John Sen bought Tortilleria Sinaloa, the diminutive Eastern Avenue taco shop (that has garnered plenty of “best of” accolades) in 2011 because he figured Mexican food was the next big thing. “People were trending more toward Chipotle and Qdoba than Subway,” reasoned the Subway franchisee, who had recently sold his four sandwich shops. “I found this place where they make their own tortillas.” The tortilla machine, purchased by the former owner in Sinaloa, Mexico, can crank out 3,000 tortillas per hour—soft masa flour disks sold by the kilo ($3 buys about 35). The problem, says Sen, was the size of the shop. “We only seat 10, so the 11th customer goes somewhere else,” he points out. Sen considered the Inner Harbor, but settled on the repurposed Fallsway Spring Company around the corner, former home of By Degrees Café. The loft-like second location with high windows and about 50 seats, serves everything the original does and more. Tacos, tamales and soups (beef tripe, hominy), breakfast (eggs with sausage and beans), fresh tortillas to go and cooked meat by the pound. There’s also a bar and table service, along with such specials as chicken mole—food you can linger over.
415 S. Central Ave.