I’m beyond excited about the urban renaissance of downtown Bham. With the recent success of the Rev Birmingham pop up shops and restaurants along 3rd Ave North, downtown just seems all abuzz with a new kind of energy. And, naturally, with new food.
I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Chef Chris Dupont’s Tau Poco lunch-only restaurant since I learned about it a few weeks ago. Chef Dupont owns both Cafe Dupont and Mix, both great places.
The concept behind Tau Poco is simple and in my mind really appealing-mix and match global street food served in a take-out setting (only 1 table inside and a few outside). Besides this novel (at least in Bham) concept, several things distinguish this place. The wall art was created by awesome local artist Vero, owner of Naked Art, a popular gallery in Forest Park, who recently designed pint glasses in a similar aesthetic for WBHM’s membership drive (mine are in the mail!).
Her artistic detail is seen all over the restaurant. For example, here’s the bathroom door:
And the menu:
You are encouraged to mix and match-but I stuck with a combination that seemed like it went together for my first Tau Poco experience. Buns, Korean pork, bossam and ginger sauces, and a side of kimchi. They also offer baked goods from Mix, and real Mexican sodas. I was tempted but did not succumb-next time.
As I ordered I noticed that the staff consisted of 2 cashiers, someone with a sous chef kind of role (I think), and – Chef Dupont! I did a double take. There he was in the back sweating over making my order and the order of the 6 or so people who had ordered just before me. It made me feel really important as a customer, and I think it really says something about his dedication to getting it “right.”
The food came out quickly. I had been waiting at the indoor table and struck up a conversation with someone who is actually the brother of a good friend, and made a new friend in a person who overheard our discussion of the downtown food scene-that’s Bham for ya! Friendly and a small world. We sat there enjoying our lunches together. Here’s mine:
It was so outstanding. The meat absolutely melted and the buns were soft and seemed homemade. Sauces added good flavor. The kimchi wasn’t extremely spicy but was really flavorful. My new friend had the chicken tagine with Moroccan bread and couscous and was grinning from ear to ear.
This is cheesy, and I’m sorry to have to subject you to this kind of an ending to an otherwise perfectly good blog post. After exchanging contact info with my new friends I stood up to leave. The staff including Chef Dupont waived goodbye to me. (Just a reminder, my name isn’t associated with my blog in any way-believe me he doesn’t know me from anything.) I told him how much I had enjoyed the food and overall experience. It was a feel good urban hipster yuppified entrepreneurial foodie moment. Aaah.