Chris Svetlik is on a mission to bring Texas breakfast staples to DC. First, he and fellow Texan Brian Stanford introduced Washingtonians to the fluffy, sweet and savory-stuffed pastries known as kolaches with a series of Republic Kolache pop-ups. Now, Svetlik is launching Republic Taco, which will sell “proper” breakfast tacos exclusively through UberEats delivery.
The taco operation launches tomorrow and will deliver daily from 8 am to 11 am. As Svetlik explains, delivery is an ideal way to reach people in the mornings: “It’s a very simple meal, and people don’t have a ton of time… As a symptom of that, it’s rare that people are actually going to have destination breakfasts except maybe brunch on the weekends.”
Republic Taco is one of the first businesses to launch on UberEats without first having a restaurant or other distribution outlets. UberEats general manager in DC, Brian Gelb, says he expects to see more delivery-only pop-ups in the near future and is in discussion with some big-name chefs about it.
Republic Taco’s menu, developed by Dacha beer garden chef Quinten Frye, includes basics like egg and cheese tacos with bacon or potato. Some tacos have a little more flare, including one with maple-habanero sausage and another with brisket. Prices will range from $3 to $4 per taco, but for tomorrow’s launch you can get three tacos from $5.
All the tacos are served on flour tortillas: “It’s one of these regional tradition things that breakfast tacos are always on flour tortillas,” Svetlik says. “In the world that Quinten and I come from, the idea of a breakfast taco on a corn tortilla is total sacrilege.”
Eventually, Republic Taco will expand beyond breakfast tacos—and beyond UberEats. Svetlik says he’s interested in partnering with restaurants for pop-ups or getting a food service contract with a bar, then someday, opening up a brick-and-mortar shop that would serve kolaches as well.
“I grew up eating these, similar to kolaches,” Svetlik says. “And breakfast tacos in particular, I was kind of surprised that you don’t find more of them here.”