Cristina Martinez and Ben Miller are closing their nationally acclaimed Mexican eatery, which started as a South Philly food cart, to get ready for a move to the Italian Market. South Philly Barbacoa, named one of the 10 best new restaurants in America by Bon Appétit in 2016, will reopen at sister restaurant El Compadre, at 1149 S. 9th Street. It will remain in business at its current location — serving the best tacos in the nation from a bright storefront at 11th and Morris Streets — through Sunday, June 25.
Martinez’s late son, Isaias Berriozabal-Martinez, opened El Compadre last year. He died a few months later at 23. Miller runs the Popular Alliance for Undocumented Workers’ Rights and its #Right2Work initiative. (Martinez is an undocumented worker.)
The new combined entity will keep the name El Compadre. Miller told Philly.com the move gives the couple a “sense of purpose” and that they couldn’t grow in South Philly Barbacoa.
They also want to be able to work out of the same location, he told Billy Penn.
El Compadre will serve tortas and stews during the week, Tuesday to Friday, and barbacoa on weekends. “We are serving the same food in a different location,” South Philly Barbacoa reassured people on Twitter.
we are serving the same food in a different location— south Philly (@lambtacos) June 7, 2017