News and Tribune

Clark County

January 29, 2013

UNIQUE TAKE ON TACOS: Jeffersonville native’s locally focused Mexican restaurant celebrates one year



Deciding not to attend culinary school and rather to learn by first-hand experience, the college graduate traveled around the U.S. including Michigan, Oregon and Arizona. At the latter two, he studied techniques from other chefs that he employs in his restaurant today. 

After returning to Louisville and marrying local metal sculpture artist Dana Androit, Sowder spent eight years at renowned chef Edward Lee’s 610 Magnolia, where he served as chef de cuisine. In January, 2012, he opened his first venture, the name which his 5-year-old son Ezra helped originate by calling his dad a “Taco Punk” during a wrestling match.

Don’t think Taco Punk is your average fast food joint. Sowder purchases most of his meats and vegetables from local vendors and makes everything from scratch daily using cooking techniques normally seen in fine-dining establishments. Orders are specially prepared while patrons wait ensuring individual tastes are considered. Throw in an allergy- and vegetarian-conscious menu with no additives or preservatives and people really can see how the restaurant differs from other traditionally speedy eateries.

“What you end up getting is a really balanced flavor and a very high-quality product that’s ultimately very customizable to people’s taste,” Sowder said. “We’re giving the consumer a lot of power in choosing what they want.”

And then there’s the green aspect of Sowder’s business that sets it apart. Each month, Taco Punk composts more than 3,000 pounds of waste. All the service ware — napkins, plates and cups — are biodegradable. In addition, employees recycle almost everything else used in food preparation, an act that saves close to a thousand pounds of trash from being added to landfills every month.

“We have a very aggressive waste program,” he said. “Consumers are really responsive to that. It’s a very attractive thing now for people to have really, really good food, but food that makes you feel good too.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Easter 2014 photos

Click on any photo to purchase it.

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
2013 Photos of the year

Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.