By ALISON GRIZZLE
Ty Taylor is home, and he has brought a bit of Los Angeles with him to open Pinches Tacos.
Robby Melvin said he frequents Pinches not just to support Taylor; the rich, real flavors of Pinches’ food is the Mexican he enjoys most— to eat as well as to cook.
“Everything on the menu is fresh and made from authentic recipes, and my goal is to eventually taste the entire menu,” said Melvin, Salt Catering chef and a Homewood graduate.
The menu has unique offerings such as the cactus taco and the fish taco with Veracruz coleslaw burrito. “Tamale Tuesdays brings in a regular crowd,” Taylor said. Single tamales are $3.95, and a combo tamale with rice and beans is only $7.95.
Personally, I fell in love with the potato and manchego cheese flautas, which are tortillas stuffed with potatoes and cheese and then fried until crisp.
Taylor, a 1992 graduate of Homewood High School, graduated from Tulane University and then followed his heart to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. Like many actors, he supplemented his income from the occasional acting jobs with money from the restaurant business. While in LA, he worked at various restaurants and gained experience as a waiter, bartender, and manager. He learned the business from the inside-out.
It was during this phase in his life that he met the Anaya brothers, Miguel, Jorge and Javier, who owned Pinches Tacos, a restaurant with authentic Mexican food. They like to joke that they are starting a movement of “Real Mexican Food by Real Mexicans.” During this time, Taylor became part of the Anaya family.
The first Pinches Tacos was originally opened in 2008 on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood after the unfortunate closing of the Anaya family’s restaurant, Cha Cha Cha West Hollywood. The name “Pinches” can bring some giggles among bilingual folks, but the Anayas’ explanation of its history is the best. According to the family legend, their great uncle was a cook, otherwise known as a pinche, for Pancho Villa, who would yell, “Pinche traime unos tacos,” which translates to “Cook, bring me some tacos.”
When life brought Taylor home to Alabama, he entered discussions with the Anaya brothers about opening a Pinches Tacos in Homewood. After two years of planning and scouting the perfect location, Pinches is here! Located on the corner of 19th Street South and Oxmoor Road in Hallman Hill East, the newest Pinches location has brought a new spirit to Homewood. Taylor is extremely happy that he chose Homewood. “I love reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in twenty years.” Taylor said. “Friends stop by weekly to say ‘hello’ and share a drink. It’s great to be back in a neighborhood surrounded by new and old friends.”
Pinches Tacos has a fun, family atmosphere. The colorful paintings tell a story of the owners and embody the personalities of those involved in this venture. In addition, Pinches Tacos brings another great patio location to Homewood, featuring live music on Friday evenings 7 – 9 p.m.
Although it’s only been open a few months, the Pinches family has already embraced the Homewood spirit of giving. Taylor was recently invited to speak at Homewood High School, where he shared with students his personal journey about persevering and setting goals.
On Cinco De Mayo, Pinches celebrated the holiday in style, donating proceeds to MDA/ Jerry Lewis Foundation. They chose this cause because the Anaya’s mother suffers from muscular dystrophy.
Pinches Tacos is a great example of Homewood ’s ability to combine tradition and innovation. As long as Homewood can rely on its “homegrowns” to always come home and bring inventive thinking and a renewed spirit, it will continue to blossom and be a wonderful home for generations to come.
300 Hallman Hill East, Suite 109