Mario Bros Tacos is moving to the former Hotbird location at Royal and Abrams

Mario Bros. Tacos is expanding in Lake Highlands, and the family-owned restaurant is hoping to bump itself up the short list of Dallas’ favorite taquerias. They offer a variety of traditional dishes – and a surprisingly delicious Mexican hamburger – but their specialty is the taco de trompo.

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Mario Moya, Jr., who owns the shop with his father, Mario Sr., says trompo tacos are similar to Greek or Lebanese gyros. Marinated pork is shaved from a spinning vertical rotisserie shaped in an inverted pyramid. His family brought their recipe when they came to America from Northern Mexico, and they lean toward their Monterrey roots with all creations in the kitchen.

The Moyas have been at their original location at Abrams and Northwest Highway for six years, but they’ll moving the entire operation two miles north to Town Creek shopping center at Abrams and Royal. The spot between Walgreen’s and Dallas Ballet Company was constantly hopping when it was occupied by Uncle Wok, but Hotbird and other endeavors weren’t successful there. Mario Bros. Tacos hopes to change that.

Mario Bros adapted well to the pandemic, shifting quickly to “take-out only” when the coronavirus first hit New York and offering walk-out service to cars to keep safety at a maximum. These days, Moya says, loyal customers are comfortable picking up while wearing a mask or dining in at distanced tables, and he’ll offer a few tables on his outdoor patio.

“Over the years we’ve seen families grow and kids grow up. We miss seeing our customers regularly – they want to come in and talk to us. We wanted to stay in the area, so we were careful to find a place just two miles down the road.”

Asked about the name, Moya says there’s no brother in the partnership – just a love of all things Nintendo.

“I’m an avid collector of vintage video games. I have a 90s Super Nintendo game room with all the bells and whistles.” Moya says he contacted the company to secure their approval before naming the taqueria.

Moya says COVID-19 hit his industry hard, and he’s proud of the effect his expansion will have.

“We’ll be able to give better service in the larger space,” says Moya, “and we’ll be able to employ more people. So many people lost their jobs due to the pandemic. We will have the opportunity to offer jobs to many people. That’s a good thing.”

Mario Bros. Tacos plans to open the week of Feb. 23 at 8420 Abrams. A new Plano location at Park and Jupiter opened Feb. 5.

Mario Bros’ torta de trompo

Trompo tacos and tortas are made from marinated pork shaved from a spinning vertical rotisserie.