About Casa Taco
The History of Casa Taco
James Pecherski, the owner of Casa Taco, is originally from Detroit Michigan.
Being born into a family where both his mother’s family and his father‘s family were very food-centered and loved to cook pre-destined James to be a Professional Chef.
James started working in commercial kitchens with his Polish grandmother at the age of nine. James says “It wasn’t like I was actually cooking but rather cleaning tables washing pots and filling salt and pepper shakers while my grandmother and her crew catered Polish weddings.... that exposure made me very comfortable in that environment early on in my life.” While in his sophomore year of high school James got his first job at a local steakhouse as a dishwasher and quickly moved up to line cook at the age of 15. James worked at the steakhouse until he graduated high school.
He moved to Los Angeles California in 1984 and took a job with the Gilbert Robinson Corporation and “Houlihan’s Old Place.” Houlihan’s gave James his first real exposure to a broader spectrum of food “made from scratch food” by Professional Chefs. He moved to New Jersey in 1986 and went to work for an Olympic Culinary Team Chef at a locally renowned country club.
Eventually, his parents urged him to return home to get a college education so he returned to Detroit to attend Wayne County CC, then transferred to Arizona State University. He stayed two years in ASU’s business management program before realizing his true dream was to become a Professional Chef. James applied for and was accepted to Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Scottsdale.
This is really where the fire ignited! The Chef instructors at Le Cordon Bleu focused primarily on indigenous local ingredients and localized flavors. James fell in love with Southwestern cuisine.
Toward the tail end of the two-year program James was referred to and hired by local Detroit Chef Jeff Drew (currently chef/owner of The Snake River Grill in Jackson Hole WY), who at the time was running a restaurant at the River Place Inn, under the direction of famous Chef Jimmy Schmidt. Schmidt was the Chef and owner of the famous “Rattlesnake Club,” located on the bottom floor of the iconic Stroh River building in downtown Detroit.
James went on to work for Jeff to open a Southwestern concept for Jimmy Schmidt called Cocina Del Sol.
Two years later, James transitioned to the main restaurant, ”The Rattlesnake Club,“ as the Executive Banquet Chef for Jimmy Schmidt.
Soon after, opportunity knocked and James was hired on as the Sous Chef for world-famous Mark Miller’s Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe NM. It was here that a love for chile and the sparkling flavors of the southwest were really fused into James’s soul. Over the course of four years working for Chef Jeff Drew at the Coyote Café, James gained the philosophy that “food is love.” Working closely with Jeff really planted that seed in his heart.
James eventually left Santa Fe for an opportunity to revive a failing 500 seat jazz bar Chophouse in Sarasota, FL. The Chophouse was purchased a year later, and James was asked to return to the Coyote Café by Mark Kiffin (Coyote Café Corporate Chef) and work with him during his final stint at the Santa Fe location. Kiffin went on to open the Compound in Santa Fe.
Back in New Mexico, working at the Coyote Café, James made plans to join two friends on a 2 1/2 month-long expedition into Mexico.
Exposure to the indigenous ingredients of Mexico and the local flavors of the various regions introduced James to an entirely different flavor profile. Starting in Mexico City, the group traveled city by city across Mexico all the way to Puerto Vallarta, then back across Chihuahua.
Upon his return James had a job waiting in the wings — a referral from one of the Chefs under Jimmy Schmidt. James moved to Hilton Head SC where he ran a five star catering facility on Palmetto Dunes Resort. Realizing this wasn’t his destiny, James returned to New Mexico a year later and waited for an opportunity to open his own restaurant.
In 2001, while visiting Elephant Butte, James saw a property located near the lake, and decided that this was going to be his start.
James designed, built and opened the Paradise Grille and Cantina in 2002, and the concept was born.
“Paradise Grille and Cantina” operated as a Southwestern/New Mexican cafe with a tropical theme until unfortunate situations caused its closure. The restaurant was re-opened in 2005 as “Casa Taco.”
After a brief hiatus in IT, James resumed ownership of Casa Taco in 2010, bringing back some of the Paradise Grille favorites and elevating the food program to a new level.
Through a total concept re-branding, “Casa Taco” became a local favorite. In 2015 James opened a second location in Albuquerque on Academy Road, and in 2017, added a third location on Coors and Central.
Casa Taco is an upscale Taco dive offering uniquely prepared craft Tacos since 2002. We are a privately Chef-owned business and we are very food focused and quality driven.
Our philosophy and parent company name is FOOD IS LOVE. Creating amazing and delicately prepared food for our guests is a job we take very seriously. We prepare it with love, as if we were feeding our own family. This is the Casa taco difference!
Casa Taco (Albuquerque’s Best of the City winner in 2017, 2018, 2019, & 2020) is always looking for qualified Taco Ninjas and Taco Consultants to join our team.
We make everything from scratch and take pride in serving the best customers the best food.
If you are a great multitasker, take direction well, learn quickly, can handle a fast pace and love tacos, then you should definitely APPLY!
Casa Taco is open 7 days a week for Lunch and Dinner in Albuquerque, and 6 days per week in Elephant Butte.
I have enjoyed the tacos a time or too, but my brother loved them on a weekly basis..
He passed and we are having his upcoming memorial at the butte..
I recently called requesting pricing for catering for his memorial. 10 days later and still no response.
The gentleman I spoke to either owner or manager said he was closed the day I called , but had the next two days off and would get the prices for me..
Still nothing.. I understand everyone is having problems with employees, etc.. but come on..
even a courtesy call saying it would be a few more days would be better than totally blowing me off.. or if you couldn’t handle taking the job on, you could of said you were not interested. I have wasted 10 days waiting, called back twice with zero response and will have to rush to make other arrangements..
So sad today’s business practices, please no more excuses for poor customer service..Lynn Zaffino7/07/2021
👏🏼 awesome. We sat outside on the patio and they brought our to go order out to us when ready. We all enjoyed the chips/ salsa and tacosBrandy Bierut7/03/2021
Cashier was very sweet and polite, food was amazing. Highly recommend the brownie sundae and the quesadillasTaylor Pairis5/02/2021
Went there yesterday and they were out of brisket taco so I ordered chicken taco and it was way over dune and crunchy. I can’t believe they served that poor quality foodRichard Baird4/26/2021
Best burritos in the westMatt Gilchrist8/12/2020
Ordered nachos extra beef and extra cheese nothing but chips that’s the last timeCathy Hamlin4/29/2020
Great tacos at a reasonable price. They even have fish tacos . The staff is always nice and the place is very clean. They also have a website that you can order in advance and just pick it up.Steve Buckley4/09/2020
Drove through on a trip into ABQ and was very very pleasantly surprised. Tried to eat in hatch and everything was closed. We were not disappointed by the location in elephant butte. Thank you for the great service and tasty food.Katie Padilla3/28/2020
The manager named David, in Elephant Butte, NM deserves a raise. He was kind, helpful, and made us feel at home. This individual works hard and his work should be recognized if it hasn’t already.Noah Keebler10/25/2019
Good food, good service, relaxed atmosphere.Roxanne Ellis VanWormer8/08/2019
I love the nachos there yummyKarrie Jean Chavez6/16/2019
Waited over an hour for food!Mike Gutierrez3/24/2019
great food, excellent servicePenny Brownwood11/29/2018
Brisket tacos were absolutely delicious, salsa bar had good variety and tasty salsa, cashier was super cute, what more could you ask for?Chris Faverino7/21/2018
If the world ended right after I finished a plate of tacos from this place, I’d go out with a full stomach and a smile.Pam Vigo5/12/2018
I just love Tacos! They are amazing and I love Casa Taco!Maria Sanchez5/04/2018
This is a must stop if passing through Elephant Butte NMJohn Miller Leanne Johns-Miller12/28/2017
We go all the time in the summer and it's always amazing!!!!!!!!!!Tayler Pior10/22/2017
Eaten here twice now, and both times the service was excellent, and the food was absolutely delicious. I recommend the brisket tacos.Rachel Abercrombie10/05/2017
Love this place. Had their brisket tacos, shrimp tacos, and their fried mushrooms. Soooooo good!!!Koren Billie10/05/2017
Been here a few times and always impressed! Love the calabasitas tacos! The burritos are huge!
Definitely recommend!Tarah Shawn9/27/2017
The food was so good! I got the carne asada tacos and they were amazing! The service was excellent. Our food came out quickly. Definitely will be coming back again!!Kassie Serna9/20/2017
Best fried mushrooms ever!! The food is so delish.Casey Baca9/16/2017
Brisket tacos are ����Service was exceptional!Helena Dunn8/31/2017
Oh my gosh, so good! This was our first time and we'll be back!Marya Hjellming-Sena8/26/2017
This place was wonderful! The food and service were excellent and they really care about their customers! 5+ stars!!Erika Simonton8/11/2017
What an awesome place...worth the drive and the water not far..Krisi NScott8/07/2017
Staff was great. Resturant was well kept and very clean. Food was Awesome! From the quseo and chips... to the brisket tacos... to the calabacita tacos... to the homade browinies with icecream, carmal and nuts!
Loved, Loved, Loved.Linda Griego-Chavez8/05/2017
Had great lunch there, great service! Shrim wrap was awesomePatricia McCullough Gallaghan8/04/2017
Very slow, but the food was good. I'd recommend the brisket tacos.Anne Willis7/30/2017
The brisket tacos are amazing and prices are fair!! ?? Service was friendly as well!Analisa Brill7/23/2017
Ate there for the first time and very impressed. The brisket tacos and chicken taquitos we awesome. Can't wait to try more items from the menu. Oh did I mention the red salsa was yummy none of fake stuff. I highly recommend it! �Bernadette L Jaramillo7/18/2017
As you may have guessed, I kinda' like #Tacos a bit. I'd definitely recommend that you give #CasaTaco a try! I'll definitely be back for another round of fabulous food! ���D's Tacos Doe7/10/2017
My family LOVES tacos (who doesn't, really) and we think Casa Taco makes the best.Stephanie Abercrombie Doyle7/08/2017
I have been to Casa Taco many times and order the usual. This time I tried the shrimp tacos. They were very good. Great taste and tender shrimp. The changes to the dinning in space is very much more comfortable now that it is enclosed.Rafael Anthony Diaz6/25/2017
Thanks to casa taco for dinner tonight..the $25 guft card that i won came in handy tonight after a 12 hr shift at work.Betty Rose Martinez6/20/2017
Love coming here.. Always leave stuffed, and try something new each time. Never been disappointed yet!Brandy Barber6/08/2017
Great service the perfect lunch after some days at the butte!Pat Salazar5/30/2017
It was as really delicious � We had the chimichanga and chicken tacos.Vanessa Plumley5/28/2017
First time there . it was the best!!! The brisket tacos were so good and the beans and rice.I'll definitely go back 🙂Lisa Marie Pedraza5/07/2017
Excellent food! Just wish service was more consistent. Always friendly but not always the most efficient.Danielle P Silva5/05/2017
Great food and customer service. If you come, I suggest the carne Asada tacos.Travis Barr4/30/2017
Fantastic brisket tacos, fast service, great salsa!!! A must have for a fishing trip.Rachel Dams4/08/2017
Fantastic brisket tacos, fast service, great salsa!!! A must have for a fishing trip.Rachel Bailey4/08/2017
Delicious, fresh food, definitely from scratch! The beef brisket burrito was amazing and the calabacitas burrito, the best I've ever had!Karen A Leon-Hinkle4/07/2017
Brisket tacos. Brisket nachos. Huge portions. Huge patio. Who could ask for more?Matt Wales4/05/2017
Totally stoked about casa taco in Albuquerque! Brisket tacos are to DIE for! Seriously, if you are a taco fan, this is where it's at!Carly Rae Hoffacker4/04/2017
Loved the nachos . And spiced chips is great. Love itAlfonso Lovato4/02/2017
I've tried it once, been going back like everyday. Mmmm tacosShinate Monsterr3/25/2017
The best restaurant I've ever been to!! The food was a hit for both my kids and I. Will be definitely going back for more awesome food!!Jacqueline Duran3/24/2017
This place right here was so dam delicious! Loved the food and the restaurant was clean and all the employees were welcoming. Thank you guys again it was so good.Jesse C Diaz3/15/2017
While the brisket tacos are really good, the Yucatan pork and the fish tacos are even better. Got to get the chips and queso as well! Couldn't stop eating the chips.Mark Elias3/05/2017
Had their Casa Asada burrito place and that burrito was the best I ever had! Perfect seasoning, size, everything! I will definitely be going back!Ashley Farr3/04/2017
The food was delicious can't wait to go again! Best taco in Albuquerque by far.Janet Ceniseros2/25/2017
My husband and I love the brisket tacos, there is nothing to compare them to! Even the side beans and rice are an amazing compliment. We go every Saturday to feed our craving!Jeri J Nasci2/14/2017
Very Yummy and Fresh! Loved it! Had Tacos, quesdillas and the chile cheese fries! So good!Nicole Baca2/09/2017
Call in your order because the line was long at 11:45Janice Bass Farmer1/18/2017
The best nacho's, green chili cheese fries, chicken quesadilla and brisket Tacos where the best. Flavor was on point. The salsa was delicious. Will definitely be a repeat customer. Please bring one to the west side of Albuquerque!!!Amanda Saavedra1/15/2017
This place is delicious! The food is so fresh. We had from tacos to the nachos. They gave so food. We will definitely be going back.Anita Apodaca-Swetland1/14/2017
Carne asada tacos were killler!!! Will be making a return trip.Jeff Bowman1/11/2017
Carne asada tacos are awesome! Service was great! Will definately eat tacos ? there again!Wendy Meerscheidt-Cole1/10/2017
Great place to eat! I go anytime im on that side of town!!Dasanté Jabar Browne1/08/2017
Glad i gave it a try. Tho the sides could be a bit bigger.David Mcghee12/28/2016
Amazing !! Great service and great food ! I will definitely be returning..Raphael Castillo12/21/2016
So damned good. We've been twice both times it's been great.Cathy R Doyle12/11/2016
Fresh and Delicious! Loved the Gengunios Mushrooms....WOWCatherine Chavez11/17/2016
Our first time and won't be our last we absolutely loved this place����Victoria Quezada10/24/2016
The food was so good but a little expensive. The prices could be lower.Christine Watts10/12/2016
It was good. Awesome service. Chilli is a bit hot. Tha restaurant was freezing cold, now am big guy and if am cold that means its really cold everyone else.Mykol E Laselute9/27/2016
Always great food you all need a las cruces location.Lee Mullen9/19/2016
I had the carne asada tacos and let me tell you!!!! It was the best. I love it. I will always remember it and will go back. Even told the cashier girl it our first time and while we were eating she took time to come ask us how it was I had food in my mouth so I just gave a THUMPS UP!!!! So bueno. 🙂Shannon White9/13/2016
Best tacos in town we love this place!!!!! I recommend this place to everyone!!! Need more locations ha haAaron Aragon8/29/2016
Amazing food always good to geat there. �����Deiondra Pena8/25/2016
I eat at Casa Taco all the time at The Butte and it is so good, meeting a friend at the one in ABQ. I hope it is just as good!!!Rhonda Townes8/11/2016
Delicious food, prepared fresh to order. Great service. We had the guacamole and fresh made chip as an appetizer. Very good. I had the brisket tacos. They were wonderful. Plenty of slow roasted brisket, spiced perfectly. My wife had the ground beef burrito. She said it was very good. For desert I had the churros with vanilla bean ice cream. It was heavenly. My wife had the apple flautas with cinnamon and caramel and vanilla bean ice cream. Also heavenly.Mike Kear7/10/2016
They're are wicked fast and the food is F***ING AWESOME !!!! Annnd they are super nice.Matthew Smith6/07/2016
One of my favorite places to eat in the area! Love Casa Taco!MJ Dyke6/03/2016
We absolutely love Casa Taco! If you are out in the area and want a great meal you have to stop in and try them, you will not be disappointedRobyn Hodgson6/02/2016
I work near here. Needed something for lunch so I went by and got a couple of beef tacos. The place smelled so good so I was hopeful that the food would be good. It was better than good. I'll be back but will order ahead of time. The wait was a little more than I had time for but it was worth it.Mona Varela4/13/2016
The name says it all. These tacos were so so good. Just had them for the first time. They are really good. We will be back!Edgar Labastida2/16/2016
Best tacos in town, hands down! You get some wonderful food, plenty of it, and it all tastes great! I originally knew of this place when I visited it in Elephant Butte and it was just as good there as it is now. Great food and great service!Steve Szanto2/03/2016
If you come to Elephant Butte or T or C don't miss this place. Should be on Diners Drive Inn and Dives.Nixon Morris11/21/2015
These are the best tacos and coolest folks, hands down. The meat-centric tacos are sooooo succulent you won't believe it! And they are open on Monday!!Harlan McKay11/07/2015
I ate everything in my combo plate! So delicious with great service 🙂Antoinette Davis10/27/2015
Great food Great service every time. Don't forget the Green Chile Cheese Burgers are awesome.Matt Peters10/23/2015
Love Casa Taco. The people are friendly and the food is amazing!Tami Smith10/05/2015
One of my favorite places to eat. Worth going out of the way for!Jennifer Boucher Mahl9/27/2015
My family loves this place. Always the first and last stop at the lake. Can not wait to stop by!Donna Montoya-Beckett8/30/2015
Went there for the first time for lunch. Ordered the 3 taco meal ( 2 shrimp,1 brisket rice & beans) also guacamole with chips. The guacamole was great. Tacos were very tasty & huge! Shrimp are large & brisket was tender but spicy with green Chile. Couldn't eat all the guac or rice/ beans because the tacos were unexpectedly large. The corn tortillas are cooked to crispy perfection. They also have nice salsas. I'll be back!Laura Laidler8/29/2015
Have eaten here twice and both times were amazing! Would love to have Casa Taco near Cottonwood Mall!Donna Bohannan8/28/2015
Stumbled onto this hole in the wall yesterday. Wife hade the shrimp tacos and I had the brisket tacos - AMAZING!!! Now if they'd only open up in Las Cruces, they'd be our favorite place for sure!!!!Todd Kuhlman8/23/2015
Just perfect. Best I have had in years! Huge menu and i would not hesitate to try everything.Kristofer Jardine8/16/2015
Just as good as at the Butte and a shorter drive! 🙂Stacy Hilton Gober8/15/2015
Best tacos ever. What was once at the lake is now in ABQ. Everyone should try this placeRobert Melloy8/07/2015
I use to eat at the Elephant Butte location all the time. I'm so glad there is finally one here in Abq. It's never a disappointment. You can order anything and it will be delicious.Rhonda Maestas8/04/2015
Shrimp tacos are the best and the Angus green chile cheese burgers are real good...Gene Hernandez8/02/2015
I love it. I have for years at the lake. Now I have one at home... bye bye pay checks lolRyan Vance7/29/2015
Fast, friendly service. Great selection of VERY FRESH foods! Also, they have a great pick-up window....call in your order, and it can be ready when you arrive. James, the owner was terrific. We will be coming back!Anne Gilbert Hoeffler NP7/23/2015
So glad I just spent half my lunch hour waiting in the pick up line for an order I placed before I wen left my office. Too bad the service sux and I won't ever go back because the food is great. Then the manager wouldn't even talk to me .Vanessa Mellone7/21/2015
After a crazy rough morning having some fresh & delicious Shrimp/Brisket Tacos and stellar customer service, I can hardly wait for my return! Oooohhhh I must not forget about the Fan-Effin-tastic guacamole & chips! Ciao The Brigante'sBella Michelle Brigante7/13/2015
Amazing Tacos and service! Go and check out the amazing and large menu!Lois Harris Losey7/10/2015
Amazing!!! I just ate here for the first time tonight I was thoroughly impressed. Had the brisket tacos and those things were stuffed to the max. Amazing flavor on everything. Can't wait to eat here again.Sean McBride7/10/2015
Nice friendly placeDaniel W Martinez7/07/2015
Some of the best tacos I have ever eaten! Thanks Casa Taco for being such a welcome environment and great food!Scott Knight9/28/2014
Best restaurant in Sierra County! Everything is outstanding and freshly made. I highly recommend the brisket and shrimp tacos. The homemade onion rings and fried mushrooms are great.Bruce Hegwer6/28/2014
Love the shrimp tacos!Wendy Dove Fischer6/24/2014
Great service. Delicious food. Clean and family friendly.Ashley Garcia6/02/2014
the food and outdoor cafe style of seating is great!....not crazy about the self serve....lol....oh well., saves on tipping.Christiane Stroshine7/28/2013