We’re declaring today, Taco Wednesday! Because lets face it- you can never have too many tacos. Especially with the variety of options offered at Revolution Taco. This restaurant at 20th and Walnut Street off Rittenhouse Square is the fast casual concept of Carolyn Nguyen and Michael Sultan, two food truck owners from Street Food Philly, Taco Mondo and Say Cheese Philadelphia. They met while working together for Peach Tree Catering before starting their business. Now the group runs thier own 33rd Street Hospitality Catering.
There didn’t seem to be a great taco spot for traditional or non-traditional tacos, so Taco Mondo started in 2012 and the duo quickly realized the demand, and saw an opportunity to expand their businesses. Together they decided to create Revolution Taco. Inside this renovated rowhome diners are greeted with bright yellow walls and a plywood display of glass canisters containing select spices that have even been added to the collection by customers. High-top chairs and tables allow diners to see the kitchen setup and watch food preparation if not staring out the big storefront window and people watching.
What sets these tacos apart is a classically trained chef approach, using the taco shell as a vehicle to create unique global flavors. The team behind Revolution Taco is using their combined 25 years of restaurant and catering experience to bring the city of Philadelphia a seasonal, ingredient inspired, fresh, exciting twist on tacos. The restaurant is BYOB which is a plus, but one let down is that at this time customers aren’t able to mix and match their tacos. Each variety sold as 2 or 3 tacos (with the exception of the massive Roast Duck Taco).
In addition to tacos, the menu offers customers daily specials, dessert, selections of burritos and homemade empanadas. The group continues to run all three food trucks, which are also available for catering. We sat down with manager Khyania Bryan to chat and try out as many tacos as our bellies could handle.
We started with the Korean Short Rib which is drizzled with ssamjang aioli, pickled cucumber, sesame seeds, and cilantro. The meat was cooked excellently, tender and smokey. The Smoked Pork Pastor, with charred pineapple salsa, and red pepper crème would definitely be in our top 3 favorites for its balance of sweet and salty flavors.
For vegetarians and vegans, the Fried Curried Cauliflower with guacamole, hot sauce, potato sticks, sesame seeds, and cilantro or Smoked Mushroom (vegan) with cabbage and avocado chimichurri sauce are most popular. We also tried the Spinach and Fontina Emapanda which is a very indulgent vegetarian option with its crispy shell and gooey inside of melted cheese. Keep an eye out for another daily empanada special when you stop in!
If you’re leaning towards more of the traditional options they’re serving up a Gold Angus Ground Beef Taco with pico de gallo, lettuce, cheese blend, and lime crème or Chicken Tinga with cotija, radish, and white onion. Both these options can be kicked up a notch with some of Revolution Taco’s killer homemade hot sauce. This hot sauce is actually hot! Trust us and try out a bit before loaded up you dish with sauce.
All you carnivorous types will want to get your hands on the Chipotle BBQ Brisket Taco, this is the most popular taco of them all topped with ginger cabbage slaw, pickled jalapenos, and crispy shallots. It’s no wonder customers crave it since the brisket is hand seasoned and slow cooked for 6 hours. All the meats are grinded in house also. Try out the Chorizo Taco, put together with house made chorizo, cotija cheese, lettuce, crème, and salsa roja.
One of the most unique tacos here is the Roast Duck Taco, served only one per order- this monster is made on a scallion pancake shell with plum BBQ, ginger cabbage slaw, pickled oyster mushroom, crispy chicken skin, and sesame seeds. Be warned if you order 2 then you’ll most definitely be full.
With a prep kitchen in East Falls. Sultan and Nguyen recently announced the grand opening of The Mill’s Cafe, in East Falls at Sherman Mills. The new casual breakfast and lunch spot is their second brick-and-mortar eatery, including Revolution Taco. The cafe seats 10 and is open 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Their menu focuses on salads, sandwiches, pastry, baked goods and coffee. All meats are made and smoked in-house. Menu highlights include Revolution Taco’s salted fudge chocolate brownies. On top of the regular menu, patrons will be the first to try new dishes that will debut as specials and later appear on permanent menus for Revolution Taco and the food trucks.
“There was a lack of quality casual food in the East Falls area near Sherman Mills,” said Sultan. “We wanted to give the locals, neighbors and visitors a place they could go. We also wanted to have a public spot to make some of our smoked meats and other specials available to the public, while having a testing ground for new dishes that could appear on our other menus.”