We’d been cruising by, waiting for The Taco Project to open in the old Village Dog space on Main Street in Tarrytown. All we could find online was a logo contest for their self-described “cool, vintage, Cali, hipster taco shop in the heart of a Main St. USA.” Hipstaurateurs are drawn to this intersection like a magnet, and now here are the hipsters and here are the tacos, with locally made tortillas. There’s seasonal ceviche, homemade apple habanero salsa, burritos, bowls, and salads: one with smoked corn, Cotija cheese, and baby heirloom tomatoes, the other with free-range Amish chicken, Satur Farms arugula, queso fresco, and honey habanero peanut sauce. And bless the hipsters for the house-made aguas frescas—tamarind, hibiscus, and horchata.
The exterior of The Taco Project in Tarrytown; on the restaurant’s aguas frescas, tamarind.
You can’t necessarily believe everything you read on Yelp anymore, but I had to admit I was intrigued by complaints about baby-sized portions. Proprietor Nick Mesce had responded to some Yelpers saying he’s making adjustments based on comments—and either this is another wonderful example of crowdsourcing, or the portion sizes were already fine, as I found them, with two tacos for $6.50 to $7.50. I liked the grilled Atlantic cod with citrus slaw and radish, and the crumbled chorizo with crispy potatoes, chipotle mayo, and salsa. But when I tasted the chicken bowl, my attention was so completely diverted that I had everything else packed up to take home. I had found my main dish for the day: $6.50 for a tortilla-shell bowl filled with mildly seasoned rice and black beans generously topped with flavorful free-range shredded chicken, crumbled queso, and crema, with the addition of guacamole well worth another dollar. I fear I reached too many times for the squeeze bottles of spicy chipotle mayo and mild tomatillo salsa, out of love. The tamarind drink, which I get wherever I find it, was fresh tasting and not overly sweet. I would’ve ordered the coconut tres leches cake recently added to a dessert menu of churros and seasonal berry tacos, but I just had no room.
Although the tacos are worthy of your attention—considering the name of the restaurant, they’d better be!—the real winner of our trip was the heaping chicken bowl (above, left). But if you prefer to stick with tacos, consider the chorizo offering (above, right).
The Taco Project
18 Main St