Overnight success of Midnight Taco food cart turns into brick-and-mortar restaurant

Midnight Taco’s carne asada tacos ($2.80 each) are served on six-inch flour tortillas topped with cabbage, guacamole, pico de gallo, red salsa, and your choice of mild, medium, or hot salsa . Ellie Borst/Community Impact Journal)

Before September 2017, the Heritage District didn’t have a single street vendor for hungry late-night merchants to grab a bite to eat.

It seemed like a missed opportunity for Juan Gutierrez and his wife, Carolina Pulido, who were craving carne asada while hopping between bars in downtown Gilbert. So they opened the neighborhood’s first taqueria, a taco stand for midnight cravings in the heart of the Heritage District.

Four years later, Gutierrez said the couple’s ‘weekend warrior’ project had grown from a cart open only on weekends from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. to a dual-location dine-in service open six days. per week with full staff and an extensive menu.

During its first six months of operation, Midnight Taco was run by Gutierrez and Pulido between their full-time 9-to-5 jobs and parenting their two children, now ages 7 and 13. They rented space in local kitchens to cook. who would later be transported to the wagon and spent their weekends until

4am It wasn’t long before they realized their idea let’s see how it goes was a success.

Midnight Taco opened its first physical location in May 2020, located on the southwest corner of Warner Road and Val Vista Drive, during the pandemic shutdown.

At first it was a take-out only, but Heritage District regulars flocked to the taqueria, and Midnight Taco has flourished ever since.

“Obviously we’re still very small, but we have a lot of followers, people who really love the food and the service,” Gutierrez said. “And they are friends – we see them brick and mortar now, the people we met downtown at 3am.”

By the time it was safe enough to open the seats, the menu began to expand, including quesadilla, pork al pastor, vegetable choices, and the option to make “crazy burritos” by adding Cheetos, Doritos or Takis.

“It’s not our taco, it’s yours,” Gutierrez said. “You tell us what you like, we’ll keep changing the menu.”

Midnight tacos

www.midnighttaco.com

343 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert

480-450-8680

Opening hours: Fri.-Sat. 7.30pm-2.30am, closed Sun-Thu.

1395 E. Warner Road, Ste. 100

480-246-1621

Opening hours: Sun. 11am-7pm, Tue-Thu. 11am-8pm, Fri.-Sat. 11am-9pm, closed Mon.