Gorilla Taco: A Pentagon Row Pop-Up
Basic Burger is testing a taqueria concept that could become permanent.
Arlington’s Basic Burger is trying its hand at the taco business. “We started Gorilla Taco a year ago as a private, event-only concept, and it was tremendously received,” says executive director Guillermo Castillo. “So we decided to do a limited run pop-up taqueria at Pentagon Row and see how it goes.” Gorilla Taco will operate through Dec. 31, Castillo says, and if it does well, the plan is to negotiate a longer lease, close for six weeks and do a full rebuild. Luis Villalobos, from Jalisco, Mexico, helms the kitchen, where a compact menu features seven tacos with fillers such as chicken tinga, pineapple-topped al pastor, bison and, my favorite—shrimp. All are topped with diced onion, cilantro, mild tomatillo salsa and medium-spiced chile-de-arbol salsa. The bar serves Modelo Negra and Pacifico beer on tap, a house-made margarita on tap, two kinds of frozen margaritas and a skinny margarita with no calories (if you don’t count the tequila). “Gorilla Taco is a young, urban brand,” says Castillo. “Everything’s very fresh. We are the anti-Taco Bell—not that there’s anything wrong with Taco Bell.”