Pike’s Taqueria Poblano Aiming for Opening Next Week

by ARLnow.com April 25, 2012 at 9:34 am 5,057 54 Comments

The owners of Taqueria Poblano say they’re hoping to open their new Columbia Pike location by the end of next week.

Work is still underway at the restaurant, but most of the interior — including the flooring, lighting, bar, and seating — is already in place. Hiring is apparently also still underway. A “help wanted” sign posted in the window seeks cooks, dishwashers, servers, bartenders and hosts.

The eatery — located on the ground floor of the Penrose Square development, at the corner of Columbia Pike and South Adams Street — will be the third for the local Mexican chain. The other two locations are in Alexandria (2400-B Mount Vernon Avenue) and North Arlington (2503A N. Harrison Street).

Taqueria Poblano’s menu includes various types of tacos, burritos, platters and Sunday brunch items.

Eamonn’s, the Alexandria-based fish-and-chips-and-cocktails restaurant that will be going in next to Taqueria Poblano, is not expected to open until the summer, according to a spokeswoman.

  • JohnB


    • Consider the acoustics!

      I hope they are considering the acoustics. A polished concrete floor, concrete bar, exposed ceiling, etc. Unless there are rugs on the wall and foam dampening mounted on the ceiling, this is going to be an echo chamber. Taq-Pablano, if you are listening, please make sure this place has some acoustical dampening. PLEASE! I’d really like to be able to hear the person across from me when I visit you, often.

      • nom de guerre

        I didn’t realize people talked to one another while in a restaurant any more. My recent observations included people obsessively using their smartphones and/or texting the person across from them.

        • Vinh An Nguyen

          Good point.

          • Consider the acoustics!

            Agreed, but still, I would like a noise level that would allow me to think whilst tapping on me smart phone. So demanding, I know…

            Snark aside, welcome to the neighborhood. We are very excited that TaPo is coming to CoPi.

          • FrenchyB

            CoPi? Please, stop with the hipster abbreviations!

            It’s The Pike.

          • drax

            …said the guy called “FrenchyB.”

  • SamW

    I have been peeking in the windows everyday as I walk my dog. Excited for it to finally open!

  • Wendy

    I am so excited for this. The best margaritas in the land!

    • really?

      better than Oyamel?

      • Frito Pie

        yes – the “salt air” is so pretentious

  • Ken

    Can we please have a variety of businesses on the Pike? Like a dogs only veterinarian?

    • Tabs

      Do they exist? Cats only, sure.

      • Mr. Hand

        Parrots, Parrots, Parrots!

  • John Fontain

    Pretty expensive tex-mex. Their a la carte pricing is a good way (for them) to trick people into not realizing how much is being spent on a meal.

    For example, three beef tacos with rice and beans adds up to almost $17. Wow! Make those fish tacos and you’re up to $18.50. Shrimp tacos would run $21.50.

    For less than that amount of money you can go to almost any of the other good mexican restaurants in the area (El Paso, Abi, Rio Grande) and get food not served in a plastic basket with wax paper.

    • ArlingtonChick

      But their 6$ margaritas are heavenly. Once you get 2 (that’s 12$, if you’re counting), you will be quite buzzed. Also, I tend to not spend a ton there, because 3 tacos plus rice and beans would be QUITE a lot of food from there.

      • John Fontain

        Just a couple blocks from the new location is Restaurant Abi. They’ve also got some good ritas. I think they cost $4 and are on special on Sunday evenings for $3. If you haven’t already checked them out, you may want to give them a try.

        • KalashniKEV

          I liked Abi when I lived on the Pike. They were cheap and they were working with el sabor authentico. This place looks… meh.

          • esmith69

            We love Abi and go there at least once a month. Definitely a place where “the locals” go, but that’s why we like it. Of course the food is amazing too.

            Hope this new place doesn’t make business difficult for Abi..

        • NPGMBR

          My favorite Tex Mex joints are Cactus Cantina on Wisconsin Ave in DC and Tortill Coast on Capital Hill and Guapos in Shirlington. (In that order)

          Will be nice to have a place right here in the hood.

          • John Fontain

            I’ve done both the Cantina and Guapos many times – like them both a lot. Will have to check out Tortilla Coast.

            I haven’t been to Austin Grill in ages. Anyone know if that place is still good?

          • Arlingtonian

            When were you there last? I tried it for the first time last summer and thought it was great. Service was fantastic, too!

          • John Fontain

            It’s been several years.

          • Austin Al

            Tortilla Coast is the worst tex-mex I’ve ever had.

          • KalashniKEV

            Tortilla Coast is terrible!!!

          • drax

            It’s Tex-Mex though, so you can follow your standard “don’t tip because they might be illegals” policy, Kev.

          • Arlingtonian

            Guapo’s and Cactus Cantina – love ’em. I haven’t been out to the Cantina in some time – I’ll have to head out that way this weekend.

    • drax

      I don’t remember any plastic baskets or waxed paper.

      • John Fontain

        I do. And I’m not saying I have any problem with plastic baskets in and of themselves. It’s just not what I would expect at a place with food this expensive.


        • Stuperman

          The picture does indeep confirm the existence of plastic baskets and the fact that the soft tacos have “almost” the same amount of shredded iceberg lettuce as the tostada. If I look hard enough I think I see several beans and one tomato chunk.

    • U ROY

      You got that right.

    • The ‘Surfer Tacos’ at the Lime Fresh Grill are amongst the best fish tacos I’ve ever had. Having had fish tacos in Kodiak, AK down to Ventura, CA I know a good one when I try it.

    • Mr. Hand

      I hear you, man. The food is ok, but taking a family of five there is murder on the credit card. We can’t get out of there for less than $75, which is twice what it costs at Elevation Burger, and even higher than Pie-tanza. The kids’ quesadilla meal is too small by half, so I always lose half my own meal to my starting kids. Plus, they start charging you for chips after the first basket. I like to support local businesses, but this one (the Harrison St one) is hard to love.

      And, yes, the burritos come in red plastic baskets, with nothing else.

      • GreaterClarendon

        I’m right there with you. My kids only eat quesadilla at mexican restaurants, and we go to Rio Grande, Baja Fresh, Zoe’s, Lime, formerly Chevy’s, and I’ve got to say the worst kids meal experience was Taqueria Poblano. It was simply one tortilla folded over with Kraft sliced singles as the cheese. It was 1/2 the quesadillas you get elsewhere – and kids did not like it. We will never go there again as a family until / unless we hear they have improved the kids menu.

  • U ROY

    $12 tostada at Taqueria Poblano.

    I’ll see you at abi restaurant.

    • nom de guerre

      I had the $12 tostada at their Lee-Harrison location and 75% of it consisted of shredded iceberg lettuce.

      • John Fontain

        What I find so fascinating is this: If Poblano’s exact same food was sold for the exact same price in the exact same setting, but the name on the door was changed to the name of a national chain, people wouldn’t be nearly so excited about the food or it’s pricing.

        • nom de guerre

          I think it is secretly a chain but will only have up to 5 restaurants with the same name. They know something about marketing to Arlington residents to avoid the appearance of being a chain and raising the hype and excitement level.

      • Mr. Hand

        Mmmm. lettuce….


        Looks more like the top of my grandma’s head

    • Clarendude

      Abi is a very solid choice. I wish we had that in Clarendon.

      • KalashniKEV

        Abi and Top’s China should get storefront space in the new place they’re building where Dremo’s used to be.

      • nom de guerre

        Alas, Clarendon is no longer able to attract and sustain the small, local and ethnic restaurants that used to be their keystones, such as the numerous Vietnamese restaurants, LaCantanita Havana Cafe, Hsian Foong, Clare and Don’s, etc.

        • The Dope of South Arlington

          You’re right. And the Pike is next.

  • nunya

    looks snazzy

  • my husband and I started eating at Abi when it was owned by Mrs. Abi herself – no bar – just food. It was great back then. We ate there so often and enjoyed it so much that the day before our wedding we took all our relatives to eat lunch. It was soooo good.

    Then Mrs. Abi gave control of the restaurant to her son. He immediately added loud music and a bar. The atmosphere changed dramatically. It became a loud pick-up place instead of a family restaurant.

    Before long the dreaded TV’s appeared. AGH! That’s when we stopped going to Abi. We were very sorry, but the place was so inhospitable.

    Is it still loud with music and tvs??? I’d love to return to eat their pupusas and camarones entomatados. They were great!!!

    This place is way too expensive for me but I’m willing to try it one time.

  • checked the menu – I am willing to give it a shot. Photos look good – nice sized portions.

    Their website says their food specializes in Yucatan style food yet they call it Poblano – which means it is from the city of Puebla which is located near Mexico City, not the Yucatan Peninsula, so their name and their message are a tad different.

    Also, some of the food is clearly Tex-Mex or California-Mex. Burritos do not exist in Mexico.

    But other than this, it looks yummy.

  • nom de guerre

    Does anyone know if they will be seeking a live entertainment permit? Possibly a roaming Mariachi band?

  • Yum-my!

    Love their crispy LA Style pork taco and their fish taco. So excited they are coming to the pike! Happy their business is doing well and expanding. We have been going to the Del Ray location for years. They’ve had the same servers forever, so they must be doing something right with their employess and that makes me want to give them my business.

  • MC

    Meh. Wish Arlington could attract something better in Mexican, maybe a branch of Mexicana Rosa.

  • Justin

    The Lee Harrison location is pretty mediocre.

  • Dave

    The Taqueria Tostada is fantastic. It is a very large portion and worth every penny.

    • nom de guerre

      Twelve hundred pennies? The only reason it is so large is because it contains 75% shredded lettuce, at least at the Lee-Harrison location. I would like it to contain the meat and the other advertised ingredients. Maybe it was because I was a gringo.


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