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Rebel Taqueria Serve Up Epic Tacos, Tequila & Cold Beer

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Partners Turned Popular Food Truck into Brick & Mortar Reynolds Avenue Destination Taco Dive Bar!

By: Jeff Walker, Restaurant Review

In the former location of The CODFather at 1809 Reynolds Avenue in North Charleston sits an ‘American Style Taco Dive Bar’ with a Star Wars motif, serving up a plethora of handheld delights alongside a bevy of unique potables. After cruising the low country streets for a half dozen years Lewis Kesaris and Paul Nettles decided to bring their popular Rebel Taqueria Food Truck to a permanent location.

The onset of a worldwide pandemic combined with economic uncertainty didn’t deter the guys from throwing open their doors back in October of 2020. The two taco artisans began their journey several years prior hosting Taco Tuesday Takeover at The Brick on Ann Street in downtown Charleston. Thrilled with its success they eventually made their way to the food & drink Workshop on upper King Street in 2018, until the pandemic temporarily shuttered the revolving food hall.

The success of the food truck allowed them initial street cred, with faithful followers doing their best to find their permanent location, all the while navigating Covid 19 restaurant protocols. Although Rebel Taqueria spent most of 2021 cutting their teeth at the new brick & mortar site, their goal remained threefold, utilizing their mobile kitchen, doling out to go orders, and providing the occasional on-site catering.

Now with the pandemic more in the rear-view mirror, Rebel Taqueria is running full steam ahead, serving up tacos, tequila, and beer seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Even though they offer up burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and salads, the main attraction on the marquee menu is their out of this world tacos, celebrating signature tastes from around the country and right here in the low country.

Topping their most popular taco charts is the Beefy Cheesy Soft & Crunchy. An incredibly crunchy taco stuffed with braised beef & cheese, folded into a soft and warm 6″ quesadilla shell. An extraterrestrial taste sensation. Their Braised Chicken w/ Quac-Aioli is quickly becoming a diner staple. Its title says it all, filled with Cali-Slaw, their own southwestern blend of coleslaw.

Don’t think for a minute Lewis and Paul left Taco Tuesday behind then tney moved to North Chuck. Any given Tuesday patrons line up out the door eager to order a curry chicken, Philly cheez steak, or a meatball taco. Aside from their everyday tacos, regulars revel in Rebel Taqueria’s daily & weekly specials. Want something that resembles southern charm, you might want to drop in when the mac n’ cheese & pulled pork tacos are on the weekly bill of fare.

Their tacos may be all the rage, but their Rebel Wings are equally ‘clucking awesome’. Oversized dry-rubbed, deep fried chicken wings accompanied with your choice of a half dozen unique sauces including their home-made truffalo, a tropical (sweet pineapple jalapeno blend), and for the adventurous Rebel Taqueria signature Death Sauce. It’s a double five-alarm fire sauce that requires excessive amounts of cold beverages. Dip with caution. Yes, you can get their wings wet rather than dry rubbed!

While they managed to knock down a wall, doubling the size of the dining area, Rebel Taqueria is still rather intimate inside. Patrons looking to dine in are met with three tables, two eight seat wall counters, and a four-seater bar where creative cocktails and local brews are dispensed. The partners have plans to further expand by the summer of 2022, adding an outdoor patio for mixed use purposes.

What about the dive bar? It might be considered a mini bar by current standards, but their bite is definitely bigger than their bark. Their namesake Rebel Margarita is laced with 100% Lunazul Blanco agave tequila. Rebel Taqueria’s standard 16 oz. canned beers are pretty much an American vs Mexican smack down, ie a good old PBR or south of the border’s Tecate. Hell yeah, they pour cold beer from local breweries, with Edmunds Oast and Low Tide among two of the regular suppliers.

Coming in with a big-time thirst, the El Camino is a double Coronita margarita (32 oz) that will easily satisfy two, especially when noshing on Tortilla Chips or Queso Dunkers (3 crunchy beef tacos w/ side of queso for dunking!). Just one of seven signature appetizers. Have a caffeine fix, maybe try the Cocoa de Leche which is Espanol for Espresso Infused Tequila. Great way to chill out!

While taqueria means Mexican taco stand, don’t expect the normal fare most Mexican themed eateries in greater Charleston serve up. Rebel Taqueria offers an overindulgence of handheld edibles all meant to delight the palate, but much like their first name Rebel, they are taco mavericks, choosing to present their own Americanized recipes in certified organic corn flour tortillas. Damn strait their shells are gluten-free. Word on the street is they offer vegan options as well.

I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention their daily specials. Their California Style Burritos are Back all-day Monday. On Tuesday from 6-9pm guests can dine on $2 Crunchy Beef Tacos and $3 Beefy Cheesy Soft & Crunchy Tacos. Double up on Sunday with Brunch with Queso served 11-4pm and All You Can Eat Street Tacos $12.95 from 6-9pm.

Local who enjoy poppin’ hush puppies will delight in their jalapeno laced Yoda Balls. Served with agave and whipped queso, they’re a great way to ignite your meal or nosh on over a couple of cold beers.

No need to labor over the dessert list. Rebel only offer up one and it’s a doozy. Their Home-Made Ice Cream Taco is a cinnamon sugar-coated taco chuck full of vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate. It’s a cool way to close out your meal, and it makes a nice treat for kids of all ages. It’s ‘rebel rousing yummy’.

The Brisket Barbacoa Taco is an all-day Saturday special. It’s their own blend of seasoned and shredded beef brisket, braised in juice & spices with a hint of cilantro, red onions, queso and barbecue. Check out their specials here https://www.rebeltaqueria.com/specials

Recapping, Rebel Taqueria at 1809 Reynolds Avenue North Charleston is an awesome American Style Taco Dive Bar. They provide hungry appetites with great tasting tacos alongside appropriate alcoholic beverages. They’re sort of like an out of this world cantina that Han Solo and Chewbacca would frequent on the way to galactic altercations, more commonly called Star Wars! My advice is to fuel & re-fuel as often as possible, especially Taco Tuesdays.

At Rebel Taqueria you won’t need to carry your gold card, because most of their menu items including taco combo meals are all under $14. Their explosive tequila cocktails come in at $10, with most beers $5 or less. For more about Rebel Taqueria or to book them for a private event visit their website at https://www.rebeltaqueria.com/

 

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