Victor Albisu is back from Houston and ready to open Springfield’s Taco Bamba

Raised in Northern Virginia, the chef helped feed those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Taco Bamba's spicy shroom taco / Photo by Greg Powers
Taco Bamba’s spicy shroom taco / Photo by Greg Powers

“There was no menu; we just cooked.”

As a board member of World Central Kitchen, Jose Andres’ nonprofit mobilizing chefs to help feed those impacted by natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey, Victor Albisu just got back from Houston this weekend.

After three days there, he says, “cooking as much food as we could cook,” like pasta, posole and chili, and funneling food to where it was needed, Albisu is now concentrating on the opening of his third Taco Bamba.

The fast-casual taco shop opens in Springfield on Sept. 14, with a menu full of new tacos, tostadas and tortas. (Guests who visit the first day will be entered in a drawing to win one of 100 cards good for one free taco each week for a year.)

The Vic-fil-A Deluxe is fried chicken wrapped in a cheese quesadilla with a “fast food-y type of vibe to it,” says Albisu. The Foo Fighter is a crispy grouper taco mixing Mexican and South Asian cuisine with a tamarind chili sauce, green papaya slaw and ancho chili peanuts. “I heard through the grapevine he likes Asian food,” says Albisu, paying tribute to the band’s lead singer and NoVA local Dave Grohl. Other items include a chipotle mushroom taco (pictured), flautas and street corn.

Like the Vienna location, this one features a full bar with craft cocktails using housemade ice and bases, plus drinks like a classic margarita or the Giovani dos Santos: burnt ginger, grilled pineapple, smoked simple syrup, cachaça and lime.

In deciding on this swath of I-95, Albisu says he opens shops in “underserved locations. I don’t think there’s a lot of chef-driven food in Springfield.” As for the next Taco Bamba, the chef and restaurateur wouldn’t say where but knows “the concept can grow into other neighborhoods.” // Opening Sept. 14, Taco Bamba: 6691-A Backlick Road, Springfield

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