Despite its location in Port Chester, virtually surrounded by and competing with some of the county’s best Mexican, Peruvian, and other Latin American food, bartaco has risen to the top as one of the most popular go-to place for tacos. During a busy dinner hour on a recent Monday evening, those diners lucky enough to be in the know were treated to bartaco’s latest secret—not the formula for their perfectly blended hot sauces, but the secret taco.
February’s secret taco, which is continued this month, was a grilled steak taco with juicy bites of churrasco (flat-iron steak) with just a bit of pink inside, tucked comfortably next to grilled, caramelized onions and topped with a flavor-packed salsa de ajo verde (cilantro, Italian flat leaf, parsley, garlic, red chili flake, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, salt and pepper). The sauce gives it just a friendly hint of spice, and the garnishes of fresh cilantro and lime seal the deal. One can only hope they add this to their full menu. And they probably will.
The January secret taco, the “shrimp bahn mi” was so popular, bartaco decided to put it back on the menu. The bahn mi taco is made with red Argentinian shrimp, marinated in lemongrass, garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, soy sauce, jalapeno, rice vinegar, and olive oil. They are cooked until slightly caramelized from the sugars in the marinade and served in the taco with a bit of sriracha tofu sauce. The pickled vegetables, fresh cilantro, Thai basil, mint and lime give it a unique Vietnamese flavor that works well with the hint of jalapeno.
bartaco has no shortage of different types of tacos to try.
December’s wild boar secret taco, which was the restaurant’s first, was an old menu item that they reintroduced just for the month after it was featured in an episode of The Cooking Channel’s Taco Trip with Chef Aarón Sánchez.
Bartaco plans to continue its secret, changing it up every month. If you want to know what it is before you go, check out their Instagram account, @bartacolife, or Facebook. Or you could always just use their super efficient dragonfly card system to ask any of the servers. The price of the secret taco changes depending on what it is, but it will always be either $2.50 or $3.50 each, like regular tacos on the menu.
Other tacos to try while you are there: pork belly, cured and braised pork belly marinated in a sweet and mildly spicy arbol chili sauce, served with pickled red onions; falafel, a great vegetarian option served with a creamy traditional Greek-style tzatziki sauce, and mahi mahi, light fish marinated in a citrus juice, then cooked a la plancha and served with a salsa made with corn, serrano peppers, charred scallions, and garlic—a classic fish taco treat.
1 Willet Ave