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Entries in Tacos (16)

Thursday
Jul212016

El Segundo Opening in Downtown Sono: The Spread Team + Global Street Food

The Spread was the first: hip, smart, happening.  Contemporary Sono. 

El Segundo, by definition, will be The Second.  This time:   Street.  Urban. Old World Global. 

“We’ll have street food from each of the 7 Continents,” said Chris Hickey as he recently gave CTBites a preview of The Spread team’s new joint set to open in early August.   Hickey and co-owners Andrey Cortes, Chris Rasile, Shawn Longyear and Executive Chef Carlos Baez envision an international playground for the palate.

“We’re going to have some fun,” Chris promised, grinning.   

Open the corrugated metal garage door, and the vista is a courtyard boasting a fountain, storefronts, and looming apartments.  A piazza in Naples?  A market in Buenos Aries. A food fair in Bangkok.     

Inside the restaurant, you’re on a side street.   The vibe is almost Third World.  The predominant motif is that corrugated sheeting – the humble material that shelters much of the earth’s population. A wall is painted in the brilliant graffiti of Duster, New York’s notorious tagger.    On the wall, a subway door and a Number 6 Train to Duster’s Bronx.  Its boogie.  Its street food.  

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Sunday
May152016

Miro Kitchen Opens in Fairfield With Chef From Hapa Food Truck

With much anticipation and excitement Miro Kitchen recently opened its doors on Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield. The new eatery is the collective brainchild of Eugene Kabilnitsky, former owner of Tomato and Basil, and Hapa Food Truck’s Chris Gonzales. I recently sat down with the two to talk about the inspiration behind this creative collaboration.

“My wife and I were both working from home and we found ourselves going to the Hapa Food Truck at least twice a week,” Kabilnitsky told me. “We couldn’t get enough! At the time I was set to open another Italian restaurant at this location and was in the process of hammering out details.” But then he started to wonder whether the Hapa concept might work in the restaurant space. He joked that after visiting the truck 100 or so times he shared his idea with Chris, and subsequent conversations led to the current partnership, and Miro, an expansion of the wildly popular Hapa Food Truck, was born.

The best way to describe the cuisine is to say it is a play on Pacific, Asian and Hawaiian street food with an American twist, mixing the exotic with the familiar.

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Friday
Apr012016

Bartaco Unveils New Cocktails, New Tacos & #bartacosecret: Gretchen Thomas Tells All

Tacos.  And cocktails.  A bar.  Where people can have tacos.  Bar.  Tacos.  Bartaco!

It seems simple, but the concept is, admittedly, brilliant.  Barteca, the restaurant group behind Barcelona, saw the potential in the combination and launched Bartaco in 2010.  Inspired by Brazilian beach culture, they opened their flagship location in Port Chester, NY.  Popularity followed and they began expanding.  Today, Bartaco has 3 Connecticut locations: Stamford, West Hartford, and Westport.  They have also received national acclaim, with restaurants opening in Nashville, Tennessee; Tampa; Florida; Reston; Virginia, and three in Atlanta, Georgia.

On Wednesday March 23, CTBites was invited to participate in a blogger’s event featuring Bartaco’s newest cocktails and a selection of menu items.  Barteca’s Wine and Spirits Director, Gretchen Thomas, led us through a tasting of three of her latest drinks and provided insights about the “bar” component of Bartaco.

Thomas has a great deal of experience in the restaurant industry, as well as an extensive career with Barteca Restaurant Group.

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Friday
Mar182016

Taco Loco Launches New Menu in Bridgeport's Black Rock Neighborhood

It’s time for a bit of trivia!  What was Bridgeport’s first Mexican restaurant?  What was the first Mexican food truck in the state?

The answer to both questions is the same and it might surprise you: Taco Loco!  The restaurant, which now lies on Fairfield Avenue in Black Rock, opened its doors in 1982 by bothers Miguel and Louis Tomasio.  Originally, Taco Loco functioned as a small taco shop located on Main Street.  It served inexpensive Mexican Food late into the night.  As demand grew, the business transformed from counter service to a full scale restaurant.  In 1985 Miguel added a food truck and they moved to their present-day location in 1989.  Taco Loco currently seats 100 guests, has a four season patio, and a coveted food truck.

Now, in 2016, Taco Loco is about to undergo another evolution!  Miguel, along with his son Zachary Tomasio, are releasing a brand new menu aimed at “authenticity and quality.”  With a background in marketing and a fresh perspective, Zachary is ready to explore the latest trends and additional avenues of business.

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Sunday
Jan102016

Sayulita: Standout Mexican in South Glastonbury

Step through the door at Sayulita in South Glastonbury, and, right away, you’ll see: this is no ordinary Mexican restaurant. Clean and simple, with lots of wood and natural light, Sayulita features what’s fresh and local from the farms of South Glastonbury to the shores of Stonington. A poster of a surfing contest with a sugar skull, a thick turquoise glass bottle for the water that’s brought to your table. On my last visit, ’50s music played in the background. It’s casual. It’s comfortable. It’s a departure from most Mexican you’ve ever had before. Named after the seaside surfing town north of Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita is the most recent restaurant endeavor of Adam and Bill Driggs, owners of 2Hopewell and Birch Hill Tavern. With Chef Van Hurd, of Hell’s Kitchen fame, at the helm, you’re in for a uniquely tasty adventure here.

Sometimes the most excellent feasts can be found at the beginning and end of the menu—appetizers and desserts. Add quality cocktails and out-of-the-ordinary tacos to round it out and what you’ve got is my favorite way to enjoy a meal at Sayulita.

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Thursday
Jul232015

Crazy Taco-Mex Food Truck: Great Carnitas Taco

The food truck craze continues and I visited Crazy Taco-Mex. The simply decorated truck includes a Sombrero with the rim in the shape of a handlebar moustache. The menu includes Tacos ($3.50) Quesadillas ($6), and Burritos ($7). I was interested in Tacos and ordered three, a steak, a carnitas and a chicken. The menu states that each is topped with onions, cilantro and salsa verde.

 

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Sunday
Aug032014

Taqueria Las Salsa Truck: Simple Tacos in Norwalk

What’s that brightly colored truck parked at the Auto-Zone in Norwalk serving?

As you drive west/south on Route 1 in Norwalk and approach the Avalon apartments on the corner of Belden Ave, take a look to the right into the parking lot of the Auto-Zone. Several days a week, the site will include a colorfully decorated food truck with “Taqueria” emblazoned over the front windshield and a collage of articles, food photos and menus…all to tempt hungry customers into ordering one of numerous tacos, burritos and plates of Mexican inspired cuisine. That truck is Taqueria Las Salsa.

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Sunday
Jun152014

The Best Tacos in Connecticut: Ultimate Guide 

There is truly a Mexican restaurant for everyone. There are the quiet ones that scream “authentic! authentic! authentic!” and then there are the more modern ones with the guac that is “hand-slapped” or “slapped to order.” Excuse me? Was it naww-ghty? Mex goes 50 Shades, I see. And if the recent lime shortage (I can’t think of lime-hijackings without giggling, sorry) has you in a tizzy and wondering just how the heck you and your margaritas are going to make it through the summer, just head to these places. Let them figure out the limes, you can figure out how many drinks and how much lime-infused guacamole to have.

Here's our list of the 16 Best Taco Restaurants & Trucks in Connecticut. Feel free to add your favorites to the list below. 

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Monday
May192014

Green Grunion Food Truck: San Diego-style Burritos in Danbury

The Green Grunion food truck is the brainchild of Paul Mannion, a Bethel native whose three year foray in San Diego served as inspiration for Danbury's San Diego-style burrito business on wheels. A restaurant industry veteran (you may remember his friendly face from behind the bar at Bethel’s La Zingara), Paul launched the business nearly a year ago in Danbury inspired by the burritos he came to know and love during his time in San Diego.

I finally tracked down the Green Grunion after many positive reader recommendations, and a fuzzy memory of Paul telling me his grandiose plans from behind the Zingara bar last year. But first, a quick burrito primer for the uninitiated East Coast-dwellers (read: you, me, and everyone we know, Connecticut).

Look up burrito in the dictionary and you'll likely conjure an image of the tightly-packed Mission style behemoths found in San Francisco's Mission District and interpreted loosely at a Chipotle near you.

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Thursday
Apr242014

Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events

Monday April 28, Napa & Co of Stamford presents FAVORITE WINES OF SPAIN.  Explore the dusty, dirty and sultry wines of this HOT region from Priorat, Campo de Borja and Rioja. There will be 6 wines to experience. $50/person (exclusive of tax and gratuity). 

Also on Monday the 28th, Barcelona West Hartford presents “Paella 101.” Join Chef Eric in this class dedicated to the Spanish classic – Paella! Learn how to make this delicious dish and a popular Barcelona favorite. For reservations please call the restaurant at 860.218.2100. $29 per person, plus tax and gratuity. 7pm.

Golden View Firenze Ristorante and Continental Fine Wine & Spirits will team up for a 5 course Tuscan Wine Dinner of Tuesday April 29.  5 dishes will be paired with 5 different Italian wines.  $70pp plus tax and gratuity.  Call 203-869-0865 to reserve.

Tuesday April 29, New Canaan Wine Merchants invites you to raid their reserve room!  Between 7 and 8:30pm, guests can select 3 high end wines to open, talk about, and taste.  Free event.

April 29 is also the 6th Annual Glenlivet/Cigar Dinner @ Max Fish in Glastonbury.  It features cigars from "The Tobacco Shop" on Pratt Street  in Hartford, CT, food, and Glenlivet pairings. $125 per person, not including tax & gratuity. Space is limited, so call for reservations today. 860.652.3474. 6-9pm.

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