Do you remember Starvin’ Marvin’s? How about H.I. Ribster’s? Generous George’s? They’re all fond memories for Annandale native Victor Albisu, chef of the six-strong Taco Bamba chain. The latest store just opened on June 4 in Rockville, Maryland. Now Albisu is particularly excited to have signed the lease yesterday on a space in Alexandria’s Landmark neighborhood, bordering Annandale.
Albisu worked at his mother’s Latin market in Landmark growing up and fondly remembers his culinary discoveries in the area (as well as the Tower Records across the street from his new restaurant). “It’s smack in the middle of where I used to be to live,” he says of the Little River Turnpike location. “I’ve got a lot of friends still there. It’s a very vibrant intersection.”
Each Taco Bamba has its own menu, featuring dishes inspired by its surroundings. Albisu is inspired this time by the favorites that formed his culinary backbone. That includes the Italian subs and meatballs sandwiches at Starvin’ Marvin’s. “You can definitely expect a meatball taco, for sure,” he says. Other potential sources of his culinary brainstorms might include the Korean cuisine and Middle Eastern kebabs with which he grew up.
Albisu hopes to open the seventh Taco Bamba in fall or winter. It’s not perfect timing for the indoor/outdoor bar and large patio, but the chef doesn’t think the location will be ready before then. Local design firm Swatchroom will be in charge of the new look, including a colorful mural. 6259 Little River Tpk., Alexandria
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