When a new link in a chain opens, it’s usually not too different from its predecessors. Not at Taco Bamba. When the fifth location of the local business welcomes customers on Thursday, Aug. 20, it will have a new menu, inspired by its new home.
“Creating a new menu for each location is always my favorite part of any opening,” chef-owner Victor Albisu said in a press release. “All Taco Bamba locations have their own identity that reflects the neighborhood, and Arlington has such a great culinary tradition of immigrant cuisines. We’ve felt really inspired while creating these dishes.”
All Taco Bamba locations have two sections on their menu: Traditionals includes classic tacos such as al pastor, carnitas and chicken tinga. But there are also Nuestros, unique combinations that Albisu creates for each fast-casual store. In Ballston, they are globally driven.
The new selections include a nod to Albisu’s own Peruvian heritage with El Rico Pollo, stuffed with spiced pollo a la brasa-style chicken topped with green chili puree and aji amarillo mayo. Not everything is inside a tortilla. The Salim Abu Aziz features a filling of shawarma-spiced zucchini with sumac onion, burnt eggplant, grilled halloumi cheese and chipotle yogurt in a warm pita. There’s an American classic in taco form too, El Diablo, which combines Buffalo chicken, blue cheese crema and pickles.
Not every dish is in taco form either. The menu also includes a spicy fried chicken torta; “Shake and Bake” chilaquiles; spiced street corn served off the cob with popcorn; and “The Jeffrey,” a fried burrito filled with carne asada, pork al pastor, chorizo, Chihuahua cheese and serrano salsa verde. Welcome to Ballston, Taco Bamba. //4000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
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