“It’s very much the same model and idea [as All Good], where everything as much as possible is sourced from the Bayview,” owner Kristin Houk tells Eater SF. Example: Street dogs with Evergood Fine Foods hot dogs, grilled onion, and bacon on locally-baked buns.
“There are so many resources that start here in Bayview that don’t end up here,” Houk says. “We’ve got Veritable Vegetable, we’ve got Molinari, we’ve got Tarantino [& Sons Poultry]. Historically, this was Butchertown — and that still exists, so my goal is to highlight that and utilize that.”
Tato is named for Houk’s son — it’s a nickname bestowed on him by his Mexican grandmother. “My son’s father is from Mexico City, and his mom is a chef there,” Houk explains. “These are adaptations of her recipes.”
At Tato, there’s a traditional trompo (vertical spit) for al pastor tacos served on La Palma tortillas, plus chicken tinga tostadas like the ones Houk likes to eat when visiting Mexico City. But there’s also a sizable selection of salads and a full liquor license for margaritas and more cocktails.
In keeping with her local emphasis, 90 percent of Houk’s staff lives in the neighborhood, as she has herself for 16 years. “I feel a ton of support from the neighbors and the local business community,” says Houk. “It’s really fun to see the neighborhood blossom.”
Tato is now open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with more hours starting September 18th.