In July, 27-year-old Boyd resident Chris Robles opened a Silver Spring brick-and-mortar version of Trippy Tacos, his popular Montgomery County food truck specializing in Central American fare. In addition to tacos, look for quesadillas (most $12.50), mulitas (griddled mini quesadillas made with corn tortillas, $4.50 to $5.50), tortas (sandwiches, most $12.50), loaded nachos and fries (most $14.50), burritos (most $12.50), pupusas (stuffed, flattened, cornmeal griddle cakes, $3.99) and extra-large pupusa “pizzas” ($32.99) cut into eight slices.
The menu standout is the baleada, a Honduran specialty for which a large flour tortilla is griddled, spread with refried beans, avocado, crema (like sour cream, but tangier), queso fresco and scrambled eggs and folded in half. Ours, made with chicken ($12.50), practically fills the entire plate. A first bite reveals how flaky and delicate the tortilla is. That’s because Trippy’s tortillas—flour and corn—are made in house. The excellent quality of the corn tortillas is evident in al pastor (spit-roasted pork) tacos and a tasty mulita stuffed with steak and oozy Monterey Jack cheese.
Robles was born in Rockville and grew up in Montgomery and Frederick counties. After earning a degree in business management and marketing from the University of Maryland in 2017, he interned at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington; instead of staying in the field, he moved afterward to Los Angeles without a job. “I felt I could do more,” he says. He hit the streets looking for a job and took one from the only place that called him back, a taco joint called Tacos Gavilan. There, he put to use the cooking skills he learned from his father, a catering chef. (Robles’ parents hail from El Salvador.)
After a year of working at Gavilan and then another L.A. taco restaurant, Robles decided in 2018 to return to Montgomery County and start his own business. “The taco scene was blowing up [in Maryland], and if I didn’t do it then, it would be too late,” he says. He got a loan, bought a food truck and launched Trippy Tacos in July 2019. It was so successful that after a year he realized he needed kitchen space of his own rather than operating out of a commercial facility. It took two years to find the 800-square-foot location on Georgia Avenue, south of Randolph Road; it has counter seating for eight. He took over Delicioso Deli, running it as he transitioned it to Trippy Tacos. He carried over the deli menu’s baleadas and pupusas—and some of its employees.
The restaurant’s name comes from Robles’ Instagram handle:
@trippyknowledge. “It means trippy, like different, unique, out of this world,” says Robles. “And the knowledge I have is trippy.”
Trippy Tacos, 12134 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, trippytacos.business.site