A new restaurant with an urban vibe in downtown Chandler is spicing up Taco Tuesdays and attracting regulars for its popular Mexican street-style tacos and friendly staff.
Locals say Ghett’ Yo’ Taco on South Oregon Street slightly south of Chandler Boulevard – where Yoli’s Café used to be – is a fun and affordable hot spot to bring children and adult family members, friends and colleagues for lunch, dinner and happy hours.
The restaurant, which opened in September, features on the front of the building a huge, brightly colored Day of the Dead-themed mural painted by artist Lalo Cota showing a man in a sombrero and a woman with a flower in her hair.
Inside, customers can choose from eight staples offered every day: two tacos with pork, two with chicken, one with steak, one with fish, one with shredded beef and a vegetarian taco.
A ninth, a rotating Muncher Especial Taco that changes every week has such funky names as the Cuban Taco Crisis and The Troy Oinkman. Sometimes the restaurant repeats the especial if customers like it.
Each taco is $2.95 every day except on Tuesdays, when they are $1.95. A combination with any three tacos, as well as rice, beans and a drink is $10.
“We want people to come here, get some food and hang out,” Ghett’ Yo’ Taco majority owner Christian Sciacca said. “This is kind of a traditional street taco place, but we try to do our own little modern twist on things. I grew up going to Mexico multiple times a year.”
The Cuban Taco Crisis comes with carnitas, pickled onions, cilantro and mustard cream sauce. The Troy Oinkman has smoked pork, pickled onions, fried jalapeños and barbecue sauce.
Clear and Present Ginger features ginger, ground pork, spicy sambal sauce, cucumbers and peanuts. A Thanksgiving-themed taco contains turkey breast with stuffing, gravy, Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce.
Frijoles, as well as chips and guacamole and mini quesadillas, are also on the menu. The Spanish rice is vegan, as are the black beans. All the tacos, except for the fish ones, are gluten-free.
Head chef Paul Farias was born in Brazil but he and Sciacca grew up in Chandler enjoying tacos from Elmer’s Tacos on Arizona Avenue across from Chandler High School.
Elmer’s Tacos offers “cheap, delicious” tacos, but Ghett’ Yo’ Taco also has a full liquor license and sells more than 20 different types of beers, Sciacca added. He said Ghett’ Yo’ Taco’s large patio is an ideal place to eat tacos and drink beers or the margaritas. Happy hour is 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Corona, Estrella Jalisco and many other beers are offered and diners can also sip on Micheladas, which are a spicy beer that is similar to a Bloody Mary.
Sciacca, whose father, Peter, owns the building where Ghett’ Yo’ Taco is located, previously worked at a restaurant in Waikiki, Hawaii. He also worked with a friend who is a diamond dealer in Taiwan before returning to his hometown.
He was in the first graduating class at Perry High School, in 2010. Peter is president of the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership board of directors as well as vice president of project development and production at 1 Source Signature Glassware Inc. and a Realtor with MT Real Estate.
Christian said he and his parents and a friend were thinking about calling the restaurant Ghetto Taco but then came up with the name Ghett’ Yo’ Taco and “we all loved it.” Marc Sepulveda is an investor in the restaurant.
Sepulveda’s cousin Michael Manguso of Chandler is a big fan of Ghett’ Yo’ Taco. He is also friends with Christian’s parents.
“You always go to support your friends and family, but the product kind of has to be good if you’re gonna keep coming back,” Manguso said. “I was pretty impressed with the culinary experience there. It’s kind of a fresh spin on tacos. I like the mesh of the old and the experimental taco that they do.”
He said he recently tried a fried chicken taco with gravy and it was “outstanding.” Manguso said his 22-year-old son, 21-year-old daughter and 13-year-old daughter also love Ghett’ Yo’ Taco.
“I love the ambiance,” he said. “Sometimes I just like going there and hanging out and watching some games and eating some tacos. It’s just in a great location. It’s very homey.”
Jason Underwood of Chandler also likes bringing his family to Ghett’ Yo’ Taco. The firefighter said he likes going there at least a couple of times a week. Sometimes he and his wife and their children, Devynn, 8 and Tyce, 7, go there together.
“I’m always excited for tacos,” Underwood said. “It turns out that they’re really good tacos, too. They have, I would say, an upscale taco. It’s nice seeing a variety of things instead of just the regular chicken and steak ones. It’s a different taco than you get anywhere. No one puts that much effort into making tacos and they step up the game.
“I take my kids there every now and then,” he added. “It’s kind of the cozy, friendly family atmosphere.”
Rachel Mitchell of Chandler likes to bring her husband, brother, nephews, nieces and mother to Ghett’ Yo’ Taco.
“It’s definitely my go-to for Taco Tuesday,” Mitchell said. “I love happy hour there. The overall vibe is just so warm and welcoming. They do a taco special, which is kind of like a culinary mash-up. They like it exciting and they keep it real.
“Obviously, downtown Chandler has a great vibe and they’re just part of that environment now. Christian is all heart, running a business and working his tail off. There’s just no way they’re not gonna be successful.”
Ghett’ Yo’ Taco is located at 241 S. Oregon St. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. Information: ghettyotaco.com.