And so we current Mohammad Farraj and Omar Al-Massalkhi, a pair of 26-year-old buddies since highschool who co-own Talkin’ Tacos.
Like most of us in early 2020, the pair “had on a regular basis on the earth,” in Al-Massalkhi’s phrases, and have been hanging out at his home. They began brainstorming concepts for a brand new meals enterprise and Al-Massalkhi occurred to have two meals vans from prior endeavors sitting on his property.
Impressed by the vans, he and Farraj trolled Instagram, the place they got here throughout a birria taco truck that was making waves in California. They have been intrigued by the creation — a taco stuffed with meat, Oaxaca cheese, onion, and cilantro that is dipped right into a consommé because it's consumed. They famous the absence of eating places providing birria in South Florida and began experimenting with recipes from there.
“There was a whole lot of trial and error,” Farraj says with fun. “And whereas a birria taco historically is made with goat, we actually didn’t have entry to that meat. So, we went with beef, performed with the spices, and landed on an important recipe.”
In September of 2020, the 2 employed a chef and parked their truck (referred to as ‘Taco Bout It) within the lot of a comfort retailer in Miami’s West Little River space. Birria tacos have been entrance and middle, with choose Mexican-inspired morsels in rotation. Farraj displays, “For 2 months, we didn’t generate any cash and have been having to pay lease to the comfort retailer, too. We have been in all probability promoting ten to fifteen meals a day on the most.”
Assured that they had a profitable recipe, the pair refused to surrender. They discovered a spot with larger visibility in Edgewater, close to the intersection of Biscayne Boulevard and thirtieth Avenue.
Forty-five days on the new location handed with out a lot change. Then, on a December day, they obtained a name from their chef. “He informed us, ‘Recover from right here proper now. There are 50 folks in line and I need assistance!”
Not surprisingly, that day they ran out of elements and needed to flip away some folks. However the seemingly random crowd proved to be no fluke. Buzz concerning the tacos had unfold and the little truck instantly had a gentle stream of consumers. Within the weeks that adopted, the road stretched for blocks. Ultimately, the proprietor of the spot the place they have been parked informed them they needed to hit the street.
After an intense location search, they landed on so much at 24 NE First Ave. in downtown, the place, they are saying, an older gentleman who owned the half-acre lot “felt pity for them.” They parked the truck, purchased decorations and tables, and obtained phrase out to the 7,000-plus Instagram followers they'd amassed.
The strains rapidly constructed to 90 minutes after which greater than two hours lengthy. Farraj says his “that is it” second got here when two clients informed him they'd flown down from Washington, D.C., only for tacos and have been flying again as quickly as they completed consuming.
With prolonged strains and a rising band of loyalists, it was brick-and-mortar time. Because of a connection from Al-Massalkhi’s father, they bought a restaurant in Miramar, the place they each reside, mothballed the truck, and rebranded as Talkin’ Tacos.
When the restaurant opened in Could 2021, a line of greater than 60 folks greeted them. In December, Talkin’ Tacos expanded to Brickell, the place gross sales have rapidly exceeded these of the Miramar location.
And now, lower than 18 months after its quiet food-truck inception, Talkin’ Tacos is franchising nationally.
“We’ve acquired quite a few letters of intent and have had dozens of traders go to our eating places right here in Florida,” Farraj experiences. “It’s been unimaginable.”
Talkin’ Tacos. 3456 Crimson Rd., Miramar; 954-404-6398; and 97 SW Eighth St., Miami; 305-381-0211; talkintacos.web.