Alright I’m back for round two at Gringo’s Taco in Jersey City. If you didn’t get my Street Fighter II reference, do yourself a favor and go play the iconic arcade classic over at Bar-cade. (just a few blocks over from Gringo’s ) Gringo’s has some of the best fusion tacos I’ve ever had, many taco spots will have something on the menu as an experiment or to seem “hip”. At Gringo’s Taco the fusion tacos are well thought out and crafted carefully. On my first visit (read here) I went for the traditional style of tacos, they were pretty good. On my now second visit, I realize how much the fusion tacos shine here. In a way, Gringos created and perfected a niche, the flavor profiles on each taco is perfected, right down to the textures.
A Few Things I’ve learned Since my last visit…
- Go with the fusion tacos, while the traditional tacos are good the fusion tacos are much better and they will be the highlight of your dining experience.
- Get yourself a side, they really do a great job with everything here (includes drinks).
- The pricing. It’s actually pretty good, initially I thought Gringo’s was on the higher side. A little shopping around in the area and you’ll see the price is on point when you take into account the atmosphere, the friendly staff, (great bartenders if you’re sitting at the bar) and the quality of the food and ingredients exceeds other spots.
So what did we get this time at Gringo’s Taco?
We started out with an order of frozen margaritas. (an earlier work related happy hour that night told me I should keep drinking) Always get margaritas served in fun cactus glasses. After the brain freeze subsided we ordered 3 Buffalo Soldier Tacos, 3 Chicken & Waffle Tacos. We also started with the Grilled Corn Esquites, which is Gringo’s version of Mexican Street corn or Elote but just off the cob. (personally I’d call it boneless corn, but it just doesn’t have a good ring to it…I guess)
Grilled Corn Esquites at Gringo’s Taco – Jersey City, NJ
Grilled Corn Esquites
This street corn is served in a roughly 6-7″ skillet, and damn is it good. It’s a perfect mix of great ingredients; grilled corn, queso fresco, fresh cilantro, a light and creamy chipotle lime mayo and topped with traditional Guajillo chili powder. The garlic flavoring here is just right, not overpowering, just as the spice follows, there’s just enough here. This dish is very satisfying while remaining fairly light on the palette, it makes a great starter to share.
Chicken and Waffle Tacos – Gringo’s Taco Jersey City, NJ
Chicken & Waffle Taco
This one was interesting to review, after eating all three of these tacos I was still unsure as to where they fell…Is it really a taco or something else? and how did I feel about the ingredients? Well to start they put a sauce on these tacos called burnt maple syrup, anyway I wanted a straw to get the rest of it. The syrup would make Mrs. Butterworth’s thick and rich ass insecure, its light and sweet all while not be too much. The chicken by itself is handled really nicely, house made fried chicken, their own batter of course. I really enjoyed the fried chicken, while “fried” usually notes unhealthy, this is not oily and didn’t make me feel sluggish after eating. Overall the chicken and waffle taco remains very light on the palette while holding a good portion size. A few more details…the taco is topped with powdered sugar, parsley, and a little heat comes from their specialty butter. The taco shell is also well thought out, rather than half-ass it and give you an Eggo waffle, they make the shell the same way you’d make a waffle cone for ice cream. The shell packs some flavor and brings some crunch to the whole sweet/spicy package. I’d describe this taco overall as a dessert/meal/taco hybrid, it’s definitely worth trying!
Buffalo Solider Taco (Shrimp Tempura)
So straight up, I love vegetable tempura, but I often pass on anything shrimp. My girlfriend ordered this one and swapped a taco with me to try. (that’s what a good relationship is all about) These tacos are amazing, perfect really, all the elements are here, a fresh tortilla and ingredients. Gringo’s tops these tacos with their own buffalo sauce; its sweet with a medium kick, the spice subsides with the carrot-celery slaw and ranch crema. My main issue with shrimp is it can be chewy, that was not the case here at all. The Buffalo Solider wins the award as my favorite taco at Gringo’s.
After all things said, Gringo’s Taco is getting the bump and pulling into 3rd as one of my top 5 rated taco spots. I base this on their overall creativity, value position, quality of ingredients, and their ability to create a fun distinct brand and of course the atmosphere they bring to the table.
1st review read it here – Carnitas and Pollo Pastor Tacos.
- Solid Taco Review Score: 8.5/10
- Taco Price: $10 for 2 tacos, $15 for 3, there’s an endless taco special too. Check their site!
- Location: Jersey City, NJ & theres a taco truck at Pier 14 in Hoboken in season.
- Strengths: very fresh ingredients, house-made tortillas and sauces, drinks, sides and atmosphere.