Title:
Taco server
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Taco server of the present invention for holding tacos includes at least one taco holding portion on its main body which holding portion is adapted to hold a taco wrapping up fillings in a tortilla, and legs in the bottom of the main body for holding the taco holding portion generally horizontally.



Inventors:
Iwata, Masami (Nagoya-shi, JP)
Application Number:
11/549242
Publication Date:
09/06/2007
Filing Date:
10/13/2006
Assignee:
Iwata, Masami (Nagoya-shi, Aichi, JP)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F5/14
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
SIMONE, TIMOTHY F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KRATZ, QUINTOS & HANSON, LLP (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A taco server comprising: a server body having a plurality of legs to make the server body stand generally horizontally; and at least one taco holding portion disposed side by side on the server body for holding a taco wrapping up fillings in a tortilla.

2. The taco server as set forth in claim 1, wherein: the server body including the taco holding portion is formed by bending a metal wire; and the taco holding portion is a U-shaped holding portion formed by bending the metal wire into a generally U-shape, and includes a front U-shaped holding portion and a rear U-shaped holding portion on front and rear regions of the server body, respectively.

3. The taco server as set forth in claim 2, wherein: the server body has a generally rectangular plan view; and the front U-shaped holding portion and the rear U-shaped holding portion of the taco holding portion are located in offset positions with respect to each other to confront each other at an angle.

4. The taco server as set forth in claim 2, wherein: a plurality of the front U-shaped holding portions and a plurality of the rear U-shaped holding portions are formed on a generally horizontal same plane on the front and rear regions of the server body; and a clearance between the adjoining front U-shaped holding portions is relatively narrow while a clearance between the adjoining rear U-shaped holding portions is relatively wide, such that the server body has a sectorial plan view.

5. The taco server comprising: a server body formed into an open-topped box shape; and at least one taco holding portion for holding a taco wrapping up fillings with a tortilla, the taco holding portion being formed inside the server body in a valley-like shape.

Description:

The present application claims priority from Japanese Application for registration of Utility Model No. 2006-001422 of Iwata, filed on Mar. 1, 2006, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated into the present application by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a taco server which is used to serve tacos to customers at such sites as restaurants and is capable of holding tacos well.

2. Description of the Related Art

A taco is a dish comprised of baked or fried tortilla with such fillings as meat, cheese, tomato, lettuce with preferred condiments. Tacos are typically served flat on a plate with the fillings wrapped or pinched by tortillas.

When tacos are placed on a plate, the tacos tend to fall down and unfold to allow the fillings to run over the plate, which is visually undesirable.

There has been a need for such an instrument as is capable of holding tacos with their fillings wrapped up inside neatly to serve to customers. JP3046170U shows a holder for food item shaped like a book support, but there has been nothing to hold tacos in good positions to serve to customers.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide a taco server which is capable of holding tacos neatly to serve to customers at such sites as restaurants.

The object of the present invention is achieved by a taco server including a server body having a plurality of legs to make the server body stand generally horizontally; and at least one taco holding portion disposed side by side on the server body for holding a taco wrapping up fillings in a tortilla.

The taco holding portion may be comprised of a U-shaped holding portion. The server body may be formed by bending a metal wire, and the taco holding portion may accordingly be formed by bending a metal wire into a generally U-shape to provide front and rear U-shaped portions in the front and rear regions of the server body.

The taco server is used to hold tacos on the taco holding portions to serve the same to customers of restaurants and so on which tacos are prepared by filling fried or baked tortillas with preferred fillings such as meat, cheese, tomato, lettuce with condiments.

At this time, the taco server holds the tacos by the taco holding portions in such a manner that the fillings are kept inside tortillas in a nice manner and opening of the tortillas are directed upward. Accordingly, the tacos will not fall down to allow the fillings to run over the plate, unlike tacos served flat on a plate.

When customers hold the tacos by their hand, the tacos on the taco server are easy to grasp. When customers eat the tacos with their hands, the tacos are easy to put into mouth since the fillings such as meat, cheese and vegetables stay inside the tortillas in a nice manner. Accordingly, the customers will be able to enjoy tortillas together with fillings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a taco server embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the taco server of FIG. 1 in service;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the taco server;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the taco server of FIG. 3 in service;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a taco server having two taco holding portions;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a taco server having only one taco holding portion;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of a fan-shaped taco server;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the taco server of FIG. 7; and

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a box-shaped taco server.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Preferred embodiments of the present invention are now described below with reference to the accompanying drawings. However, the invention is not limited to the embodiments disclosed herein. All modifications within the appended claims and equivalents relative thereto are intended to be encompassed in the scope of the claims.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the taco server embodying the present invention, and FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the same in service. This taco server is comprised of a server body 1 which is made by bending a metal wire such as stainless steel into a predetermined shape. The server body 1 includes for example four taco holding portions 2 disposed side by side.

Each of the taco holding portions 2 is configured to hold a taco in an adequate position, or in such a manner that the taco opens upward, that is to say that the taco opens upward where desired fillings are wrapped or pinched together in a tortilla folded in a generally U-shape. The server body 1 is provided at its bottom with legs 5 and 6 to hold the tacos generally horizontally.

By bending a metal wire into a wave pattern each of the waves having a generally U-shape, each of the four taco holding portions 2 is provided with a front U-shaped holding portion 3 and a rear U-shaped holding portion 4 in the front and rear regions of the server body 1, whereby a taco or tortilla folded into a U-shape while wrapping up fillings is held by the taco holding portion 2 such that the fillings exposed from the opening of taco are directed upward. The curvature of the front and rear U-shaped holding portions 3 and 4 is configured generally the same as that of a U-shaped region of the tortilla.

Although the shown embodiment has four taco holding portions 2 on the server body 1, the server body 1 may include more than four, or three taco holding portions. The server body 1 has a generally rectangular plan view, and is formed by bending a metal wire to have the front U-shaped holding portion 3 in the front region, the rear U-shaped holding portion 4 in the rear region, and the legs 5 and 6 in the left and right ends in the lower side. The clearance between the front U-shaped holding portions 3 and the rear U-shaped holding portions 4 is set to be a little smaller than the size of the taco or the diameter of the tortilla. Other than a precise U-shape, the front U-shaped holding portion 3 and the rear U-shaped holding portion 4 may be formed into a wave shape expanding toward the opening, or a valley shape.

The taco server in the shown embodiment is formed by bending a single stainless-steel wire. However, it may also be made by connecting end portions of a plurality of cut-up stainless wire pieces by butt welding or other means.

The taco server thus formed is used to serve cooked tacos T to customers or guests at restaurants, taquerias and so on.

Tacos T are prepared by filling fried or baked tortillas with preferred fillings such as meat, cheese, tomato, lettuce with condiments such as salsa. Where fried tortillas are used, tortillas are put into heated oil as they are bent in a generally U-shape. Fried tortillas accordingly have generally U-shaped contours, and the U-shaped tortillas are located in the taco holding portions 2 of the taco server as their openings are directed upward. Then meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato and so on are placed inside the U-shaped tortillas which is followed by topping preferred condiments, thereby completing the preparation of tacos.

Since the U-shaped fried tortillas are securely held by the taco holding portions 2 of the taco server with its openings directed upward, it is easy to put fillings such as cheese or vegetables in the tortillas. This will facilitate the preparation of the tacos to be served.

The tacos T are delivered to tables of customers in that state, i.e. in the state where they are placed on the taco server. As shown in FIG. 2, the tacos T held by the taco holding portions 2 stay in good positions oriented upward, without falling down or dropping fillings, so that the tacos Tare served to customers in a pretty manner.

When customers hold the tacos by their hand, the tacos T on the taco server are easy to grasp. When customers eat the tacos T while holding them by their hands, the tacos are easy to put into mouth since the fillings such as meat, cheese and vegetables stay inside the tortillas in a nice manner. Accordingly, the customers will be able to enjoy tortillas together with fillings.

FIG. 3 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the taco server of the present invention. This taco server is adapted to accommodate four tacos as the above-described. The taco server holds four tacos in a slightly oblique manner with respect to the length direction of the server body 11 (FIG. 4).

More specifically, each of four taco holding portions 12 are formed by bending a metal wire into a generally U-shape so that the server body 11 is provided at its front and rear with each four front U-shaped holding portions 13 and rear U-shaped holding portions 14 which are aligned generally horizontally, as in the above-described embodiment. However, the front U-shaped holding portions 13 of the taco holding portion 12 are slightly off to the left with respect to the rear U-shaped holding portions 14, so that the taco holding portions 12 are oriented obliquely. In the same way as the above-described embodiment, the server body 11 has a generally rectangular plan view, and includes legs 15 and 16 in the left and right ends in the lower side which legs serve to make the server body 11 stand horizontally. The server body 11 is also formed by bending a single metal wire.

The taco server thus constructed is used to serve tacos to customers at such sites as restaurants, as in the above-described embodiment. Especially, the taco server holds the tacos T or tortillas folded into U-shape and filled with fillings in the taco holding portions 12 such that the fillings exposed from the openings of tacos are directed upward. At this time, the tacos T are held in a slightly oblique manner with respect to the length direction of the server body 11, so that the tacos T are placed on the server beautifully and served to customers in an even prettier manner.

When customers hold the tacos by their hand, tacos T on the taco server are easy to grasp, as in the above-described embodiment. When customers eat tacos T while holding them by their hands, the tacos are easy to put into mouth since the fillings such as meat, cheese and vegetables stay inside the tortillas in a nice manner. Accordingly, the customers will be able to enjoy tortillas together with fillings.

Although the server body 1/11 in the foregoing embodiments is provided with four taco holding portions 2/12, the number of the taco holding portions should not be limited thereby. It will also be appreciated that server body 21 includes two taco holding portions 22 as shown in FIG. 5, or server body 31 includes only one taco holding portion 32 as shown in FIG. 6.

FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate another alternative embodiment of the taco server formed into a fan-shape. This taco server is adapted to hold four tacos T as in the previous embodiments, but in such a manner that the four tacos T are disposed in a fan-like, or sectorial form on server body 41, that is, that clearances between tacos T in the front side are narrow and those in the leading end side or in the rear side are wider.

In the same way as the previous embodiments, four taco holding portions 42 are formed by bending a metal wire into a generally U-shaped wave pattern and thereby providing each four front U-shaped holding portions 43 and rear U-shaped holding portions 44 on the generally horizontal same plane. This taco server has a fan-like or sectorial plan view as a whole. In other words, U-shaped holding portions in one side of the taco holding portions 42 or the front U-shaped holding portions 43 have smaller clearances in between themselves, while U-shaped holding portions in the other side or the rear U-shaped holding portions 44 have greater clearances in between themselves, such that the server body 41 has a sectorial plan view as a whole. The server body 41 includes legs 45 and 46 in the left and right ends in the lower side which legs serve to make the server body 41 stand horizontally, and is also formed by bending a single metal wire.

The taco server thus constructed is used to serve tacos to customers at such sites as restaurants, as in the previous embodiments. Especially, the taco server holds tacos T, or tortillas folded into U-shape and filled with fillings, on the taco holding portions 42 such that the fillings exposed from the openings of tacos are oriented upward. At this time, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, the tacos T are placed and held in such a manner as to spread out in a fan-like shape from the front to the rear of the server body 41, so that the tacos T are placed on the server beautifully and served to customers in a prettier manner.

FIG. 9 illustrates a taco server formed into a box shape. This taco server is adapted to hold four tacos T as in the previous embodiments, but in valley-like regions of server body 51 formed into a box shape. Server body 51 of this taco server may be made integrally from plastic, metal plate or cardboard, by injection molding or press work or the like, into an open-topped rectangular box shape as shown in FIG. 9. Where the material is plastic or cardboard, desired colors can be given to the server body 51. If taco servers or server bodies 51 are manufactured and sold in variety of colors, users will be able to enjoy the color variation.

The server body 51 is provided at its bottom with four taco holding portions 52 disposed side by side and each having a valley shape. The bottom plate of the box-shaped server body 51 is formed into repeated crest and valley shape, where each of taco holding portions 52 or valley portions is adjacent to the next holding or valley portion 52 with a crest portion interposed therebetween. The length, width, height of each of taco holding portions 52 of this taco server is set generally the same as those of taco T set therein.

The taco server thus constructed is used to serve tacos to customers at such sites as restaurants, as in the previous embodiments. The taco server holds the tacos T or tortillas folded into U-shape and filled with fillings on the taco holding portions 52 such that the fillings exposed from the openings of tacos are oriented upward. At this time, the tacos T are placed and held inside the server body 51 as shown in FIG. 9, so that the tacos T are placed on the server beautifully and fillings stay inside tortillas in a nice manner, thereby served to customers in a prettier manner.

When customers hold tacos by their hand, tacos T on the taco server are easy to grasp, as in the previous embodiments. When customers eat tacos T while holding them by their hands, the tacos are easy to put into mouth since the fillings such as meat, cheese and vegetables stay inside tortillas in a nice manner. Hence, the customers will be able to enjoy tortillas together with fillings.