Taco Bamba Opens Thursday in Vienna
Taco Bamba, chef Victor Albisu’s take on Mexican street food, opens its second location at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, at 164 Maple Ave. W, Vienna, with an expanded menu and full bar. A third location is set to open in Springfield in early 2017.
The first 100 diners through the door in Vienna on opening day will receive one free taco a week for a year.
Unlike the original location, a takeout taqueria with limited seating and no alcohol, the new location has seating for 42 including 12 at the full bar. The 2,000-square-foot space was previously part of a Magruder’s grocery store in the Vienna Shopping Center that closed in 2013. Chop’t Creative Salad Co., MOD Pizza and Inova Urgent Care have filled the rest of the space.
“Taco Bamba has always been a neighborhood restaurant,” said Albisu. “We designed a menu for the Falls Church community … Our menu has evolved to serve Vienna.”
D.C.’s HapstakDemetriou, which designed the original restaurant, also designed the new location. It features the same red and gray color palette from the Falls Church location and minimal design. Distressed concrete floors, unfinished cement blocks and exposed wooden beams connect the space’s front dining room and bar with the open kitchen and ordering area in back. In addition to the bar seating, there are several bright red two- and four-top tables with black leather banquettes and low backless black metal stools as well as seating at a counter overlooking the kitchen and at window counters. Like the original, Taco Bamba Vienna will feature a morning-to-night rock-and-roll soundtrack.
Albisu and chef de cuisine Tom Hall have put together a menu that takes advantage of the expanded kitchen space. New offerings include six kinds of tostadas from $5-$11 including shrimp, swordfish and crab; four kinds of nachos priced from $7-$9 including a marriage of pork, carnitas and chorizo with black beans and spicy pickled onions; a vegetarian basket that is topped with chipotle portabellas, corn, pickled onions, salsa, cotija and pietas; and seafood nachos with crab and shrimp; a burger torta priced at $12 with bacon barbacoa, fries, pickled jalapenos, avocado, salsa and Monterey Jack cheese; and the Big Papa Bamba Platter priced at $18 with skirt steak, chorizo, seared cheese, chiles, guacamole, chicharones, grilled scallions and tortillas. The grilled guacamole gets an upgrade in Vienna with shredded confit bacon and cojita cheese.
The core of Vienna’s menu will be familiar to fans of the original with classic taco fillings priced at $3 each and tacos nuestros, a collection of more inventive creations, priced from $4-$6 each. The traditional taco fillings can also be turned into sopes for $6 each or quesadillas for $7 each. New tacos include the Cochinita Pibil with spiced pork and achiote; the Black Sheep with braised goat, calamari, chiles and escabeche; the Bulgogi Bullfight with Iberico pork, Brussels-kimchee and gochujang-peanut romenesco; the 7 Corners Shrimp with spicy shrimp, mint, three chiles, noodles, sprouts and cilantro; the Vienna Vape Shop with Vienna sausages, fries, rajas, cotija cheese and special sauce; Bamba Balls Revenge with meatballs, anchos, cotija and Mexican pickles; Pulpo al Pastor with marinated and grilled octopus and pineapple-sesame slaw; the San Diahhhgo with grilled swordfish, burgundy slaw and guacamole on a flour tortilla; and Ma’s Krab with jumbo lump crab, Green Goddess dressing, pickled shallots, chicharones and red cabbage.
Other dishes include tortas priced from $10-$16 and sides like grilled street corn, pozole rojo, rice and beans and chilaquiles priced from $3-$10.
The bar program will feature wine, Mexican beer and classic cocktails along with Mexico-inspired originals by Amin Seddiq, who also works at Del Campo, Albisu’s upscale South American grill in the District. Highlights include Horchata Boracha, a spiked horchata with house-made horchata, Milagro Anejo and Presidente brandy; Pinche Vela, a Mexican take on a piña colada with Vida mescal, coconut cream, lipe, habanero salsa and Jarritos pineapple; ODB, a mezcal and chocolate bitters tipple that recalls the flavors of a traditional mole; Mexican Elvis with El Charro Blanco, triple sec, watermelon aqua fresca, lime and basil; and Xeech & Xong, a sweet and sour marriage of El Charro Blanco tequila, Fresno citrus shrub, lime and agave syrup. The house margarita will be available on draft along with a trio of rotating local and Mexican beers. Cocktails range from $5-$12.
Like the original Falls Church location, Vienna will work with Food Donation Connection to donate much of its daily food surplus to area charities.
Taco Bamba Vienna will be open from 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.