Sophie Bolich

La Chinampa Opens in Walker’s Point

At former site of Boo Boo's the counter-service Mexican restaurant offers tacos, burritos, tortas and more.

By - Feb 22nd, 2023 05:33 pm
La Chinampa's carne asada tacos, served Mexican-style. Photo taken Feb. 22, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

La Chinampa’s carne asada tacos, served Mexican-style. Photo taken Feb. 22, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

A new-to-the-neighborhood Mexican restaurant is now open in Walker’s Point. La Chinampa, a fast-casual concept that also operates two food trucks, welcomed its first customers last week at 405 S. 2nd St., the former site of Boo Boo’s.

It was a quick turnaround for the restaurant, which first announced plans to move into the space — relocating from its previous location at 5442 W. Forest Home Ave., in Greenfield — in December of 2022. In the following weeks, owner and chef Oscar Vega-Aguilar was already hard at work restoring the building, replacing patio windows and installing signage — all while manning his taco truck on the street in front of the future restaurant.

Since its mid-February opening, La Chinampa has enjoyed steady business, said Vega-Aguilar. The restaurant has also racked up 5-star reviews from four happy customers within the past week.

During Boo Boo’s tenure, the building’s interior was decidedly whimsical, featuring brightly-colored wall murals and chalkboard tables accompanied by paint pens to welcome doodling. The restaurant’s walls are now vibrant cerulean and feature hanging shelves of miniature pottery, a small, decorative piñata and a row of plants and calaveras along the counter.

The layout of the space is also slightly reconfigured. Previously, guests entered directly into the patio area and placed orders at a south-facing counter. Now, the restaurant’s main entrance is through a door slightly north of the patio, within the adjoined brick building.

The patio, set to open next week, will act as the restaurant’s main dining area. A handful of tables can seat approximately 20 guests. For the time being, the counter-service restaurant is an ideal stop for a quick bite or meal to-go.

The restaurant’s extensive menu, posted in both Spanish and English, includes burritos, flautas, nachos, quesadillas, tacos, tortas and tostadas. A selection of burgers includes American-style, as well as Hawaiian, Mexican and Argentinian twists.

Tacos, available with a choice of steak, pork, head, tongue, chicken or chorizo, come in pairs, snugly packed into a styrofoam box. The warm, double corn tortillas are topped with a heaping serving of seasoned meat and served Mexican-style, with mined onions, cilantro and lime wedges, or American-style, with lettuce, tomato, sour cream and cheese. Both versions come with hot or mild salsa.

The restaurant also offers huaraches, an oblong base of masa dough topped with smashed pinto beans, meat, onions, potato, salsa, cilantro and queso fresco. The dish hails from Mexico City and shares a name with a Mexican sandal of a similar shape.

All orders are packaged for takeout. There are two, small tables adjacent to the counter where customers can sit while awaiting their order. That’s also the ideal time to sip a Jarritos from the cooler or enjoy a paleta from La Michoacana — an assortment of which are piled into a freezer near the counter.

La Chinampa is located inside a structure attached to and owned by the neighboring business, Caroline’s Jazz Club. Another restaurant, Hen’s Deli, opened in late 2022 around the corner, inside the former Soup Bros space. Richard Regner previously owned both Soup Bros and Boo Boo’s.

La Chinampa is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.


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