In true Orange City fashion, a taco stand has opened complete with Dutch architecture. Taco Vallarto fills a void in students’ local dining options that has existed since the closing of Cinco de Mayo in 2012.
“The taco stand is really good and has great prices,” said senior Lauren Van’t Hof. “It’s nice to have a Mexican food option in town again.”
The stand, which opened last August, is owned and operated by the family of senior Ed Sánchez-Perry, junior Leo Sánchez-Perry and freshman Rafael Sánchez-Perry. It’s named after their hometown of Puerto Vallarto, Mexico.
Their father, Gumaro Sánchez, decided to open a taco stand last year. The family looked for a location in Sheldon and Le Mars, but all the available places were too large and expensive. So when Sno Shack moved out of the small building next to the Dutch Mart gas station on Albany Avenue, it turned out to be the perfect place for Gumaro’s taco stand.
“This is technically the dream job for him,” Leo said. “He said he was going open one up no matter what, whether it was going to be here or back home in Mexico.”
During Taco Vallarto’s first weeks, Leo worked there every day. Since school has started, other people, such as their mother, Maria Sánchez, have been filling in.
Eventually, Gumaro would like to acquire a larger property, open a restaurant and possibly even expand to multiple locations. Currently, he’s testing the waters to see if it’s a feasible option for the future.
The stand serves tacos for $1 and burritos for $4. Customers who want meat have their choice of steak, chicken and pork. Burritos come with a variety of toppings, including Pico de Gallo, sour cream and hot or mild sauce. According to the Sánchez family, more menu items are coming soon.
Except for Sunday, Taco Vallarto is open every day from noon to approximately 8 p.m., depending on the flow of business.