Last fall, the chefs at beloved Mission District haunt Roosevelt Tamale Parlor wrapped up their last corn husks—and the eatery’s 100 years on 24th Street. Now, a new Mexican restaurant has finally arrived to fill the tamale-shaped void. Childhood buddies Hector Ordaz and Norberto Granillo plan to host a grand opening for their new taqueria, Tacos del Barrio, with a fiesta on Cinco de Mayo.
Ordaz and Granillo both hail from Mexico City, where they learned to make authentic street tacos. The two friends fill theirs with a choice of asada, lengua, carnitas, cabeza, pastor or shrimp. They also designed a full salsa bar at the taqueria so diners can load up their tacos with cilantro, peppers and six different types of salsa.
The duo isn’t taking their Mission District location lightly, either. According to Ordaz, the neighbors are still mourning the loss of Roosevelt Tamale Parlor and have asked him to preserve the parlor’s old-school red and green neon signage.
“We want to do that for the community,” he said. “We really respect their history.”
Tacos del Barrio may be Ordaz and Granillo’s first restaurant venture, but Ordaz has been working in kitchens throughout the Bay Area for years. He was a chef at the now-closed Cafe de Paris L’Entrecote in Pacific Heights, as well as Gott’s Roadside in the Ferry Building. He also helped launch the Umami Burger chain locally.
The taqueria is decked out in red, orange, yellow and blue in a show of support for San Francisco’s three sports teams. Likewise, Ordaz said the name of the taqueria is an attempt to fuse Mexico City with his adopted hometown.
“El barrio is where we came from, and el barrio is where we live now,” he said. “Maybe it’s just my dream, but I would like for people to know that we love this part of the city.”
The new restaurant’s Cinco de Mayo party will pop off at 5 p.m. Friday, when guests will be greeted with free ceviche, aguachile guacamole and chicharrones. Revelers can toast to Mexico’s historic victory over the Second French Empire with wine cocktails and micheladas. A trio of guitarists, an accordion player and a tuba player will keep the fiesta fully lit all night long.
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