If there's one constant about Mike Sultan and Carolyn Nguyen's food trucks, it's that the offerings go beyond expected food truck fare.
Now, the chef-partners are ready to make the move from the street to a brick-and-mortar storefront.
In partnership with Alan Krawitz of Say Cheese, they plan to open Revolution Taco at 2015 Walnut St., pending zoning approval. (Update: Zoning has been approved.)
The counter-service taco and burrito shop will extend a string of adjacent restaurant/bars on the block just off Rittenhouse Square — it's adjacent to The Bards, The Cafe, the Irish Pub and Tria Taproom (and Vernick Food & Drink is just down the street). A late May/early June opening is targeted.
Sultan and Nguyen met catering high-end dinner parties for Peachtree & Ward (she previously cooked at Nectar, Fork and Susanna Foo). They launched Street Food Philly in 2011, just as the city's new-wave food truck scene began to take off, and added Taco Mondo two years later. (Both mobile venues, along with Krawitz's Say Cheese, are expected to continue operating.)
Revolution Taco will be a 30-seat BYOB offering burritos, tacos, guacamole, empanadas and other Mexican-inspired dishes for both lunch and dinner. Easy takeout is a big part of the business plan, and affordability is key.
"I want people to be able to come in and have a $10 or $12 lunch and leave totally satisfied," Sultan said. "There's not a lot of places you can do that in this neighborhood."
Since the location has never been a restaurant before (it was previously Doggie Style and then offices), it needs retrofitting. Interior design by Austin + Mergold will include an open kitchen behind the order counter, several tables and a stand-up bar in front of the large picture window. Blond hardwood floors will be complemented by a colorful mural by Krawitz's artist cousin.
Menu will include tortillas wrapped around fillings like pork belly, lamb shoulder, tongue, smoked mushrooms, Korean fried chicken, fried chick pea batter and kimchi, in both taco and burrito form. Empanadas will include a cornmeal gluten-free version, and torta-like sandwiches are also planned (Sultan teased a version featuring adobo-spiced house-cured bacon with spicy chorizo cheese sauce). Drinks will include Jarritos and other bottled Mexican sodas.
For prep space, Sultan and Nguyen will take advantage of the production kitchen they already lease at Sherman Mills in East Falls, where they are also planning to open a retail cafe in the near future.