TACO + PIÑA
We are a “fine-casual” restaurant located in the Village at Shirlington in Arlington VA. Our team has a very well rounded experience in the restaurant industry and came together as friends wanting to create great food with good service in a fun environment. We proudly serve contemporary Mexican food with traditional recipes and some funky stuff thrown in to keep it interesting.
We like to have fun and you will see that in our team’s faces. We have a casual ambience that welcomes any crowd, from families with kids (or dogs on the patio!) to quick service people in a rush, or the lounging person at our bar. We strive to use as many local fresh ingredients as possible and all of our sauces are made in house. We have a large selection of imported Mexican beers and spirits but also like to feature as many locally crafted beers as possible since our chef is also a novice home brewer who grows his own hops! We also feature what we like to call “brunchy” food on the weekends when we mix in some breakfast specialties into our normal rotation. Since we like to play and keep it fresh expect us to mix things up and feature seasonal specials.
A few notes from Chef Graham
Growing up, I was lucky enough to get to explore all over Mexico with my family. Both my parents were professors, so we could all travel together in the summer and see the country without a vacation day limit. Some of my earliest memories were taking train rides from Laredo, TX to various places in the Southern Mexico interior. When we were exploring the various markets, I would find myself eating at street stalls and other spots off the beaten path. I think this is when I developed my love for Mexican cuisine and, that helped inspire my passion for cooking.
After college, I started traveling and quickly realized that I would spend the rest of my life in a professional kitchen. I attended culinary school in France and found myself cooking all over the US doing mostly modern American and Asian cuisine. It wasn’t until some years later that I reaffirmed my love with Mexican cuisine while working with Chef Richard Sandoval. Over the years Chef Sandoval provided me with many great experiences traveling and working through Mexico—cooking and eating with great chefs, sampling all of the street food from roadside carts, and being welcomed into people’s houses. It was on these trips into the heart of Mexico that I realized my love of the cuisine and culture and decided I wanted to open my own restaurant.
As I was developing a plan, I realized that I could make the restaurant both a place that embraced Mexican cuisine and something that spoke to me and my memories of Mexico. I chose a colorful and playful theme because my memories were of bright and vivid colors we would see in our city market adventures. I always loved the environment of those markets and wanted to mimic that atmosphere at the restaurant to be fun and whimsical. I hope that you can join us, and look forward to serving you.