When thinking up a name for his taco shop at Broad and Lombard Streets in Center City, Florian Furxhiu checked the political winds.
And so the sign for Illegal Tacos went up Monday, about two weeks before the opening. It's the former Bain's Deli.
"I wanted to come up with a name that's catchy," said Furxhiu, 32, who emigrated from Albania in 2000. "Some people may be offended, but really, I'm an immigrant, too." He paused and added: "I know it's risky." Alternatively, Furxhiu also extends the meaning to the food — "so authentic, it's illegal."
Furxhiu, who dabbles in real estate and owns a South Philadelphia coffee shop/social club frequented primarily by Albanian emigres, said he was going to open a cheesesteak eatery at the location "but the Mexican idea popped into my head because there are none" in the immediate area.
He has retained the services of Mexican cooks to execute a simple menu of burritos, taco bowls, and rice bowls. Tacos al pastor, in which the meat is roasted on a vertical spit, will be a specialty.
Hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Stay tuned for word of the opening date.