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Spoken like a true gentleman — Taco Man Mark Weiss tells his story

June 15, 2011 - Carla Tracy

I first met Mark Weiss last week to interview him on taking over ownership of the colorful Taco del Mar restaurant at Maui Mall in Kahului.

He was handsome and cordial and much younger than me. So when he measured his words and purposefully paused before proceeding to the each of his topics, I figured he was warned about being careful when speaking to a member of the press.

Then his brother came out to talk to me as Mark donned his “Taco Man” suit for the photo shoot. You see, the brothers are planning the official grand opening celebration of Taco Del Mar June 19 through 26 and they seemed game to make the publicity push fun.

His brother, whose name escapes me, was really cute and cordial, too. Only I noticed that he liked to finish each of my sentences.

Then it hit me. Mark had a speech impediment, albeit one that was under control.

His brother probably learned to compensate for Mark by picking up the unspoken or stuttered words and saying them himself.

We finished the photo shoot, I ordered an enchilada plate with whole beans and Spanish rice and all of the tasty south of the border condiments, thanked him for his time and generosity, and prepared to leave.

That was then Mark asked me, “Have you ever seen the ‘King’s Speech’? ”

Embarrassed that I still haven’t seen last year’s drama in which Colin Firth won an Oscar, I told him I’ve been meaning to see it.

It’s the story of King George VI of Britain (Firth), his impromptu ascension to the throne with his wife (Helena Bonham Carter) by his side and the speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

Mark then told me the story of his youth, and how he struggled with his speech disorder and some of the trials he had to endure. He also said he went to numerous speech therapists and worked very hard to get to where he is today.

“If you work hard and persevere throughout, if you set your mind to it, a speech impediment is not something that should stop you from reaching your dreams,” he told me with powerful pauses that made me want to cry right then and there.

“If there’s someone out there who I can inspire with my story, then I will have succeeded.”

And succeed he did with the purchase of this fun new restaurant, in which you walk up to the counter and order your Mexican food.

“During Fiesta Week, we will be offering $6 pricing on our Mondo Burritos,” says Weiss. “Maui residents are encouraged to stop by and fill out a sweepstakes form for a chance to win prizes, including overnight accommodations at Grand Wailea!”

In addition, check out daily specials such as kids eat free Sundays, double punch Mondays, two-for-one tacos on Tuesdays, pick your platter Wednesday, meat quesadillas for $5.49 Thursdays, two fish tacos for $5 on Fridays, and super meat nachos Saturdays for $7.99.

We do complimentary refills on drinks and offer free wifi with purchases as well.”

Mark also likes to don the Taco Man suit to walk around the mall, bravely striking up conversations with people i

and passing out coupons for his new restaurant.

Last but not least, “we offer box lunches, do catering bars and offer group grazing menus,” he says, spoken like a true gentleman.

For more information, call 877-2009.


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Mark Weiss of Taco del Mar is a success story