A coffee roaster is joining forces with a taco chef on a pop-up that will, they hope, bring food to Goose Island and expand the dining options in East Garfield Park. This Monday and Tuesday, February 28 and March 1, Vago Taco, aka chef Leo Rosas, will be serving tacos, tortas, and breakfast burritos out of the Passion House Coffee location at 1200 N. North Branch Street.
Passion House’s owner, Joshua Millman, was introduced to Rosas, a former sous chef at Mercadito who’s currently the kitchen manager at Carbon Fire Grill and a consultant, by a mutual acquaintance, his next-door neighbor Martin Cabera, an executive at U.S. Foods. Cabera knew that Millman was interested in expanding beyond coffee to food and thought Rosas would fit the bill.
“The goal is to make this pop-up super successful and keep doing it every Monday and Tuesday until Leo grabs enough of a following,” Millman says.
Eventually, Millman hopes those customers will follow Rosas out to East Garfield Park, where he’s planning to open a cafe in the same building as the Passion House roastery at 328 N. Albany Avenue. “There’s not much going on in East Garfield Park, at least where we are,” says Millman. “That’s part of the reason I hope the pop-up will turn into a residency and gain traction.” Ideally, of course, Rosas would be able to open his own place, and other residents would follow.
The Vago Taco pop-up menu will be modest to start, with two breakfast burritos (vegetarian and steak), three tacos (chicken tinga, steak, and zucchini), two tortas (steak and breaded chicken), plus chips and salsa and elotes. Everything will be less than $10.
“Hopefully this goes well,” says Millman. “It’s a template. If I can help other people grow and get to a better spot and better place, I’m 100 percent all for that.”
Vago Taco at Passion House Coffee, 1200 N. North Branch Street, Open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday 2/28 and Tuesday 3/1.