Pata Roja Taqueria Finds Permanent Home Through Partnership with Pendleton's Bar Saeso

The Cincinnati pop-up has found its roots, which means their tasty street tacos are even more accessible.

click to enlarge Co-owners of Pata Roja Taqueria with co-owners of Bar Saeso - Photo:
Co-owners of Pata Roja Taqueria with co-owners of Bar Saeso

If you enjoy washing down your tacos with some boozy beverages, your taste buds will be set up for success at Pata Roja Taqueria's new permanent home. The taco spot has partnered with owners of Pendleton's new Bar Saeso to bring Mexican-style street tacos to the bar's patio. 

The new team had its first run on grand opening night this past Taco Tuesday, March 9.

“I think we all have the same vision for our businesses. We are community driven and enjoy more personal experiences with our customers, rather than a get in-get-out type of business. The vibes are very similar and we all get along. It’s a partnership I think both businesses can only benefit from,” co-owner and chef at Pata Roja Joey Bender says of his and co-owner Derrick Braziel's new collaboration with Christy Wulfson and Michael Guilfoil, co-owners of Guilfoil & Wulfson (GW), the small design and development company behind Bar Saeso, in a release

Pata Roja offers four taco varieties: al pastor, bistec, pollo, and seasonal veggie for the non-meat lovers. Try their range of salsas or treat yourself to a quesadilla, if you’d prefer to indulge in some cheesy deliciousness.

Braziel didn’t grow up with authentic Mexican food adorning his dinner table. He hadn’t even discovered his favorite type of taco — tacos al pastor — until visiting Mexico City for the first time several years ago. 

“It activated some taste buds I didn’t know I had,” he says in an interview with CityBeat in fall of 2020. 

Prior to opening at Bar Saeso, the taqueria inhabited the walk-up window in the back of The Takeaway deli and grocer off Main Street in Over-the-Rhine, among many other pop-ups across the city.

The name is a loose translation of “red leg,” in a joint celebration of Mexican and Cincinnati cultures. 

“It’s an opportunity to educate, to expose people to new foods and to honor this culinary tradition that has so much depth, but is still so unfamiliar to so many eaters — especially here in Cincinnati,” Braziel says. 

When Wulfson and Guilfoil first got a taste of Pata Roja's tacos at The Takeaway, just around the block from their bar, they say the flavors offered them a taste of home. 

“I remember the first time we ate Pata Roja tacos,” says Wulfson in a release. “Michael and I were walking to grab dinner at a restaurant on Main Street when the smell of meat on the grill and sound of Mexican music stopped us in our tracks. I don’t even know if we discussed changing our plans, we just redirected automatically toward the tent. As cliche as it sounds, we were moths to a flame: two Los Angelenos in Ohio who had just encountered Mexican street food — it brought us home before the first bite.”

As Bar Saeso was searching for a way to introduce food into their business, Pata Roja was looking for some roots. Their merge was destined. 

And in addition of Pata Roja's eats, visitors can look forward to visiting Bar Saeso's new back bar, rebranded as "The Cantina," which will offer margaritas, house cocktails and a variety of cervezas to pair with your meal, enjoyed for dine-in or to take and enjoy at home. 

Pata Roja Taqueria is open 5-10 p.m Tuesday through Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday, and noon-8 p.m. on Sunday (or until sold out).

Pata Roja Taqueria, 1208 Sycamore St., Pendleton. 

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