Dining With Denise Neil

This chef plans to share his taco-making skills with Wichita on the regular

The first taco pop up that Pinole Blue put on two weeks ago was a hit — overwhelmingly so.

So many people showed up to try the taco pop-up shop the blue tortilla factory put on in its parking lot, it was hard to keep up with the demand.

Now, Pinole Blue owner Eddie Sandoval and local chef Carlos Vera have decided to make the taco pop ups a regular thing. They’re planning to sell their unique tacos from the tortilleria’s parking lot at 242 N. Cleveland every other Friday. The next one will be on March 22.

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Wichita’s blue corn tortilla factory Pinole Blue is putting on taco pop ups every other Friday. Courtesy photo

Customers will be able to get $2 tacos made by Vera, a graduate of Austin’s Le Cordon Bleu culinary school who has worked at YaYa’s and the 37 West Cafe at Koch Industries. The tacos will be made on the blue tortillas and filled with choice of al pastor chicken, coffee-rubbed short ribs or veggies. — and for Lent, they’re adding grilled lemon and black garlic fish. Toppings choices include things like lime-cured red onions and hot-and-sweet radishes.

Vera said that he’s teaming up with local producers to get his ingredients, including popular local grower Jimmy Vo of Kan-Grow Hydro Farm LLC.

“We’re trying to have as much local ingredients as we can fit in,” he said. “And we’re trying to build a network to be 100 percent local on everything we do. We’d like to do that eventually.”

The tacos will be available until 2 p.m., and people also can get a side of guacamole with blue corn chips, Jarritos and Coca Cola in a glass bottle.

To place an advance order, message Pinole Blue on Facebook or call 956-545-2404.

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.