Fans of Taqueria Don Pancho celebrated the restaurant’s reopening in its new south Columbia location in August, and with it, an expanded menu and dining area.

Father-son duo Pancho and Francisco Rutiaga worked through the summer to transform the old Thip Thai location into a slice of Mexico in mid-Missouri, where they serve dishes that have been passed down through generations of the Rutiaga family. The chalkboard sign that sits outside of the front door echoes the sentiment of their hard work, displaying the message, “Welcome Home.”

In the short time that Taqueria Don Pancho was open inside Loop Liquor, customers were drawn to the authentic menu items such as the discada nachos, a medley of beef, chorizo, bacon and more piled atop a mountain of crispy tortilla chips. At the new location, these old favorites are joined by several new additions, including weekend specials that are available Thursday through Sunday after 4pm. Tamales kick things off on Thursday afternoon, and are followed by a trio of hearty Mexican soups – birria, posole and menudo. The selection of meat has also grown, now totaling eight different options to choose for your tacos, burritos or quesadillas.

Once a Friday-only special, seafood options are now available on the daily menu; you can grab a triad of shrimp or tilapia tacos to dine in or carry out. Before you go, make sure to stop by the taco bar that’s loaded with fresh garnishes and a wide selection of housemade salsas. Good things seem to come in threes here; the addition of tasty aguas frescas in mango, jamaica (hibiscus), and horchata sweeten any meal. From the open kitchen, Pancho has enjoyed seeing his customers, new and old, react to the new menu. “I know when something’s good,” he says. “I can see it on their face.”

And now, not every meal has to be carried out. Order from the counter and grab a seat inside or at one of the shaded patio tables to enjoy your lunch or dinner, any day but Monday. If you can’t choose just one thing to eat, no worries –they’ll just see you tomorrow.

Taqueria Don Pancho is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 11pm and Sunday from 8am to 4pm.

Taqueria Don Pancho, 3907 Peachtree Drive, Columbia, Missouri, 573.818.1591, facebook.com/Taqueriadonpancho74

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