Story, photos by Cassie Hepler
Before Revolution Taco had a brick and mortar store at 2015 Walnut St., they were a wee little food truck. But that food truck was serving foie gras and lobster, unlike any others.
Celebrating a one year anniversary in January 2017, owners Carolyn Nguyen and Michael Sultan are adding to their self described “gringo taco” menu with some tasty treats and fan favorites.
One year ago this week, two of the city’s well-known food trucks Nguyen and Sultan opened their first brick and mortar in the Rittenhouse neighborhood. Revolution Taco joined their growing food empire, that today includes 33rd Street Hospitality Catering, The Mill’s Cafe, Say Cheese Philly and Taco Mondo. The duo have been cooking and catering for many years together – and they garnered lots of recognition for catering and food truck events.
“We wanted to have a brick and mortar where people could find our food all the time,” said Sultan. “We wanted to also offer a casual restaurant where people who love tacos can come and enjoy our cooking styles and use of fresh, high quality and seasonal ingredients.”
Revolution Taco has now served up thousands of tacos and empanadas, plus tens of thousands of house-made chips. The duo went on to also expand operations for 33rd Street Hospitality, and was selected as an official caterer for Diner en Blanc Philadelphia. In fall of 2016, Nguyen and Sultan expanded their commissary kitchen operations by opening casual breakfast and lunch spot The Mill’s Cafe in Sherman Mills in East Falls.
“It’s been a really great twelve months since we opened,” said Sultan. “People have been so supportive and embraced our tacos without borders culture. We wanted to simply say ‘thanks’ and invite everyone to celebrate a great year and good things to come in 2017. Look for some new surprises come later winter and early spring too.”
But before we get to the new menu additions, let’s look at the tasty staples on the menu.
Look for Pig Wings – braised pork shank, dredged, fried, coated in sauce served with rice, beans and house-made Roja Salsa. The duo used to offer limited quantities of Pig Wings on Street Food Truck when it used to serve at Drexel. Now, they bring the tradition to their brick-and-mortar every Friday for both lunch and dinner service. The meat falls right off the bone with sauces and rubs all house-made.
Look for tamales on the daily menu – featuring a rotating variety that will vary throughout each month. Tamales are made of corn dough that is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. The first variety will feature Chicken Verde – and sell for $4.00 each.
“We went looking for a good tamale in the Rittenhouse area and couldn’t find one, so we decided to make our own,” added Sultan. “Tamales are a natural progression for taco shop. Watch for other changes and additions to come as the weather breaks too.”
Better known as Arroz con Pollo, Wednesday night dinner service each week will have the duo’s twist on the family-style Mexican dish that typically features chicken and rice. The traditional dish is chicken and rice, served with an special quesadilla that uses a house-made corn tortilla and fontina cheese. Future weeks will see varieties using confit duck, salt and pepper fried wings, and Chinese BBQ.
Revolution Taco is the fast casual brick and mortar concept from two food truck owners from Taco Mondo and Say Cheese Philadelphia. Carolyn Nguyen and Michael Sultan worked together for many years in the culinary world before starting their business. The duo realized together the demand for Taco Mondo, and saw an opportunity to expand their businesses. Together they decided to create Revolution Taco. With a classically trained chef approach, they use the taco shell as a vehicle to create unique global flavors. Some menu highlights include: slow braised short ribs, confit duck, smoked pork, and fried curried cauliflower tacos.
The team behind Revolution Taco use their combined 25 years of restaurant and catering experience to bring the city of Philadelphia a seasonal, ingredient inspired, fresh, exciting twist on tacos. The menu will also includes various selections of burritos and homemade empanadas.