The partners behind The Burger Joint are adding tacos and burritos to their repertoire. Chef Matthew Pak and proprietor Shawn Bermudez will open The Taco Stand next to The Heights location of The Burger Joint at the corner of N. Shepherd Dr. and 20th St.
Construction on the restaurant is already underway. If all goes according to plan, Pak expects the restaurant to open by November.
Inspired both by a lifelong love of tacos and influenced by trips Pak took to Mexico City and Los Angeles, the Taco Stand will offer street style tacos and burritos made with traditional fillings such as pastor, barbacoa, and carnitas that can be paired with five housemade salsas and topped with onions and cilantro. In addition, the restaurant will serve breakfast tacos all day. As part of its commitment to serving traditional, Mexican-style tacos, the restaurant will make its own corn and flour tortillas.
Like many Texans, the chef comes by his appreciation of tacos naturally. Opening either a Torchy's-style gringo taco shop or a Tex-Mex restaurant didn't have the same appeal.
"I know people will be curious why we are deciding to go traditional Mexican," Pak tells CultureMap in an email. "I love the culture and traditional Mexican cuisine is my favorite food. My wife is Mexican, my kids speak Spanish, and Houston’s love for tacos is never ending."
Since the Taco Stand will have a full liquor license, diners will be able to pair their food with margaritas made with tequila. Expect a selection of craft and Mexican beers, too.
Like the Burger Joint, the restaurant's design focuses on speedy and efficient service. Pak's kitchen will have two cooking lines in — one for dine-in and to-go customers and a second dedicated to the drive-thru lane. "We want it to be fresh and fast for people," he writes.
The Taco Stand will enter a crowded market for tacos. Dallas-based Velvet Taco has plans to open across the street, and beloved breakfast taco spot Chilosos will be right down the street.
Still, the Burger Joint entered a similarly crowded field with competitors like Hopdoddy and Becks Prime, and that hasn't stopped the steady stream of customers who can be found chowing down on burgers and sipping boozy milkshakes on its socially distanced patio. That success suggests that area residents will greet the Taco Stand with similar fervor.