Summer is officially over and so is Rockaway Taco for the season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still stare at taco porn (I know what you’re thinking, get your mind out of the gutter). I went to Rockaway Beach for the first time this past Labor Day weekend, and although I had a lot of fun boogie boarding, the real purpose was to eat fish tacos at Rockaway Taco. And I’m happy to report, mission fish taco was achieved.
It wasn’t as easy as you think. First of all, Rockaway Taco is off the beach, and second, the wait is ridiculous. The line was around the block when David and I got there early in the afternoon. We were too hungry to wait so we decided to come back later. Fortunately for our stomachs, there was a satellite Rockaway Taco stall on the boardwalk with a limited menu, and although there were no tacos, we happily made do with tostadas with guacamole and potato and chorizo flautas. Both were really great by the way. I loved all the spicy, pickled vegetables.
A few hours later, we headed back to Rockaway Taco, and the line was still long but reasonably so (down the block but not around the corner). I decided to wait, but David refused and waited in the car. About twenty minutes later, I was rewarded for my patience with a taco and a quesadilla, and being a kind woman, I decided to share with David even though he refused to wait with me.
Fortunately, both were worth the wait. The fried tilapia in the fish taco with guacamole ($4) was small (albeit long), but fried crisp and fresh. Loaded with guacamole, red cabbage, sliced radishes, cilantro, tomatillo salsa (it was very mild, go heavy at the condiment station), and slathered with mayonnaise on a corn tortilla, it was hella’ tasty. It was the perfect summer bite, and I’d say it was one of the best fish tacos I’ve had in New York, if not the best.
The quesadilla with black beans, sweet plantains, and white cheese ($4), was more of a taco than a quesadilla, but it was also very good. It may have been carb-overload with the beans, plantains, and corn tortilla, but somehow the wobbly, salty slab of cheese made it all right.
Unless you live in Rockaway, getting there is a trek, and the line definitely makes it a hassle, but in this fish taco deprived town, it’s well worth it. Still not sure? Well, you have a few more months to mull it over. Rockaway Taco reopens in May. Until then, follow them on Twitter. I have my fingers crossed they’ll have a pop-up before then.