HOME > Chowhound > Southeast >

Discussion

Taqueria concept coming to Rockwood area of Durham, NC

  • 34
  • Share

Care of Andrea and the N&O

http://blogs.newsobserver.com/food/ch...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. That is exciting! Hopefully this is the thing that will finally stick in that location.

    1. Gringofied taqueria? No thanks, I'll stick to the real deals on Roxboro Rd. and elsewhere.

      28 Replies
      1. re: bbqme

        I'm hoping for a middle ground like Tonali (whose chef came is Latino but worked as sous chef at...drawing a blank but somewhere in the Durham fine dining pantheon). That said, you're right, it will always be tempting to turn a few blocks earlier and head for La Vaquita.

        -----
        Tonali Restaurant
        3642 Shannon Rd Ste 1, Durham, NC 27707

        1. re: bbqme

          Gringofied might be a little harsh. I'm sure it will be good, probably very good but It'll probably will get a lot of folks who wouldn't dare set foot in Los Comales.

          -----
          Los Comales
          2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

          1. re: LBD

            I think it will straddle the line between Los Comales fare and Dos Perros. Personally, I'd love to see a kickass Yakitori bar there.

            -----
            Los Comales
            2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

            Dos Perros
            200 N Mangum St. Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701

            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

              I think the Triangle could support an izakaya. I doubt that's the right space, tho. With the last 2 places going under, I'd turn the space into storage rather than throwing good money after bad.

              1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                Well I'm thinking of how small some of the spaces are in NY that have worked well (although more foot traffic there) and well your typical spot in Japan wouldn't be that large I wouldn't think. Just an idea and something unique for the Triangle. A honest to goodness bakery there might do well too. Build out the kitchen make the front very small and go in pick up and go.

                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                  Or do it as a food truck. Seems like the perfect cuisine for that.

                  1. re: brokegradstudent

                    absolutely on the food truck.

                    I don't think Tom from R was saying anything about the size of the space so much as that it doesn't seem to work well for restaurants, what with 2 going down in the past 3 years. But hey, if it works, great.

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      Thanks, LulusMom. I should have been more clear and refered to the location rather than the space. It seems to me that its a bad location. It's right by the Asian restaurant that seems to change hands everytime I drive by.

                      I would love to see a yakitori place also or a Thai place along the lines of Portland's Pok Pok here.

                      1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                        The Asian restaurant keeps failing in each incarnation because they have consistently served bad food. That general neighborhood seems to me as thriving an area as you could find for restaurants: Gugelhupf, Foster's, Q-Shack, Nana's, and Local Yogurt are all within a couple of blocks of each other. Rockwood Fillin' Station got mixed reviews on both food and service. I don't know what happened with the Fish Shack, but personally I never went there because the concept of fried fish doesn't really appeal to me. If Nanataco lives up to its promise, however, I'm sure my family and I will eat there frequently. We do love Los Comales, and many of the other traditional taquerias, but we also like nuevo Mexican food and Tex Mex. That's the beauty of it, you don't have to choose, you can eat both.

                        -----
                        Los Comales
                        2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

                        Q-Shack
                        10822 Providence Rd, Charlotte, NC 28277

                        1. re: durhamois

                          I think another problem with the Fish Shack was the feng shui/vibe along with the fact that it didn't offer immediate gratification the same way the Qshack does. The way they remodeled that place after Rockwood was weird. I walked in one day and turned right around and walked back out. If they serve alcohol they'll have that over the other taquerias.

                        2. re: Tom from Raleigh

                          I just heard about Pok Pok on Splendid Table as they were talking about drinking vinegars. They could also stand to make that place a bit more like Saxapahaw General Store as far food goes (not so much with the grocery store inside). Heck make it a place like this http://www.webergrillrestaurant.com with a bunch of things being grilled. The bakery may not work there only due to Fosters and Guglhupf right there. If they had the space to cook, they could make it like upscale dining in the vein of Jose Andres Minibar in DC. That would be nouveau for our area.

                          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                            Is there a website for Nanataco? I can't seem to find one and the restaurant is set to open tomorrow (Aug 16th).

                2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                  Man, I'd love some good yakitori. I guess my original comment was a bit harsh given that the place isn't even open yet but it reflects my experience with Dos Perros and Chubby's.

                  -----
                  Dos Perros
                  200 N Mangum St. Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701

                  1. re: bbqme

                    Idon't think that Chubby's is overly gringofied. They do a better Al Pastor than Los Comales.

                    -----
                    Los Comales
                    2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                      Right you are. A taco place can still be authentic if some of the employees happen to understand English.

                      1. re: ucctgg

                        The main cashier at Los Comales is a young guy who works in his family business. His English is practically unaccented. If you go to Super Taqueria, La Vaquita, or any of the other major taquerias in town, you'll find that the people working at the cash register can take your order quite satisfactorily in English. So let's avoid the ethnic stereotypes, shall we?

                        -----
                        Super Taqueria
                        2842 N Roxboro Rd, Durham, NC 27704

                        Los Comales
                        2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

                        1. re: durhamois

                          I haven't been to Super Taqueria in over a year, but the last time I was there no one working there spoke English.

                          I've also been to Los Comales at times when no one there spoke English.
                          Does the young guy who speaks English work there every minute they are open?

                          It's disingenuous of you to claim that all of the places have people that speak English when many of them don't or only do sometimes .

                          -----
                          Super Taqueria
                          2842 N Roxboro Rd, Durham, NC 27704

                          Los Comales
                          2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

                          1. re: castaway

                            Some places, some days, it is better than others. I speak basically no useful Spanish (thanks high school!) but have never gone hungry owing to a language barrier.

                            I find that numbers (really only 1-10 ever come up, unless I'm really hungry), food words (chivo, lengua, asada, pollo, borrego), and pointing usually let me get by.

                            It is always worth remembering that restaurants in general and cheap restaurants in particular are a pretty low margin business. I suspect that insofar as a place finds an advantage in having "customer service fluent" english speakers, they have them already. I'd guess that "enough to get the transaction done" is about all the managers usually aspire to.

                            1. re: brokegradstudent

                              >I find that numbers (really only 1-10 ever come up, unless I'm really hungry),

                              Laughed out loud.

                              1. re: LulusMom

                                Actual conversation at a taqueria in Chicago many years ago (I'd taken the bus, my friends were trying to park in Pilsen):
                                Me: quince tacos de barbacoa por favor
                                guy at the counter (my spanish is bad, errors are mine, not his): cinco tacos son mucha comida.
                                me: quince
                                him: cinco
                                me: mumbles something about amigos and a jumble of words and gestures to indicate driving, parking, and arriving soon.
                                him: laughs at me, writes down the number 15, points to it and gives me a thumbs up

                                1. re: brokegradstudent

                                  Love it! You are probably legendary - a guy he talks about when sitting around with his buddies drinking beer.

                            2. re: castaway

                              @Castaway, I didn't say they spoke English. I said they can take your order satisfactorily in English, which is accurate, if not somewhat subjective. As a general rule, whenever I'm in a situation where I encounter a language barrier, I find that a good attitude can take me a long way.

                        2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                          I like the variety of Chubby's salsas but Los Comales has the condiments bar. But what sets them apart from Chubby's is the fresh made tortillas. Plus, their tacos cost less and have twice the filling.

                          As for Dos Perros, props to them for offering tamales-- and darn good ones! The goat is especially delicious. But overall, I'm sticking to the Roxboro Rd. haunts. Besides, I can also them pop over to the paletaria and get a spicy, savory chili mango popsicle.

                          -----
                          Los Comales
                          2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

                          Dos Perros
                          200 N Mangum St. Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701

                          1. re: bbqme

                            bbqme,

                            I'm not familiar with the paletaria on Roxboro Rd and would love to give that a try. Is there a name / address for that? (Perhaps its connected to one of the local haunts I have not made it to yet?) Thanks.

                            1. re: Guilty Gourmand

                              The palleteria is in the strip mall across the parking lot and facing Compare foods in the shopping center with the Big Lots.

                              They also have ice cream and it's all made in house.

                              1. re: castaway

                                I have not been to this paleteria, but I have been to the bakery/tortilleria in the same strip mall. They make great tortillas.

                              2. re: Guilty Gourmand

                                What do you know, Indyweek has an article on just this topic!

                                http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/loca...

                              3. re: bbqme

                                I'm a Los Comales fan but I work on Ninth Street so Chubby's is convenient. I just tried Salamandra last week since it's very close, it was very good with generously filled tacos. They start you with a basket of chips and a salsa made from pureed avacado, tomatillo, and chile-it's great.

                                -----
                                Los Comales
                                2103 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

                    2. Anybody know if Nanataco is open yet?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Jeanne

                        Nanataco will open early next week. They will have $5 Margarita's and various taco meals for $5.95. I was told the first week they will have lamb cheek tacos. I know pork jowl will be a regular taco. I believe the layout will be the same as Fish Shack with extra seating outside. I wish they would have a bar, but that will be the only complaint from me.

                        1. re: Jeanne

                          It opened at 5 today.

                        2. On the language thing, I eat at taquerias all the time and I speak Spanish. My rule is I speak in the language I'm spoken to, and the majority of the time I don't even use Spanish, because I end up being served by a younger person who speaks English perfectly.