Vinton now has its own taco chop, family-owned and operated by brothers Angel and Edgar Vasquez. “La Casa Del Burrito Taco Shop” is located at the corner of Second Street and Virginia Avenue adjoining the Marathon convenience store where Georgio’s Restaurant was located for many years.
Roxanne Vasquez, Angel’s wife, said that in California where they came from, there tend to be large Mexican restaurants, but also express taco shops like theirs with quick service and lower prices.
As for why they chose Vinton, “Vinton has a great history and also a great community and busy area, with lots of traffic, so we knew business was going to be great there,” said Vasquez.
The brothers have not owned a restaurant before but had years of cooking experience in California before opening the shop here.
The taco shop opened on May 27 and business has been very good from day one; their reputation has spread rapidly simply by word of mouth. The restaurant is filling a gap left by the closing of Angelo’s in downtown Vinton last year and has become especially popular with the Vinton public safety staff. The family says their busiest hours so far have been around lunchtime from 11:45 or so until about 2:00 and then at dinner.
Their hours of operation are from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Breakfast is served all day long. They welcome diners up until closing.
The building required some renovations— mainly repair of the air conditioning, some painting (the paint scheme is now pink and orange inside), some patching, and opening up the service window.
The layout remains the same as in the past— there are three separate sections for dining in, seating up to 49 customers. They plan to add more exterior signage to attract the attention of passers-by.
The owners adapted a catchy Mexican cartoon character logo from the 1980s and designed their menu themselves. They plan to add more items to the menu as they get established, but it is quite substantial now.
Virtually all entrees are made from scratch, on-site, including their sauces and the excellent guacamole. The main word that comes to mind after eating at the taco shop is “fresh.” Everything just tastes fresh, because it is. Angel Vasquez says that they constantly taste as they are sautéing and cooking to get the seasonings just right.
Almost everything is made after the order is placed and they are willing to customize any order to the customer’s satisfaction.
Breakfast dishes include a variety of burritos— eggs, cheese, and beans with ham or bacon, potatoes, or chorizo— and breakfast combos.
Menu items aside from breakfast include every variety of tacos, burritos, mulitas, and tortas (a sandwich) from pollo asado (chicken) to carne asada (beef) to carnitas (pork) to shrimp and fish.
They serve several kinds of quesadillas and enchiladas. The beef is slow-cooked and shredded— not ground beef. The fish is lightly fried in a tempura batter but can also be grilled— just ask. There are vegetarian entrees and most any dish can become vegetarian on request. Combos come with sides of beans and rice, which can also be purchased separately in half pint sizes.
If your idea of Mexican food is a taco salad— theirs is superb, with a freshly-fried taco shell base and filled with your meat of choice, rice, beans, salad vegetables, cheese, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream—made, once again, to your specifications.
They make both green and red sauces— the green tends to be milder; the red hotter. They have created their own special jalapeno with cheese dipping sauce that is an alternative to queso, with the flavor of jalapenos, but not the kick.
One of their most popular menu selections has become their “aguas frescas,” basically fruit waters, made from their own recipes from fresh fruit, water, and sugar. Pineapple has become the favorite along with watermelon, cantaloupe, horchata (from rice and cinnamon), and Jamaica (from dried flowers). Flavors available vary from day to day. They say they usually run out by lunchtime and need to make a second batch to finish the day. Bottled sodas and water are available as well.
There is a children’s menu that includes the basics— cheese quesadillas, chicken tacos and tenders, and taquitos, served with some of the best French fries in memory. The fries are made fresh every day from actual potatoes they slice— not frozen with additives.
There are no desserts on the menu as of yet, but they serve churros, no-sugar ice cream, and a beautiful chocolate flan.
Their prices are quite reasonable. Individual tacos sell for around $2; most other items, including combos, are in the $5 to $8 range.
The restaurant offers take-out. You may call in orders ahead of time and pick them up; they do not deliver. They also do catering with a day’s notice and will adapt a menu for your event.
The Vasquez family says that the town and county have both been very helpful in getting them up and running— especially with good advice— inaMarie Overstreet in the Vinton Finance Department, Anita McMillan in Vinton Planning and Zoning, Roanoke County Building Inspector Morgan Yates, and Roanoke County Fire Marshal Brian Simmons.
The restaurant is located at 515 2nd Street in Vinton, near Wells Fargo Bank. Cash and cards are accepted for payment.
Questions can be asked, and orders placed by calling 540-206-3683.
La Casa Del Burrito has a Facebook page to keep customers aware of menu options available each day and their specials.
Their aim has been “good food–made quickly—and good service,” and they have succeeded.
“Our food is very different,” said Roxanne Vasquez. “You must come in and try it.”