The family behind Casa Ramos opened its newest restaurant Tuesday afternoon at 201 Commercial St. during an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Named Taco Express, the location seeks to provide visitors with a wide variety of affordable tacos, burritos, tortas, dessert and all-day breakfast options in a comfy, family-friendly environment. While crafting their dishes, guests can choose from eleven different meats including fish, but there are also vegetarian choices available. Those looking for extra customization can also stop by the taco condiment bar for several different house-made salsas and other garnishes like peppers, onions, cilantro and pico de gallo.
Co-owners Alvaro Ramos and father Ricardo Ramos kept tradition in mind when crafting the menu, providing plenty of classic flavors, as well as some that may be unexpected.
“Taco Express is pretty much like an indoor taco truck,” Alvaro Ramos said. “You have the nice air conditioning, and you can ignore some of the flies that always seem to be out there if you’re not careful. In the end, it was my dad’s idea. The meat dishes that we use for our tacos, burritos and tortas are all traditional Thanksgiving- and Christmas-type meals. He puts a lot of family love in the food to make it taste the way it does.
“We also have things like the all-day breakfast and the biscuits and gravy because we really want to reach out to those hard workers in the morning and those 11-hour shifters during the day. I mean, who doesn’t want a nice breakfast before working all day or all night?”
The idea of tradition can not only be seen in the Taco Express menu, but its decor as well. Visitors will immediately notice several, oversized black-and-white family portraits lining the walls of the business, calling back to the Ramos’ history in Emporia and honoring those that helped the original restaurant succeed and grow.
“I quit my job at Casa Ramos to work here,” Alvaro said. “I worked for my brother for about five years, but this is all me now. This building is already special to me because its where my son had his first birthday, so it definitely feels good to come to work here each morning. It’s sentimental for us. We’ve had our nephews grow up around here too, and now they’re big, walking around and helping us out.”
“There won’t be any fighting with Casa Ramos,” Ricardo Ramos added. “We’re all going to be friends.”
Taco Express is open from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekends. Orders can also be placed for carryout by calling 620-208-2272.
“I want people to come hungry,” Alvaro said. “They don’t need to bring too much money to get some tacos or a quick, filling meal and head out to where they need to go. Our goal is to get people to like us and what we’re doing here, and hopefully get them to come back. We love having families come in here, and hopefully they can come see some of our pictures. It’s more than just a business here, it’s a family home-cooking food.”