Hot Taco. Go ahead.
Done snickering? Okay. So Hot Taco opened yesterday. Owner Sean Harrington, who also owns the Town Pump Tavern and Centaur and pretty much that whole block of Park Ave. behind the Fox Theatre, envisioned this to be a gringo Baja California-style taco shack. "Shack" probably isn't the right word -- it definitely has that slick ground-floor-of-an-ultra-sleek-urban-loft-building feel to it what with the brushed metal countertops, a white ceramic tile backsplash, red walls, floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows and exposed ductwork (or maybe that's the ghost of Hugh demanding a certain design aesthetic from when this space was home to the first-ever Hatch Detroit winner and Detroit's first pop-up retail store) -- but the food is definitely what you could imagine being served by a deeply-tanned dude with long blond hair who uses the word "dude" un-ironically. You could even imagine yourself eating them outside in the hot sun while breathing in the salty sea air ... if, you know, it weren't 20 degrees outside and imagining that sort of scenario weren't a form of self-flagellation.
Choose from rotisserie chicken, pulled pork, chorizo, marinated steak, shrimp or vegetarian, on corn or flour shells, 3 for $6 (steak and shrimp are extra), and wash it all down with a bottle of Jarritos (with a cup of ice, for you gringos who can't drink warm soda). For abusers of the word "authentic" who will be quick to point out that Taqueria Lupita's is better ... congratulations, you are very well-educated in the ways of Mexican culture, but for our part we like the total lack of pretenses here and that at least it isn't trying to present itself as "authentic accessible upscale Mexican" at $12 per plate.
Right now it's cash only (give it about a week) and they're serving about 80% of their menu. Be patient as they find their footing and open in "phases" (a future phase might even include beer!). Hot Taco is open daily from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. or later. Detroiters are already rejoicing over the addition of another lunch and late-night food option in the CBD (of which there are surprisingly few). Maybe this will help the case for Downtown next year in the Curbed Cup? Only 363 more days to go...
For more of the Coxian Curbed design perspective, check out this post on Curbed Detroit.
Want to see more? Check out the Flickr set here.