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Posted at 01:25 PM ET, 10/23/2012

Taco Bamba pops up with delicious bites, long lines

A tray of portobello tacos at Taco Bamba’s pop-up party at Black Jack. (Justin Rude/The Washington Post)
If you missed last night’s launch party for Taco Bamba’s Monday pop-ups at Black Jack , you missed out on some delicious canape-sized previews of Victor Albisu’s new menu. (You also avoided a long line to enter, a huge crowd inside, and some significant waits for a few bites early on. Thankfully, the libations at the $40 event were free-flowing.)

Samples included tacos filled with skirt steak and chorizo; portobello with grilled corn and cotija cheese; duck leg with crispy skin; and smoky pork belly with pineapple and pickled jalapeno. Other passed hors d'oeuvres included a Campeche-style shrimp cocktail served with black oyster, and mini crab and shrimp empanadas. The bites ranged from good to very good, with the duck tacos being a standout.

As the crowd thinned, the pace picked up, and Albisu and his team kept the food moving until the event’s 10 p.m. conclusion. “We sent out about 1,400 tacos,” the chef told me this morning. “What we expected to serve all night, we did in the first hour.”

Last night’s menu was not only a preview of what will greet diners when Taco Bamba opens in Falls Church later this fall, but what Albisu will serve at his weekly Black Jack appearances through December 17.

The a la carte dinners (walk-ins only, from 6 to 11 p.m.) will feature full-size versions of appetizers and traditional tacos — in addition to the more involved creations Albisu previewed last night — with the menu changing weekly. “This is an opportunity to tweak and get the recipes the way I want them,” Albisu said.

Read more from the Going Out Guide:

Victor Albisu’s Taco Bamba to debut as a pop-up at Black Jack

Who shrunk my taco?

By  |  01:25 PM ET, 10/23/2012

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