WALLINGFORD — About three weeks into opening its first brick and mortar location, Taco Pacifico has been pleased with the community’s response to its takeout endeavor.
“Given everything that happened this year I had no expectations, so this way I wouldn’t be disappointed,” owner Greg Sharon said. “I’ve been rather content with how things have been.”
The tortilleria and takeout spot at 97 Chapel St. opened Sept. 12, in the former Village Green Bar & Grill building. After running the Taco Pacifico food truck out of Madison for nearly a decade, Sharon wanted to fulfill his vision of a brick and mortar location and purchased the building in 2018.
Running the takeout business has been different than the food truck, which stopped serving to the public for the season around Labor Day, but has been busy with private catering this past month.
“What we’re seeing is the building is much busier for dinner,” Sharon said, compared to the food truck’s busy lunch rush.
Taco Pacifico’s concept is unique in that it’s only set up for takeout and the only counter you can order from will be small. Sharon deliberately converted the former Village Green Bar & Grill’s dining room and bar area to a tortilla production room.
He said some customers are confused the first time they come to pick up food and realize they have to look at a menu via scan code and order over the phone for curbside pickup.
“I think if the food is quality, people won’t care so much that they didn’t watch the food being made,” Sharon said.
Before people can walk in to the planned takeout counter, Sharon said he needs to finish putting the room together— things like a custom counter, menu boards etc.— and acquire permits and fire marshal approval. He said it probably won’t be ready until at least November.
Until then, customers can call ahead to order and have their food brought to their car at the tortilleria, at 97 Chapel St. Starting Oct 1, customers can also order delivery on GrubHub, Sharon said.‘Absolutely delicious’
The menu is simple, largely based off the food truck’s menu. Sharon said the burritos and chips have been most popular.
“Burritos are very popular, especially this time of year,” Sharon said. “People just want something more hearty.”
Unlike at the food truck, tacos and burritos come with chips and salsa included. The tortilla chips are handmade at the eatery, which was a central part of Sharon’s vision.
“The chips are very popular ... If we were a burger joint, the chips are kind of like the fries,” he said.
Town resident Bob Reed, who lives adjacent to the tortilleria, said he’s tried the chicken burrito and veggie quesadillas.
“The food was good, it wasn’t crunchy, it was a doughy burrito shell,” Reed said. “It was fresh. He makes his own tortilla chips and those were good.”
Reed said he would have preferred to go into the building to pick up his food, but thought the service was quick and friendly.
Em Madoule, also a Wallingford resident, has had the chicken tacos, beef tacos, chips, salsa and guacamole. Having eaten at the Taco Pacifico food truck, she was excited to hear the business would be coming to Wallingford.
“The service was fast and friendly and the food is fresh, comforting and absolutely delicious,” Madoule said.
Sharon said he still plans to offer some kind of taco family dinner kits this month. The tortilleria is still adjusting its hours based on customer needs, and may be open for an extra hour Thursday through Saturday starting soon.