Chef Victor Albisu is so happy to open his second Taco Bamba next month, he's giving away food: The first 100 customers to walk into the new Vienna location on Sept. 8, opening day, will receive a free taco a week for a year.
Let's see: 100 tacos a week, times 52 weeks a year. . . well, that adds up to a lot of free tacos, right?
"I don’t really want to think about it," Albisu said.
At least Albisu and his chef de cuisine, Tom Hall, will have ample room to prepare all those tacos. The Vienna location will be larger than the Falls Church original: It will cover 2,000 square feet and feature a full bar and seating for 42 people.
The kitchen will be larger, too, which will allow Albisu and his team to expand the menu, adding ceviche-stacked tostadas, quesadillas and five kinds of nachos -- think seafood nachos covered with crab, shrimp and tomatillo sauce. The new space will also feature a small menu of Mexican-inspired cocktails created by Amin Seddiq, who doubles as the bar manager at Del Campo, Albisu's South American grill in Chinatown. Among the drinks available will be a Mexican take on a piña colada and margaritas on tap.
"It's an ever-evolving and ever-growing concept, food-wise," Albisu said. "It’s a lot of fun when we actually get in the kitchen and are expanding ideas."
But the Vienna taqueria, designed by HapstakDemetriou+, will also offer the traditional and chef-driven "nuestros" taco fillings that have generated lines out the door at the original location. Albisu has even added a few more options to the "nuestros" menu, including a creative take on tacos al pastor, in which the chef substitutes octopus for the traditional pork. The bite will be topped with a slaw prepared with pineapple Jarritos soda.
Such invention is why Albisu doesn't envision Taco Bamba becoming the Five Guys of taquerias, with locations all over the D.C. area. Yes, a third location will open early next year in Springfield, but Albisu said it'll be just another neighborhood spot, like the others.
"I have friends who ask me when am I going to open 30 of these," Albisu said. "That’s not really on the docket for me. It’s not interesting for me.”
Taco Bamba opens Sept. 8 at 164 Maple Ave. West in Vienna. 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Phone: 703-436-6339.