Calle 75 Street Tacos will soon be debuting in the former Golden Phoenix Oriental Express space, at 110 N. 11th St., kitty-corner from The Record Exchange and Neurolux.
Owners Mike and Rosie Weems, longtime mobile-food vendors who have also been operating a brick-and-mortar spot at The Village at Meridian’s Fountain Court since 2014, had high hopes of opening by the end of August. It’s now looking more like September before the Weemses will start serving their take on quick-service Mexican food in this swath of Downtown Boise.
“We had some typical hang-ups early on, but it’s coming together and getting close,” Mike Weems says.
The new space allows the Weemses to expand their menu of street-inspired tacos, burritos and torta sandwiches — served with a gamut of house-made salsas. They will also be making their own organic white and blue corn tortillas daily on location, thanks to a large volcanic-stone grinder that pulverizes the heirloom corn into aromatic masa.
“We want to continue to put out good food and put it out fast,” he says.
The Weemses have been meticulously remodeling the interior for months, adding an ornate wood trellis ceiling, roll-up garage-style doors and a late-night walk-up window accessible from the sidewalk where folks can get tacos and other menu items on the fly. Rocket Neon has been commissioned to make two neon signs for the eatery, one of which will hang above the take-out window. The other one will reside in the private dining room, called the Verde Room, where special events and other large happenings will take place.
The Weemses are skilled cooks themselves, but they rely heavily on the expertise of chef Tito de la Garza, who has worked with them in Meridian since they opened there. De la Garza hails from Mexico City and went to culinary school in Guadalajara.
“He’s got lots of talent. He makes the best tacos al pastor,” Weems says. “It’s one of his specialties.”
The pork for these tacos gets marinated with chilies and spices before being wound tightly around a spit and roasted on a vertical rotisserie called a trompo. It’s similar to the way that gyro meat gets cooked. Weems expects the tacos al pastor to be a hit with the late-night crowd.
“With all the bars and stuff in the area, this should be popular,” he says.
For progress reports, visit facebook.com/calle75streettacos.