The downtown Raleigh mobile food scene is pretty much limited to food truck events and food carts with the likes of hot dogs and Italian ice.
Justin Miller wants to expand on that the mix with El Taco Cartel, a new taco bike he hopes to have in place on the area’s sidewalks the first week of July.
“The bike is something that is fairly common in Mexico City, as well as on the West Coast and Northwest,” Miller said. “It’s a cool alternative to food carts and food trucks. The capabilities are much more limited than a food truck but it’s certainly a much neater concept.
The three-wheeled unit, which is technically a cart, will serve two types of tacos – and possibly a third – that are made with locally sourced and organic ingredients.
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The cart will serve corn shell canasta tacos filled with pineapple, spices and either pork or chicken. Customers can then customize their meals with condiments such as salsa, pineapple chunks, cilantro, onions and salsa verde. The cart will also serve drinks.
“We want to take the mystery out the street meat,” Miller said. “It’s a very simple shell and a protein.”
Miller, who’s starting the bike with business partners Dave and Lily Ballance, said they’re testing which type of protein – like beans or cactus – to offer in a vegetarian option. The tacos will be made and wrapped fresh daily in the kitchen of a downtown Raleigh restaurant Miller says they’re still working to nail down.
Throughout the week, Miller wants the bike to move around downtown, including to places such as HQ Raleigh, the co-working space in the Warehouse District where he runs his other company, WedPics. The bike will also be stationed at the Ballances’ newly opened bar, William & Company, on North Person Street Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
The taco bike, which can hold up to 300 tacos, will serve lunch and dinner, but Miller says the trio will come up with a schedule once they see the demand. Miller says they’re planning to charge about $5 for two tacos, and they’ll take credit cards.
Customers will also be able to find El Taco Cartel at those food truck events, where Miller wants the bike to become a staple. He also plans to expand on the taco bike idea.
Find the El Taco Cartel’s location on their Twitter page @Taco_Cartel.
Studio 123, a home decor store that offers furniture, interior design services, consignment, commissioned art and fabric, has moved. The shop, which closed at Seaboard Station in February, is having a grand reopening Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 5 p.m.
The event will include artist Jaquelin Perry, along with cocktails, food from Chirba Chirba and a raffle each day for prizes such as framing, appraisals and upholstering.
All proceeds will go to the Raleigh Boys & Girls Club.
The new spot is more than twice the size of the old at about 15,000-square-foot Studio 123, and is at 1505 Capital Blvd, Suite 15 in Raleigh.
Hillsborough-based Joe Van Gogh Coffee is opening its fourth Triangle location at 4711 Hope Valley Road in South Durham this fall. The place will have a kitchen, allowing owner Robbie Roberts to prepare food, along with coffee.
Candy and gift store chain IT’SUGAR, known for its products such as 5-pound gummy bears, 1.9-pound boxes of Sour Patch Kids and Saturday Night Live drinkware and candies with descriptions not appropriate for a family newspaper, is opening in Cary Friday.
The 1,430-square-foot store at 1164 Parkside Main St. at Parkside Town Commons is the company’s second in the Triangle.
Burger 21 franchise is opening its second North Carolina location in Cary on June 8.
The restaurant will offer beef, chicken, seafood and veggie burgers in styles such as the Cinco Burger with lettuce, tomato, salsa, jalapenos, cilantro cream and Monterey Jack cheese; and the chicken parmesan with provolone and American cheeses, parmesan crisps and tomato sauce.
On June 8 and 9, Burger 21 will donate 10 percent of its proceeds to the Cary Family YMCA. The restaurant is at 14220 Bradford Green Square in the Bradford Shopping Center.
Fast-casual sandwich shop Penn Station East Coast Subs is opening early this month at 690 Cary Town Blvd. in Cary.