Taco Palenque was founded by Juan Francisco Ochoa from Sinaloa, Mexico. Ochoa was also the creator of the El Pollo Loco secret chicken recipe and founder of the Grilled chicken concept. Pancho Ochoa and his brothers and sisters opened several El Pollo Loco franchises in Mexico in the late 1970s and the United States in the 1980s.  In 1985, Juan Francisco moved to Monterrey where he planned to create a Mexican fastfood chain in the United States with drive thrus that served authentic Mexican food. In 1987, Ochoa opened Taco Palenque in Laredo, Texas. The chain expanded to McAllen in 1998, Brownsville in 2001, San Antonio in 2007, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico in 2008, Houston, Texas in 2010, Mission, Texas and Cotulla, Texas in 2011. In 2005 Palenque grill was established.
Palenque Grill is a subsidiary of Taco Palenque. Palenque Grill was established in 2005 with the opening of its first restaurant in Laredo, Texas. Palenque Grill restaurants feature: premium meats, seafood, traditional Mexican appetizers and desserts. These restaurants are higher-end than the regular Taco Palenques. As of 2008 there are two Palenque Grill locations, one in Laredo the other in McAllen. Then near the end of 2011 the Ochoa family opened Palenque Grill in San Antonio, Texas.
Pollo Palenque (formally named Pollo Tori) is another subsidiary of Taco Palenque. Pollo Palenque is a fast-food restaurant chain specializing in Mexican grilled chicken. The restaurants main dish is pollo asado, a grilled marinated chicken. Pollo Palenque uses the same marinate as Pollo Loco.