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South Hill taco lovers, you’re getting a taqueria (or 3?)

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Taco plate

Here’s some pretty big taco news. Taqueria El Rinconsito plans to open soon in South Hill.

The good news about that is that the taqueria will be the first of what’s expected to be three taqueria openings in South Hill.

The bad news: Only Taqueria El Rinconsito appears to be opening soon. You’ll have to wait for the opening of Los Amigos Taqueria (I hope it’s still happening) and Fiesta Taqueria, but more on those in a moment.

Taqueria El Rinconsito South Hill
Taqueria El Rinconsito in South Hill

TAQUERIA EL RINCONSITO SOUTH HILL

The owners of Taqueria El Rinconsito hope to open their South Hill location this month, although they don’t yet have an official opening date said co-owners Abel Brambila and Lupe Guzmán via email. UPDATE: Taqueria El Rinconsito in South Hill had a soft opening on March 5 and its grand opening was on March 6, 2020.

While the exact opening date is still a bit up in the air, what’s certain is that the South Hill location of Taqueria El Rinconsito will mirror the same footprint, setup and menu of the other Taqueria El Rinconsito locations. “The menu and formula are still the same as in any other location,” said Brambila and Guzmán.

Salsa bar
The salsa bar at Taqueria El Rinconsito in Tacoma.

The duo founded the restaurant company in 1997 in downtown Kent and have since opened more than a dozen locations from Tacoma to Everett and all the way to Yakima.

The South Hill location will open at 305 39th Ave. SW, Puyallup. That location previously housed Lovers.

dining room
The dining room at the Tacoma Taqueria El Rinconsito will be similar to the dining room at the South Hill location.

Expect the South Hill taqueria to offer the same kind of casual interior as the Tacoma location. The Puyallup location comes with parking in the front and back of the restaurant.

The restaurant is known for its affordable eats and diners should expect bargains aplenty at the South Hill location. That means daily specials at the $5.49 price point.

The restaurant also will have its signature serve-yourself salsa bar and a menu of taqueria favorites. The menu lists the usual taqueria suspects: burritos, enchiladas, sopitos, mulitas, gorditas, quesadillas, flautas, taquitos, a selection of seafood, as well as chicken and steak plates. Several menu items fall in the under-$10 category, but the combination plates and seafood skew more toward $13-$15.

If you order one thing at the taqueria, make it the carnitas tacos. Those tacos carry the finest of taco accessories – grilled onions and jalapenos on the side.

I was heartbroken to hear one menu item will be discontinued, although I spotted the restaurant’s famous torta ahogada (a torta sandwich drenched in sauce) on the Tacoma menu in January. “Unfortunately the Torta Ahogada and the Guarachi will be discontinued from our menu since we do not tend to sell them as much and the preparation time is pretty long,” the owners said via message.

taco plate
Taco plates are inexpensive at Taqueria El Rinconsito.

Will there be beer? Nope. Just soft drinks. Here’s something unusual for Puyallup – a restaurant open late. Other than Pho Tai and 24-hour chain restaurants, few late-night dining options exist in South Hill. Taqueria El Rinconsito lists the Puyallup hours as closing at midnight on weekdays and 3 a.m. on weekends.

They plan to have a grand opening shortly after the doors open. The celebration will have live music, gifts and some pretty sweet food bargains. I’ll have more soon.

TAQUERIA EL RINCONSITO

305 39th Ave. SW, Puyallup; elrinconsito.com

Opening: February 2020, anticipated. UPDATE: Taqueria El Rinconsito in South Hill had a soft opening on March 5 and its grand opening was on March 6, 2020.

LOS AMIGOS TAQUERIA SOUTH HILL

It’s been months and months since the sign went up at 4215 S. Meridian announcing, “Los Amigos Taqueria Opening Soon.” Summer passed, then fall came and went and here we are in February and we’re still waiting for that taqueria’s opening in the old New China Buffet space.

What gives? I wish I knew. Multiple messages sent to the owners in January and February have not been returned. Xavier Dominicci, co-owner of 5 Corners Realty, the company that previously represented the space before it was leased, said that his understand is that the remodel turned out to be “more extensive than predicted but the owners of the taqueria were very interested in moving forward to opening.” He’s checking for more information.

The taqueria previously operated as a taco truck just down the street at 11802 Meridian. A sign at the former gas station location announced the move to the new brick-and-mortar location, but then nothing came after that. I’ve spotted activity on-and-off at the space. I’ll report back if I hear any news.

Fiesta Taqueria South Hill
A sign is up at the new location for Fiesta Taqueria in South Hill.

FIESTA TAQUERIA SOUTH HILL

It’s confirmed: Fiesta Taqueria is planning to open in South Hill in a location that has hosted three other restaurants in as many years (Roadrunner Bourbon and Burger House + Speakeasy Lounge, Napoli Italiano and PNW Grill). However, all the details of Fiesta Taqueria’s second location are still being worked out, so I’m light on information. The South Hill location will be an outpost of the original Fiesta Taqueria in downtown Puyallup. That restaurant features a sizable tequila bar and a menu of classic taqueria eats, but with table service. It’s also known for hosting free dinners for members of the military and first responders.

Will the new Fiesta Taqueria on South Hill be more of a casual-style taqueria where diners order at the counter and find their own seat? “Right now we are still in discussion for how the second location will be set up,” a company spokesperson said via message. I hope to have more details soon.

Cravin' Crawfish

NEW CRAWFISH PLACE COMING TO TACOMA

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