The taqueria at 400 Federal Boulevard that had displayed a grand-opening banner on the front of its building for several years is now closed. El Taco Veloz has been tidied up and now sports a new sign letting passersby know that Taqueria Pancho Villa has taken over.
That banner wasn't the only temporary signage that became semi-permanent on the interior and exterior of El Taco Veloz. Hand-painted lettering on the front window advertised "Tacos con tortillas hechas a mano!" (tacos with tortillas made by hand), and a cardboard sign in the front window nearly always declared that help was wanted in the kitchen.
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At the cash register, various specials (our favorite was the pork-tongue tacos that made occasional appearances) were written on colored paper in felt-tip pen; another at the salsa bar asked patrons to close the lid when they were done loading up with salsas and other condiments. And around Christmastime, we always looked for the magic word "champurrado," which let us know the hot, thick drink made with corn masa and chocolate was on for the season.
While we haven't stopped in for a meal at Taqueria Pancho Villa yet, a drive past at the height of the cruising hour on Sunday night saw tacos being served from a tent out front — a good sign that the new owners are dedicated to upholding Federal Boulevard's street-food culture.
A second Taco Veloz at 5145 Federal Boulevard was open earlier on the same day, but the building itself could be in danger from new development planned by Regis University.