- Eric Schwartzberg Staff Writer
Food truck Taqueria Guanajuato is making a go at its first dine-in taco shop.
The new business, which opened Tuesday at 752 NW Washington Blvd. in Hamilton, prides itself on its authentic “street-taco-stands-in Mexico” tacos. They arrive in a soft, double layer corn tortilla, with one’s choice of meat grilled to order and topped off with cilantro, onions and a choice of salsa, said co-owner Victor Carrillo, of Oxford.
Taqueria Guanajuato two other favorites are quesadillas with the same ingredients as a taco but will a flour tortilla, as well as tortas, which feature a bolillo, a savory bread stuffed with meat grilled to order and all the toppings.
“Those were the kickstarters of our business,” Carrillo said. “Of course, we offer the traditional Tex-Mex soft and crispy tacos, people love that … (plus) burritos, fajitas, taco salads, chimichangas and nachos.”
Carrillo and father-in-law Claudio Valdivia initially thought about starting Taqueria Guanajuato as a summer “experiment,” but ended up launching it as a full-time effort in April 2015 after being laid off from their jobs.
Both men had backgrounds in business, Carrillo in his parent’s convenience store and Valdivia in the restaurant industry. Parking the food truck outside a Central Avenue business, they steadily built a devoted clientele, but found that business waned when temperatures soared or dropped and opted for a storefront to provide a more reliable income.
“When we decided that it was just not stead business and we wanted a brick-and-mortar, it was only fair to stay here (in Hamilton),” Carrillo said. “It was so much love. It’s hard to describe. When people say ‘Thank you, that was great,’ it’s motivational.”
Brisk business and positive feedback from customers during opening week has helped solidify the decision to do so.
“It’s really good,” said Julia Hannigan, of Cincinnati, as she attempted to devour a quesadilla. “This is huge. I got a large not knowing what was going to happen. I like the shell. It’s very crisp and I think it’s better than a lot of places around here.”
Tarin Lauer, of Hamilton, dined on a burrito with chorizo Thursday after dining on a quesadilla with rice on Tuesday with work colleagues excited to check out Taqueria Guanajuato’s debut as a restaurant.
“It’s really authentic and I like it,” Lauer said of the burrito. “It’s just a burst of flavor when you bite into it.”