America’s spreading across East Valley - East Valley Tribune: Chandler

America’s spreading across East Valley

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Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:00 am

Michael Moore promised when America’s Taco Shop began to franchise he would be among the first in line to open a new location. Moore backed up his proclamation and brought the Valley favorite to Chandler.

The largest America’s Taco Shop, at approximately 2,000 square feet, at 3235 W. Ray Road, celebrated its grand opening last month.

Featuring signature items like its accolade-garnering carne asada and citrus-marinated pork from family recipes of central Mexico, Moore brought the breakout brand much closer to those in the southeast Valley.

“When the first America’s opened (in 2008) I told them when they began to franchise I was going to be the first,” Moore said. “They said they weren’t going to franchise. But sure enough they did, and I’m glad they did. ... I live in Chandler and it was a no-brainer that this is where I wanted to open.”

The fast-casual Mexican brand isn’t what its name leads many to believe.

“These are not Americanized tacos, which throws some people off,” Moore said.

When America Corrales-Bortin first came to the United State from Cuiacan, Sinaloa, in central Mexico, among her most prized possessions were her mother’s hand-written recipes. Those recipes anchor the taco shop’s menu.

“Mexican food has different tastes based on where in the country you are,” Moore said. “The tastes from Baja are going to be different than from Mexico City. These tastes are from central and southern Mexico.”

The Chandler location had a soft opening in August until it received its liquor license. Like many of the other locations, it offers Mexican bottled beer and fresh-fruit margaritas. The Chandler location, however, offers much more seating than the others, including an outdoor patio.

Moore said he envisions franchising another location in either Chandler or Gilbert “depending on how this first year goes.”

The franchising company, Kahala Corp. of Scottsdale, opened another America’s Taco Shop at 780 W. Elliot Road in Tempe (near the Chandler border) this week and will open a Mesa location at 1229 S. Power Road next month.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6549 or cgabel@evtrib.com.

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