Reston, VA

At a time when most restaurants are struggling, Taco Zocalo — formerly known as the food truck Chef on Wheels — has taken another leap at expansion.

The Reston-based restaurant, which is located at 1810 Michael Faraday Drive, opened its second location in Ashburn (44927 George Washington Boulevard) on May 1.

Although state-mandated restrictions on restaurants due to the COVID-19 crisis create less than ideal conditions for a restaurant opening, chef and owner Basir Ahadi says he is confident the business will do well, thanks to his loyal customer base.

“The Reston location is doing well considering our limitations and the current situation. We are hopeful taco Zocalo will come out this pandemic stronger than we were before it began,” Ahadi said.

The business hired eight new employees for the new locations. Ahadi said he was motivated to employ people who lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Currently, Taco Zocalo offers takeout and delivery via third-party operators.

A loan from the Small Business Administration has helped the business finance payroll, Ahadi said. The landlord of the Ashburn location has also been flexible in working with the business on a monthly basis.

Taco Zocalo started as a food truck under the name Chef on Wheels in 2011. The business opened its first brick-and-mortar location in 2017.

Photos via Basir Ahadi

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A local food truck that made the switch to a brick-and-mortar Reston a little over three years ago is planning to expand.

Taco Zocalo — formerly known as Chef on Wheels — plans to expand to Ashburn. A new location is “coming soon” to 44927 George Washington Boulevard, which was formerly the home of Antonio’s New York Pizzeria.

Basir Ahadi, a Reston resident who graduated from South Lakes High School, started the business in 2011. The Reston location serves up tacos, quesadillas, and other Mexican items at 1810 Michael Faraday Drive.

Photo via Taco Zocalo

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In late December 2017, Chef on Wheels, a local food truck, expanded to a brick and mortar store.

Nearly two years after expanding the business, Chef Basir Ahadi has decided to officially change the name of his business.

The Reston resident, who graduated from South Lakes High School, says Chef on Wheels in now officially called “Tacos Zocalo,” which means center of community in Spanish.

“The name Chef on Wheels didn’t make sense anymore. We’re off of wheels in a brick and mortar now,” Ahadi told Reston Now.

The business — which also has a beer and wine license — is located at 1810 Michael Faraday Drive.

It has been serving up tacos, burritos, bowls and chimichangas since it opened in 2011.

Photo via Basir Ahadi

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Behind the counter of Chef on Wheelsa food truck that serves up authentic Mexican burritos, tacos and bowls, stands the chef, Basir Ahadi, an immigrant from Afghanistan. The Reston resident’s love for Mexican food pushed him to operate a food truck business in 2011.

Last week, Ahadi marked another milestone in his culinary journey by opening his first brick-and-mortar restaurant, shifting his food truck business from the streets of Reston to the former site of Sweet Heat BBQ on 1810 Michael Faraday Drive.

The new restaurant, which will offer dine-in options for dinner beginning today, allows Ahadi to bring families together over dinner for authentic Mexican food made from local produce, he said.

“The main reason that I opened the brick and mortar was for people to bring their families for dinner. We were only serving lunch and we didn’t have a location. This is our way of becoming a very permanent part of the community,” Ahadi, who graduated from South Lakes High School, said. He has lived in Reston for 26 years.

As he shifts his business, Ahadi plans to operate only one food truck on Reston’s streets. He hopes to have a big party at a grand ceremony in the spring of next year to celebrate the restaurant’s opening.

The restaurant serves gourmet chicken, steak, ground beef, fish and veggie tacos, burritos and burrito bowls. It will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. this week. Delivery services will be offered soon.

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