The Taco Carrito cart has been serving hungry Ballston office workers for nearly four weeks. But even regular customers may not realize that the people serving them tasty tacos and homemade Spanish-recipe guacamole have no culinary background whatsoever.
In fact, the reason why proprietors Don Stanke and Colleen Kenney never serve breakfast or dinner is because they work a completely different full-time job — the late shift at a local television station. Don and Colleen, who asked that their employer not be identified, say they came up with the idea for the cart two years ago at a bar, while discussing layoffs in the television news industry.
With so much uncertainty, why not start their own business as a fall back, they thought. Plus, it could be fun.
“I just thought it would be cool to be a vendor, to stand there and talk to people all day,” Don said.
Don, a news photographer, and Colleen, a tape producer, decided to launch a cart before they decided what to serve. With feedback from friends, they narrowed it down to pizza or tacos. Ultimately they decided on tacos, and set off researching the best recipes.
The cart originally launched last year and served Crystal City. All went well for two months, until Arlington police showed up with measuring tape and determined the cart was two feet longer than regulations allow.
“Rules are rules,” Don lamented, even though he says he was told by a health department employee that the extra length wasn’t a problem.
After selling that cart, buying a 20-year-old used cart that required restoration and customization, and getting their paperwork in order, the cart re-launched last month.
Currently, Taco Carrito serves customers near Wellburn Square in Ballston from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.
Although they did vend at the Marine Corps Marathon in Rosslyn over the weekend, Don and Colleen don’t plan to make regular trips to any other neighborhoods (partially in deference to the District Taco cart, partially to avoid the territory of a certain rival television station).
The co-workers say they would ultimately like to get licensed in the District, when such licenses become available.
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Join MoCA Arlington Summer Camps at Marymount University and learn the fundamentals of handbuilding, throwing on a wheel, glazing, and much more. In this two-week course, students will explore hand building techniques, wheel throwing, and strengthen ideas that exemplify individual artist expression guided by professional working artists. Students of all skill levels are welcome!
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Please join us on Saturday, June 3, from 2 to 4 pm for the Glencarlyn Home Tour in Arlington’s historic Glencarlyn neighborhood. Among the featured homes will be a sparkling new home by A&N Builders at 5604-4th St. South. The inviting front porch opens to a light-filled space featuring high ceiling, wood floors, gas fireplace, Pella windows, Shrock cabinets, Quartz countertop, and JennAir appliances. Doors from the family room open to a large covered porch with a few steps to the level, landscaped rear yard. Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, three bathrooms, laundry room, and linen storage. The big lower level has a rec room, gym space, and a fifth bedroom and bathroom plus even more storage. After leaving the home, stroll to the Ball-Sellers home, the oldest residence in Arlington, the community gardens at the library, Carlin Hall, and the 94 acre Glencarlyn Park. A lovely way to while away a late spring afternoon.
Homebuying 101: Steps to Getting Pre-Approved
Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved.
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4th of July Celebration & Fireworks
Treat yourself this Independence Day with a world-class, private 4th of July extravaganza at the Military Women’s Memorial – a premier National Capital Region site.
Great food, fun, and the best views of Washington DC’s spectacular fireworks display. Relax, enjoy,