pop-up tacos + a restaurant start up giveaway.
by victoria comment


tacos and tortilla chips in red baskets / sfgirlbybay

i’ve always held a super secret desire to own a restaurant — no, really! and friends have come to call my house their “favorite restaurant” — victoria’s restaurant, and that may be as close as i actually come. but i love to cook and have a few signature recipes i often get requests for. so when i was invited by CNBC to take a stab at creating my own pop-up restaurant, i was intrigued and excited! their third season of CNBC’s show Restaurant Startup starts this wednesday, january 6th at 10pm est and to celebrate, i’m designing my own pop-up restaurant! we’re also giving away a Restaurant Startup themed pack to one lucky reader — if you’ve ever wanted to start your own restaurant, then this is the ideal package to inspire your restaurant dreams.

pop-up taco restaurant / sfgirlbybay

if you’ve not seen the show, Restaurant Startup pits restaurant moguls, Joe Bastianich, Tim Love, and Elizabeth Blau against each other to invest their own money in restaurant concepts they think can make big profits. Contestants have 36 hours and a $7,500 budget to create a pop-up restaurant — putting their concepts to the test, creating a business plan, a branding campaign, and finally, launching their dream restaurant and testing the food and concept on the public. In addition to the two investors, celebrity chef Antonia Lofaso consults the contestants on the best way to showcase their food, design, and overall idea. i wonder what she’ll think of mine?! here goes…

taco restaurant interior design inspiration / sfgirlbybay

one whole wall will be covered with a black & white cactus mural. and a bright white ceiling will be lit up with mint green Ivanhoe Sky Chief Warehouse Porcelain Pendant lamps with red cords. i’m also going to string bright lab lights in custom colors from the ceilings. on each table i’ll place cute cacti planted in re-purposed, colorful vintage cans.

taco restaurant interior decor inspiration / sfgirlbybay

so, let’s say I have 36 hours and $7,500 to spend on food and interior design — what would my overall food concept and interior design look like? i gave it a lot of food for thought, and for me i think my signature fresh fish tacos are likely to be my most popular dish, and a really fun concept to design a pop-up restaurant around. thus, tori’s tacos it is! my pop-up will focus primarily on my signature tilapia fish tacos, encrusted in bread crumbs and lightly fried — topped with fresh chopped cabbage, cilantro, avocado slices, my homemade pico de gallo salsa and my special ingredient – my special sauce! and of course, a squeeze of fresh lime. along with that, i’ll have homemade chips and guacamole on the menu, as well as aqua frecas and cold beer. that’s it — just a simple taco stand pop-up with the only the freshest ingredients.

floral oil-cloths and modern picnic tables / sfgirlbybay

i think my pop-up taco shop will look festive and just a bit kitschy with wood & red trimmed picnic tables covered in mismatched floral oil cloth with matching benches, giving the space a communal, friendly vibe. and my famous fish tacos will be served in cute red baskets with red checked paper liners.

red taco baskets with red and white checkered liner paper / sfgirlbybay

to enter to win this restaurant start-up kit from CNBC, simply:

• comment below letting us know you the kind of pop-up restaurant you’d create with $7,500 in 36 hours.

• please comment by monday, january 11th, 12pm PST.

• as always, be sure to leave a way to reach you via twitter, facebook, email or your website.

• sorry, this time the giveaway is for U.S. residents only.

• we’ll announce a winner selected by random number generator on my twitter account the week of January 11th, so be sure and follow along.

• remember to watch the premiere of Restaurant Startup wednesday, january 6th at 10pm est!

Here’s what’s included in the giveaway!

Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business by Danny Meyer — A landmark, bestselling business book and a fascinating behind-the-scenes history of the creation of Danny’s most famous eating establishments.

Grilling Set Flavors by Chef Tim Love. Investor Tim Love is known for his masterful skills on the grill. Channel your inner ‘Love’ with the Chef’s grilling set, featuring a salsa, rub, and BBQ sauce.

• Joe Bastianich’s cookbook Healthy Pasta. Investor Joe Bastianich is also well-known for his Italian cuisine. Impress the investor with your take on his classic meals.

• Antonia Lofaso’s cookbook The Busy Mom’s Cookbook. Consultant Antonia Lofaso knows that life is a balancing act and that it takes a bit of time and effort to make a great meal. Cook like Antonia and impress the investors.

Table Reservation Book — Every restaurant needs to keep track of its upcoming reservations. Use this book to track who will be dining at your table or as a daily planner.

Wine Pairing Towel Set — A good meal is made even better with the right wine. Use these towels as not only decoration for your place but as the ultimate guide to wine pairing.

Premium Popcorn Gift Set — Watching TV means needing snacks! Take your TV snacks to the next level to impress our Startup crew with this premium popcorn set.

Chef Works Basic Coat — Are you ready to make it on Restaurant Startup? Every good chef needs to look like a pro – start with this basic chef’s coat!


my favorite fish taco recipe / sfgirlbybay

• photography by lily glass for sfgirlbybay.

this is a sponsored post in partnership with CNBC Prime and all words and opinions are my own. thank you for supporting the brands that help keep sfgirlbybay going with fresh content every day.

47 responses to “pop-up tacos + a restaurant start up giveaway.”

  1. A casual restaurant serving Indian street food and snacks – and I’d have to steal Victoria’s idea of oilcloth-covered picnic tables!

  2. What fun! I would love a Portland, Maine style pop up with chowders, good beer, local bread and a perfect combination of New England vintage, the Eastern Coast and lovable locals.

  3. I’m a graphic designer, and I have always wanted to design and create a pop up restaurant that specializes in modernizing the “school lunch”. You know we all loved that cafeteria pizza, or the dino nuggets, and the grilled cheese, or the brownies. I would love to change those to upgrade them to our adult palates, but still bring back a kick of that nostalgia. I’d call the pop-up The School Yard. My Facebook is http://www.facebook.com/briicakes or my email is briataylor.co@gmail.com

  4. I once ate at a restaurant in Portland, OR that served Vietnamese influenced Cajun food. The restaurant was a fusion between New Orleans and Vietnam and the Po-boys were incredible! I’d love to recreate the SE infused creole food such as po-boys or shrimp and grits in my popup.

    -Maggie http://www.thatgirlmags.com

  5. A shout out to German heritage: homemade pretzels, sausages, and spaetzle galore! Can’t image I would make it out of this endeavor in good shape, but it sure sounds fun :)

  6. Added to the dvr! I would create a gluten free/lower carb/mexican pop-up. I am gluten free not by choice and I love Mexican food. It would be really focused on more lower carb, healthy but delicious food

  7. I grew up in northern Italy – my pasticcio (lasagne) is a favorite among friends, so maybe a pop-up-pasticcio place, or a risotto or gnocchi pop-up. Fun!

  8. Probably a “Lori’s favorite food” pop-up..literally sells only my favorite foods but they’re all really good. OR a popcorn pop-up, a dream my friends and I are always SURE OF after a few drinks.

    either way, love this a lot.

  9. Table for two please! I take it you have seen the film Chef. If not, hurry along quicksticks.

    Something with the best of Mediterranean/European food but very simple….pizza, mezze, sardines, fruits de mer, steak frites, linguine, chocolate mousse, greek cheese and honey, tiramisu…..light, bright and cheerful. Plus the best coffee in the world. Haven’t had time to think of the name yet.

  10. Ayurveda Eats: Indian ayurvedic healing foods for each of the doshas – vata, pitta and kapha – served with chai and golden milk! SAMOSAS RULE!

  11. I luv oil cloth. I also, like the colors and of course, fish tacos.
    Glad your back. Now I’m enjoying my morning coffee even more, again.

  12. Love your pop up concept! So fun. My boyfriend and I always half-joke about starting a food truck or something like that. We would do Pakistani fusion food. Korma and chutney in a taco! Why not? ;)

  13. Roast chicken and vegetables, served family style at communal tables. In a cold January when everyone is sick to death of the diet food at home in their refrigerators I can’t think of anything more welcoming!

  14. I’ve lived in New York City for 6 years, and there’s not one Mexican spot like back home. I’ve always talked to the patrons at the bar I work at about it, and find fellow Phoenicians and Southern Californians who agree. We need a proper late night burrito spot. I mean 24 hours, agua frescas, salsa bar primarily stocked with that red and verde sauce in 1oz cups.. I’m talking that end of a bender, got the munchies. “THAT’S MY SPOT!” spot.
    It has many names; California burrito, Arizona burrito, Colorado… but what they all have in common is carne asada, pico de gallo, cheese, and the main ingredient that you won’t find in your burrito at 99% of your favorite NYC Mexican restaurant.. POTATOEAS OR FRIES.
    It’s a real thing, my love, this California burrito is a favorite of the Southwest.
    I dream of opening a late night pop-up, show NYC a real burrito without the cheap fillers ( rice and beans) and give them their new favorite food. Reading this original article gave me chills because it’s all I’ve been thinking about the past few months.
    Let’s go!

    Justin Arellano

  15. I will make a casual steak house but with more dishes like pasta and chicken but the main dishes are steak and mashed potatoes

  16. Hot Dawgs! The great American hand food with fries, chips, homemade Mac-n-cheese, or a healthy salad (eliminates the calories in the other sides.

  17. I live in a tiny rural town in Nebraska that has no coffee shop, so I would create a full-service coffee shop that served savory and sweet breakfast pastries.

  18. I have a pop-up ready to go featuring the healthy cuisine of Baltic and Scandinavian countries. Cured salmon, pelmeni dumplings in broth, borscht for winter or summer and savory rye breads. Sour cream with every order!

  19. Opening a pop coffee shop called “Coffee + Flowers” is a dream of mine and my gf. We love the balanced concept of the obviously necessary (coffee) and the beautifully wanted (flowers). I love to cook and would have a changing menu to feature a healthy mix veggies, or salads, or toasts, or bowls of all sorts. Nothing too trendy or sweet as far as coffee goes either. Classic is the theme here.

  20. I would have a BBQ & Taco hut, a spot where a family can kick back and enjoy a simple good meal. There will be brisket, pulled pork, fajitas That can easily be fixed into hamburger buns or tacos. With delicious sides like potatoe salad, Mexican rice & beans. We love to BBQ here in the South with our Family around us. There’s some places like this here but one where a family can be like at home feel.

  21. I think Mexican food is the wave of the future. Your interior decoration is definitely inviting. I do feel you must offer a variety to sustain business 7 days a week. Don’t go all Taco Bell — but offering a signature beef, chicken and pork taco would round out the menu — plus a vegetarian taco and you have a hit start up. I am assuming only Mexican beer — right?

  22. My wife and i have a passion for food and drink. We explore around with many flavors in our kitchen and also dining out. We stumbled across an idea and have seen success withe the companies using this model. We would like to take this model anduse it with Wraps!! The menu would look like this. Picks your wrapping. Wheat, white, gluten free, special (the special made one for the week). Then pick your meat. (Variety of meats) then pick your veges, then pick your sauces. Each wrap is weighed and charged per oz. We would also offer healthy juices and other homemade sides. Thanks for helping mr re dream.

  23. I would create a food truck with appetizers and comfort food. My son is an awesome cook and I would create it with him. His dream is to own a restaurant some day.

  24. Spaghetti Pizza has always been a hit among my children, friends, silent auctions and anyone I’ve introduced it to. The last time I made it, I individually bagged it with instructions and gave it out asked for reviews with positive responses. This dish is made with fresh ingredients and is so yummy!

  25. What better way to start the weekend (or any morning for that matter) than with a loaded, piping hot breakfast sandwich?! My pop up would be called “Biscuits and Cocoa” – an homage to my two favorite foods, and would focus on just that. Soul-warming coffees and hot chocolates and biscuit-breakfast sandwiches to melt your heart away. Think chunky flaky biscuits stuffed with a fried egg, avocado, a cheese of your choice, and thick maple bacon or sausage. Decor would be simple but cozy – the perfect intimate neighborhood breakfast start to get your weekend crackin!

    Contact me at biscuitsandcocoa@gmail.com

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