POYO is a new vegetarian taco pop-up running out of The Sprout on Duckworth Street. If you and your peers have been pining for a late-night taco joint after leaving a bar, fortunately, you’re in luck, thanks to chefs and operators Tim Knight and Greg Dunn.
They serve up a hefty sized burrito, an enchilada covered in homemade sauce, cheese, and sour cream, and an overwhelming list of tacos for as cheap as four bucks. Most items offer the choice of refried beans or TVP ground beef, and various different refreshing veggie options to go along with it. “We’re just looking to tweak the menu right now, and find things that could taste a little better.” says Tim. “The bulk of that is based on what we think we can find fresh, and locally. We’re looking to experiment with things that you wouldn’t normally find in a burrito, like sweet potato, zucchini, chickpea curry, etc.”
The Punk Rock Comes Free with Your Meal
Besides your sinuses being welcomed by an array of Mexican spices when you walk into The Sprout late night on a weekend, you’ll have no trouble figuring out that Tim and Greg have a particular musical feel and DIY ethic that POYO wants to portray. While waiting for your food, the soundtrack will consist of Mexican punk bands like Rebel’d Punk, Los Monjos, and Massacre 68, to name a few. Don’t be surprised if you hear the odd aggressive Mexican rap track either. That is to say, going to POYO for food after a show downtown definitely won’t completely wind your night down. “We try to keep the feel of the music right for the type of food we serve. The music is important” claims Tim, uncompromisingly. “Mariachi is definitely not a good fit. We’re trying to do something a little different.”
The Sprout Acting as Incubator a Second Time Around
Not too long ago, Middle Eastern restaurant Mohammed Ali’s was using The Sprout to sling late-night vegetarian food that strayed away from your standard deep-fried potato and overpriced pizza fare, and they eventually became enough of a success to move out of out of The Sprout and into their own venue next door to Fixed on Duckworth. It’s definitely heartening to see The Sprout once again giving another new up and coming business a homebase to get started; this time with different flavours, and a different feel.
Tim says there are no long term plans for POYO just yet, and their hours right now remain 11pm to 4 am on Fridays and Saturdays. If these nights remain lucrative for Greg and Tim, they’ll be happy to open their doors for an extra night of the week to continue serving cheap vegetarian-friendly Mexican cuisine to the masses. The original plan for POYO was a Mexican restaurant downtown with three dollar beer and really loud music, and with the right support, this little up and coming taco take-out they’ve been operating out of The Sprout could potentially pave the way for a solid late night St. John’s staple.