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Pedro and Vinny’s Caters for Texas Congressmen

by ARLnow.com February 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm 4,878 42 Comments

Pedro and Vinny’s, the tiny take-out burrito eatery at 2599 Columbia Pike, has some new friends in high places.

The restaurant had the rare privilege of catering a congressional event last week, thanks to a devoted fan: Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas). Barton has a home in Arlington Heights, not too far from Pedro and Vinny’s, and has become a regular customer since it opened last summer.

When it recently came time for Barton to arrange the catering at a weekly lunch for Republican members of congress from Texas, he asked his staffers to approach the restaurant to see if they’d be up for the task. It would be tough to appease the discerning palates of the Texas lawmakers — whose lunch is usually catered by a rotation of larger, more established restaurants like Hill Country Barbecue and Tortilla Coast — but owner Roger Coroneo said he was up for the challenge.

Sean Brown, Rep. Barton’s press secretary, said the office was a bit worried about their “outside the box” choice of a caterer. After all, Pedro and Vinny’s is essentially housed in a glorified shack in the corner of a CVS parking lot. In the end, though, Coroneo and company delivered 30 freshly-made burritos to the halls of congress last Thursday — 10 chicken, 10 beef and 10 pork — and won over the crowd.

“We were a little nervous, but it actually went over really well from all reports,” Brown told ARLnow.com. “When it comes to food the members are not afraid to [voice] their pleasure or displeasure… And you know, in Texas we like to pride ourselves on knowing when we have a good burrito. ”

There’s now talk of Pedro and Vinny’s being added to the regular rotation of caterers for the Texas GOP delegation, perhaps even for larger events. Brown said the restaurant scored extra points by providing more than just tasty food.

“Their customer service is very good and they were very helpful every step of the way,” he said.

  • Kirk

    Really nice people, and really good burritos. Love Pedro & Vinny’s!

  • CrystalMikey

    That’s awesome. Good job to all involved!

  • G Clifford Prout

    Is Barton going to provide them with an earmark?

  • Runaway Train

    Pedro and Vinny’s is amazing!

  • Eddie R. Murrow

    A catered lunch for 23 people is news? PR CREEP!

  • Lee-n-Glebe

    Well done, Rep. Barton!

  • Pablo

    [Post deleted per comment policy]

    • Quoth the Raven

      Way to make a feel-good story about a restaurant an opportunity for some politically-motivated screed. Nice work.

      • doodle

        yeah, that never happens on here does it?

        • why the political censorship?

          The quote you removed was a reasonable comment on Barton’s position re apologizing to BP for the bad press they got over the gulf oil spill – for which he is rightly infamous. Why delete it ARLNOW?

          • thecharlesriver

            Maybe because it’s political trolling and has nothing to do with this article?

          • doodle

            yes and the comments never stray off topic on this site do they?
            Your bias is showing.

          • thecharlesriver

            Well if being a ground troop and “active” supporter of about 25 to 30 Democrats and about 5-6 Republicans over the course of my lifetime reveals my BIAS for Joe Burton, then so be it! But it also reveals your narrow-minded ignorance.

          • thecharlesriver

            *Barton. Sorry, I’m obviously so infatuated with him that I misspelled his name.

          • Josh S

            Wow. I completely agree. Deleting this quote seems like a huge deviation from what is commonly let go around here. What gives?

      • thecharlesriver

        Looks like they removed it. It’s nice to see the publication show more respect for the small business owner and less to the partisan agenda-driven extremists who incessantly attempt to steer the dialogue into the gutter.

        • supercilious wanker

          yes CR, your posts are always on point

  • Non-sequitur-iffic

    You go Pablo! Wait. Pedro and Vinny did what?

  • Tabs

    Roger?
    I thought his name was John?

    • Ty

      John Rider owns it, Roger is the burrito maker. Fact.

  • DarkHeart

    Should be ranked higher on the list of Arlington’s cheap eats.

    My guess is that Barton lives in one of those new garganormous (relatively) homes at 7th and Glebe.

    • MC 703

      Those houses are big but don’t seem too out of place like the mcmansions squeezed into a small lot that block out their neighbors’ sunlight.

      And in terms of land use, those houses there on redeveloped semi-urban plots are better than a similar house eating up an acre of former hardwood forest or family-owned and operated farmland out in Loudoun.

  • Karla

    Roger it’s the owner of the Columbia pike spot he is extremely awesome besides the great food I just go the to see him make the burritos he is the best

  • Mohammed

    Welp, Bill Clinton used to frequent McDonalds, and politicians eat out and get food catered to them all the time.

    I was in Pedro and Vinnys in August and a 2 flys wrestled on my burrito as the guy was ringing it up, the guy laughed, the guy laughed and said enjoy. He told me to ‘go to hell’ when I requested another one.

    • TG3oA

      Good. More for us. Now go find hades.

      • E

        That is pretty gross Mo, and messed up. TG3oA why you mad tho?

    • awh hells bells

      I frequent this little nook a couple times a month and it has always been clean and the service was courteous. I hope you’re not trying to slander a decent restaurant.

      I don’t know if you can hold a restaurant liable for two flying insects landing on your food in the heat of summer. A little extra protein never hurt and I highly doubt if the guy told you to ‘go to hell’ without being prompted, what did you say that you omitted from your post?

  • ArlingtonWay

    In Texas, they definately know if they have a good burrito or not. They just don’t seem to know if they have a good politician or not.

    • PHD

      or care, maybe

    • BlueSkies

      Awesome!

    • thecharlesriver

      That is some really complex thinking right there. lol

  • SouthArlJD

    That explains the growing cluster of customers I’ve seen there on occasion. People are getting the word. I’ll have to start patronizing them regularly before they hit the big time.

  • Mickey

    If you didn’t get the “Green Apple Quickstep”, then the burrito’s were good.

  • Suburban Not Urban

    Yea, unfortunately Arlington County wants you out of their so they can redevelop everything and anything with rents that will put you out of buisness

    • SouthArlJD

      That whole area was just redeveloped. What are you talking about? I haven’t seen any signs that they’re looking to redevelop that spot.

      • Arlwhenver

        Phase II redevelops the CVS with another huge apartment bunker and puts the burrito shop out of its misery.

        • Nick

          Are there actual plans to redevelop the CVS? I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a Phase II, but I haven’t heard any such reports or even rumors. Where did you hear it? Or are you making it up?

  • David W

    I go to this spot about twice a week if not more since the day they open back in June 2011 and being following there rise to success reading about them I’m very happy that they are doing well customer service and food speaks for it’s self when u walk inn to this humble little spot. John Rider owns the Pedro & Vinny’s name brand He does not own the Columbia pike location that is owned and ran by the Coronel family FACT.. The Riders own a few carts one in DC 15 & K and a couple in Arlington.. And I do not believe that the staff there were ride to anybody I always seen them at there best even when it’s extremely busy..

  • ArlingtonWay

    Didnt this used to be an Ollies Trolley, or am i thinking of a different spot?

    • Josh S

      If it was, that was more than 8 years ago, when I moved to the neighborhood….

  • mojo

    get rid of the shack and rent a spot in penrose or sienna or even that crappy green building across the street.

    • thecharlesriver

      why

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