Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fonda Nolita Heats Up Taco Truck Wars

Taco + VW Combi = Tacombi
Dario Wolos knows how to one up the current food truck craze: bring it indoors. Not just the concept, the entire truck. The Monterrey, Mexico native recently moved to NYC to open Fonda Nolita. And brought his beloved vintage VW bus - dubbed Tacombi - along. Tacombi, a blending of 'taco' and retro Volkswagon model Combi, is his culinary brainchild, and since 2005, it's been one of three mobile taquerias he set up in seaside town Playa del Carmen.

Now in its new Nolita home, a transformed 2,100 sq. ft. former clothing store, the same chilled beach shack vibe is recreated indoors - down to the festive strings of lights, metal chess tables, and tropical plants. Oh, and the Tacombi sits in the center of it all, serving up fresh, tasty tacos day and night. The staff is charming, making chatting with the cooks part of the dining pleasure.

On a recent visit the seasonal taco menu (all at $4), included a flavorful short rib, generous roast pork with red cabbage, and corn and poblano, which could have used more kick. Ingredients are locally sourced, including the homemade salsas on each table. Locally brewed house brand beer (liquor license is pending) and sodas are also on offer. For breakfast tacos, try the chorizo/potato or cactus/poblano. It's a seductive little hangout, perfect for meeting up with friends (bring a deck of cards), lazing and grazing on tacos and beer for a few hours. As the weather only gets colder outside, there's comfort in knowing Fonda Nolita offers an endless summer inside.

267 Elizabeth St. below Houston. Open daily, 8am - 2am.

Tacombi at Fonda Nolita on Urbanspoon

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