New tortilleria in Wichita
It won’t be so much a taco restaurant, says Carlos Vera.
It will be more of a “taco outlet.”
Later this month, Vera and his partners in a venture called Wichita Local Eats will open a new eatery at Revolutsia, the shipping container mall at Central and Volutsia that also is home to Little Lion Ice Cream and Prost German restaurant.
The shop will be called Taco Locale, and it will serve the same type of tacos that Vera has been preparing for his pop-ups at Pinole Blue, 242 N. Cleveland, where he has been selling tacos in the parking lot every other Friday since February. More recently, he’s also been making them on Saturdays at the Old Town Farmers’ Market.
The tacos are made using locally and regionally sourced meats and veggies, Vera said. He gets his beef from Graze The Prairie, for example, and he sources his veggies from the Old Town Farmers’ Market and local farmers. Those who have discovered the tacos love their unique toppings – which include things like pickled onions, sweet and sour slaw and homemade salsas. The tacos are served on blue corn tortillas made by local tortilla factory Pinole Blue.
Vera decided he wanted to be able to offer the tacos on a regular basis, so he partnered with his fiance, Myranda Miller – who also is a chef – and another young chef named Jason Rickard, who has relocated to Wichita from Colorado to join the venture. The trio hope to have the new shop open by Aug. 30 in a little space in Revolutsia that’s on the lower level between Boards and Azteka Boutique.
It’s a small space, Vera said, and that’s why he’s not considering it a traditional restaurant. It will have enough room for the chefs to serve up tacos filled with a rotating menu of proteins and to set up a toppings bar where people can load their tacos themselves with whatever they want.
There will be room for a few stand-up tables against a wall, Vera said, but any other seating will be outdoors in the center’s courtyard. He’s trying to secure more courtyard seating for the Taco Locale customers.
In addition to tacos, the shop will sell aguas frescas and chips with homemade salsa. The chips will also be made by Pinole Blue.
The owners are still trying to finalize what their hours will be.
Vera is a graduate of Austin’s Le Cordon Bleu culinary school who has previously worked at YaYa’s and the 37 West Cafe at Koch Industries.
Anyone who wants to get a preview of what Taco Locale sells can find them at Saturday’s Wichita Taco Fest, where they’ll be among the vendors selling tacos for $1 apiece.