Meat and Cheese opens taco stand for quick bites |

Meat and Cheese opens taco stand for quick bites

Affordable tacos and pocket margaritas served with on-the-go eating in mind

Patrons enjoy lunch at Meat and Cheese in Aspen on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Lunch under $20? In Aspen?

“(It) is a little unheard of,” said Jaila Jafarabadi, a manager at Meat and Cheese.

But starting Monday, it will be just a bit easier to find. A new taco stand operated by the restaurant and specialty market on East Hopkins Avenue will bring “cheap, quick eats” to the streets of Aspen, Jafarabadi said.

The stand will serve three versions of tacos de canasta, a crispy iteration in which the entire taco — fillings included — is fried before serving.

Customers can choose from steak, bean, or potato and chorizo options; chips and salsa, Mexican Coca Cola, and “pocket margaritas” will also be available. Four tacos will cost just $12.50; a combo deal will ring in at $18.

“We’re really trying to attract the masses as well … blue-collar workers who want to enjoy really really good food (with) local ingredients,” said Sam Hayes, a restaurant manager at Meat and Cheese. “We’re able to do the best ingredients at a cheaper price for everybody.”

Hayes came up with the idea for a taco stand two weeks ago amid concerns that the restaurant would face new COVID-19 restrictions that would place additional limits on indoor dining — but he rejects the idea that he is the sole mastermind behind the project.

“There was a lot of thought going into it,” Hayes said, adding that the new stand is a “group effort” from a number of team members at Meat and Cheese. The goal, Hayes said, was not so much an increase in revenue as a new way to keep staff employed amid uncertainty; the stand will create one or two additional shifts for staff each week.

“It still is a way for us to keep our employees employed,” Hayes said. “That was the most important part for us.”

The stand will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 4:20 p.m., according to Hayes. Some outdoor seating will be available, but the new offerings are also designed with on-the-go customers in mind. The pocket margarita, which comes in 4-, 8- and 16-ounce sizes, really will fit in a pocket, and the canasta-style tacos are easy to eat on the go.

And best of all, perhaps, “they stay crispy for the gondola,” Hayes said.

Kaya Williams can be reached at

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