Cooking Show is a video series documenting the preparation of a single dish. From professional chefs to home cooks and everyone in between, we are peeking into Pittsburgh kitchens to watch local experts at work. Watch more in this series here.
On any number of nights in the early 2000s, around 11:00 p.m., musician Greg Cislon and I are finishing recording a new Vale and Year song at Jason Kirker’s H-Hour Recording Studio at 32nd and Penn (now high-end condos). We play a little ping-pong and listen to Archie Shepp’s On This Night or Kraftwerk’s Computer World. Next comes a pilgrimage to the South Side for tacos, tostadas, flautas, or enchiladas at Taco Loco.
The first iteration of Edgar Alvarez’s Taco Loco was an evening-only restaurant that shared space with O’Leary’s Donuts’ daytime operation at 14th Street and Carson. It was cheap, fun, and delicious. Over the next ten years, Alvarez would move Taco Loco three more times before transitioning to Reyna’s Taco Shack in the Strip and subsequently opening Edgar’s Best Tacos. Most recently, Edgar’s Best made another transition, moving to a storefront next to Savoy a few blocks away from its previous digs. The new location retains the sidewalk taco stand while adding interior seating and an expanded shared kitchen.
For Cooking Show, we dropped in on Alvarez as he made his original creation, Chori Arrachera—check out the video above.