Tacos and Hot Dogs Today, ‘Phooey Noodles’ Tomorrow

BOARDMAN, Ohio – The staff at the Mission Taco continues to iron out the kinks as owner Christian Rinehart plans his next dining concept.

“We’re working on a noodle concept,” Rinehart said Wednesday, that will be built somewhere in Boardman.

“It might be next door, it might be down the street,” he continued. “We don’t know yet.”

Rinehart does know, however, what he’ll call it.

“It’s going to be ‘Hong Kong Phooey Noodles.’ We’re going to be bringing in a chef in from Japan that will actually make noodles right in front of you,” he said.

Rinehart owns other restaurants in the area, such as O’Donold’s Irish Pub & Grille, and two Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts – one in downtown Youngstown, the other at 1393 Boardman-Canfield Road.

The Boardman Suzie’s is next door to the Mission Taco Restaurant. Between them is a shared kitchen.

“Eventually, after we get all the kinks worked out in the kitchen, you’ll be able to get tacos or hot dogs on both sides,” Rinehart said.

Mission Taco will hold a soft opening at 4 p.m. today and will officially open at 11 a.m. Friday.

“It took us about a year longer to open than we wanted,” said Rinehart as he laughed. “I think it’s about time.”

The “mission” of Mission Taco is to focus entirely on local ingredients for its menu and bar items, and to “really make a difference in the local community,” Rinehart said.

Head chef Matt Sutton reported that all of the restaurant’s produce is grown nearby and all of the meats are bought from Lamppost Farm in Columbiana.

“We’re also growing some of our herbs – garlic, basil – in-house. We’ve got a grower right in our restaurant,” he said.

The large hydroponic planter at the end of the bar is also growing lettuce as well as mint and lavender for cocktails.

Mission Taco specializes in tequila-based drinks such as margaritas. Manager John Rudy says that like the tacos, the drinks are all made by hand with local ingredients.

“It’s very labor-intensive, but the end product is phenomenal,” he declares.

Rinehart also went local with the décor of Mission Taco. The walls are decorated with the pallets the restaurant’s equipment arrived on, and the tables are made of old doors that were painted by local artists.

“So your tables are works of art,” he says. “Everything in here is as recycled as it can get.”

Pictured: Christian Rinehart.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.