Is sharing taco-related developments on cinco de mayo timely or mega corny? Either way, this news is too good to sleep on: Monica Dimas will open a second Neon Taco outpost at 1011 Boren, near the Hideout on First Hill.
The working name is Lil’ Neon Taco, but don’t let the moniker fool you: Unlike her original counter inside Nacho Borracho, this one will be a full-service standalone restaurant, with full-service niceties like beer and wine and, you know, its own seating.
If you've had Dimas's tacos over at Nacho Borracho, you know what to expect here—Mexico City–style tacos, with some savvy creative license, plus coffee, horchata (plus enticing combinations thereof) and agua frescas. Given the nearby population of health care workers, Dimas anticipates seeing peak crowds at lunch hour (and a lot of takeaway business) but Lil' Neon Taco will stay open until 11 or 12 at night, and later on the weekends.
Dimas says lower-volume evenings might give her a chance to broaden the dinnertime menu here—"It will be nice to start working on other stuff besides just tacos." After introducing herself to her neighbors, the new owners at nearby Sugar Bakery, she's also dreaming of a world where they can make her some Mexican pastries. Brunch service will happen once the new spot finds its rhythm, as will an arrangement to provide food to the cocktail crowd a few doors down at the Hideout.
The space, formerly offices for Hideout owner Greg Lundgren, has quite a journey to become a working restaurant, so look for Lil' Neon Taco to open this fall. Next year, says Dimas, an adjacent parking space will be transformed into some outdoor seating.
If you need something to tide you over while you await all this, maybe some Dimas-approved tacos and caldo de res at the new-ish Carnitas Michoacan on Beacon Hill?