59 cents. It stayed at 59-cent tacos for several years before ballooning to 89 cents by the time they shuttered the doors in 2018.

There's just something about being next to a cemetery at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday night and eating a breakfast burrito with strangers that makes you feel at home. Even with the fights and the drunks and the general debauchery that happened after midnight, I always felt safe at Lone Wolf.

Maybe it was the Lone Wolf nachos that were the perfect amount of stale or the general demeanor of the place that kept out the snobs, but it truly was the perfect sliver of Lubbock.

Gone, but not forgotten.

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34th Street is known locally as "where the work gets done," but it's also where the eats go down. (Side note: I also might be the only one that says that because nobody else I know remembers that.) Back to the point, these buildings might be unassuming from the outside, but the kitchens absolutely know what's going on.

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