Tacos, Tortas and Tequila, Buena Vida restaurants to open Friday

The colorful tropical motif of the outside murals continues inside the restaurants. Photo by Mike Mowery.

Tacos, Tortas and Tequila (known as TTT), along with companion restaurant Buena Vida, will open Friday, May 4 for lunch and dinner service, according to owner Ivan Iricanin.

The restaurants, located at 8407 Ramsey Ave. across from the Silver Spring Transit Center, will offer two different concepts in Mexican dining.

TTT on the lower level will serve tacos, tortas, quesadillas, and tostadas priced at $2.50-$12 each, such as al pastor pork, spit-roasted with pineapple and salsa verde; slow-roasted barbacoa beef; crispy local skate wing and chicharrón (a dish typically made with fried pork belly or fried pork rinds).

“TTT will open [for] breakfast, lunch and dinner on Monday [May 7],” Iricanin said, “and we’re going to add brunch for Buena Vida the following weekend.”

TTT’s breakfast items will be served grab-and-go style and feature offerings from $3-$9 including entradas, tacos, tortas, quesadillas, and breakfast cazuelas (bowls), carne asada con huevo y aguacate tacos (steak and egg with avocado), huevos rancheros tacos, choripan con huevo (house-made chorizo with egg), and potato and cheese taquitos.

The physical layout of the interior space is largely unchanged from its days as 8407 Kitchen Bar, while the décor of the two floors has been given a light and airy touch.

“I was partner at Masa 14 when we opened that restaurant in 2011,” Iricanin said, “and its inspiration was Mexico City, down and dirty, Day of the Dead, industrial look and fell. Now I’m going more for a baja feel, more coastal, open, more airy, more relaxed.”

TTT will have about 50 seats, including the bar, while Buena Vida will have 130-135 seats on the upper level.

Buena Vida will offer contemporary Mexican cuisine in a full-service restaurant. Signature dishes will include mescal-cured organic salmon tostada, sweet corn empanadas, handmade with organic corn masa, guajillo garlic and salsa verde, chilorio-braised Marcho Farms pork sopes, and Roseda Farms steak alambre with house-cured bacon, poblano, and Oaxaca cheese.

The upper restaurant will feature small plates, Iricanin said.

“Then we’re going to have a set up for lunch and dinner,” he added. “For $19.99, you’re going to have [an] unlimited business lunch, and for $35, you’re going to have unlimited dinner.

“‘Unlimited’ means you can order as much as you like,” Iricanin continued. “The idea is instead of eating one quacamole and one entrée and go home, you can order five, six items per person. You can start with ceviché and try one empanada, you can try two tacos, you can order some appetizer [and] go for some signature chef dishes.”

The openings will add to the three area restaurants operated by Street Guys Hospitality, where Iricanin is the CEO: Ambar Capitol Hill, Ambar Clarendon, and Baba, also in Clarendon (along with six restaurants in his native Serbia). The company also plans to open the TTT/Buena Vida concept in Clarendon in October.

Buena Vida will accept reservations while TTT will serve walk-ins, Iricanin said. When fully operational, TTT hours will be:

  • Breakfast: Monday through Sunday, 7-11 a.m.
  • Lunch & Dinner: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Happy Hour: Available on both levels Monday through Friday, 4-7 p.m. (beer, wine, and cocktails $5 per item)
  • Bar: Sunday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.

Buena Vida’s hours will be:

  • Lunch: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Dinner: Sunday through Thursday, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m.-11 p.m.
  • Unlimited Brunch: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

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