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 us at Art House 7 this Saturday 4-7pm for our Annual Open House – Teacher and Student art show!
Meet our teachers
See student and teacher artwork
Teacher’s paintings, ceramics, notecards will be for sale
Enjoy beverages and light refreshments
All attendees get a $20 gift certificate off a class
30% off everything in our Supply Store for holiday gifts
Sat. Dec. 3, 4-7pm
Art House 7
The Alternative Christmas Market is back! At First Presbyterian Church Arlington in Ballston, located at 601 N. Vermont Street, Arlington VA 22203, on Sunday, December 4th from 9:30am to 1:00pm. Parking available.
Vendors and products this year include: 10,000 Villages, Olive Oil Ministry, African Team Ministries, Community Coalition for Haiti, Heifer, African Market Baskets, Café Justo, Thistle Farms, Southwest Indian Foundation, and Together We Bake.
Buy gifts for everyone on your list, and support these great organizations, artisans, and global neighbors. See you there!
NCE’s Holiday Concert will bring the finest classical masterpieces and holiday favorites together for the whole family. The festivities begin with Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride” and “Chanukkah Festival”, music from the Nutcracker and by J.S. Bach.
Outstanding Young Artist