The rare convergence of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving next week did not go unnoticed by the nice Jewish boys running Taquitoria at 168 Ludlow St.
A week from Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, they’ll be offering two special taquitos. The Thanksgiving version features deep-fried turkey and brussels sprouts with cranberry sauce and gravy. And for Hannukah, they’ll be whipping up a taquito filled with latkes, apple sauce and sour cream.
Sound a little off the wall? Well it’s safe to say the young owners of this new spot are blazing their own trail. But in a visit to the narrow space a couple of weeks ago, we discovered these guys are not just messing around with the latest rendition of “drunk food.”
Along with Matthew Conway, Barry Frish and Brad Holtzman set out to bring San Diego-style rolled tacos to New York City, and they decided the Lower east Side was the ideal place to test-market the concept. The partners are no slouches; their backgrounds are in fine dining, most recently at Restaurant Marc Forgione in Tribeca. After a scouting trip to the West Coast, they created a menu paying tribute to the lowly taquito (available at chains like 7-Eleven) but raising the bar by using organic meats, farm-fresh toppings and high quality cheese. Fillings include beef, chicken, pork or black bean. You get three taquitos for $5 or five for $8. The Thanksgivukkah special is available for one day only, but the guys are experimenting with other specialty taquitos. On Sundays, for example, you can order a buffalo chicken version, complete with blue cheese ranch dressing, buffalo sauce and pickled celery and carrot chips (they’re delivered to your door via Seamless or you can pick the order up yourself).
Barry and Brad say the long-range plan is to expand to other neighborhoods with robust nightlife scenes, like the LES. Taquitoria has been popular so far with late night revelers but the shop is also cultivating a local clientele. They acknowledged some trepidation and some mixed emotions about opening in an area that’s obviously undergoing huge changes (the beloved El Sombrero just a few steps away from their storefront will soon be replaced by a branch of Artichoke Pizza.) But “people on the block have been incredibly welcoming,” Barry told us. “I fell in love with the neighborhood.”
Taquitoria is open from noon-2 a.m. weekdays and until 4:30 a.m. on the weekends. It’s closed on Mondays.