With all the cool fun spots in Jersey City, Gringo’s Tacos is not to be missed. It’s a great spot converted from an old mechanics shop not far from the walking area of Newark Ave. If you’re in New York visit their second location in Staten Island for tacos and skeeball. Walk in for drinks and you’ll be welcomed by a lively crowd, friendly bartenders, and staff. You’ll enjoy the neon signs, classic hip hop to bump along to, fresh color ways, cacti, pinatas, and there’s even half a 1960’s milk truck for the kitchen. This spot is well known for their drinks and taco specials which can be found frequently on their Instagram page. We stepped in for their Thanksgiving Eve Special, three tacos for $10. Unlike most taco spots, this is a Mexican/American fusion Restaurant. Gringo’s has several speciality tacos with quite a few…um…interesting names, such as:
- “We Found Nemo” – Crispy fish, mango-jicama slaw, salsa verde, chili-lime mayo
- “Kim Jung Un” – Korean style short rib, spicy red cabbage slaw, scallions, radish
- “Look Mom I’m Vegan!” – Roasted butternut, crispy Brussels, pomegranate seeds, spicy vegan mayo, scallions, micros greens, smokey chipotle salsa.
- “Buffalo Soldier”- Tempura jumbo shrimp, gringos buffalo sauce, carrot-celery slaw, ranch crema
There’s also a brunch taco I found interesting…
- “Chicken N’ Waffle Taco” – Waffle tortilla, crispy housemade battered chicken tender, chili honey butter, burnt maple syrup
That evening, Gringos offered a choice of three options for their taco special, the El Pollo “Al Pastor”, The “We Found Nemo”, and the Beef Barbacoa. So before I really begin my review I would say there are two let downs to Gringo’s which to be fair I knew about through both Google Reviews and friends. So here’s my small nit picking before we get into it: The tacos are expensive for what they are, while yes they are good, your options for ordering tacos are either two tacos for $10 or three tacos for $15. You are unable to mix and match, at a place that serves what is essentially gourmet tacos, that’s a let down. I probably could have sat there ordering one of each on the menu. (stuffing my face, I’ll do it! don’t tempt me with a good time Gringo’s)
I ordered the El Pollo “Al Pastor” which consisted of free range chicken thighs, al pastor seasoning, some grilled pineapple, pickled red onion (probably could’ve ate that alone) , salsa verde, and crema. I really enjoyed the flavor here the seasoning was just right and not over powering for Al pastor which I feel has been a problem for me lately at other Mexican restaurants. The homemade corn tortillas really shine here by the way, they’re soft and cooked just right, so a big thumbs up for the Al Pastor, it’s tender and the seasoning is on point.
My Second order of tacos was the Beef Barbacoa, tender slow simmered beef cooked well, served with diced red onions, queso fresco and some fresh cilantro. That first bite quite literally drips with flavor. Simple and clean , The al pastor in my opinion was the better option. I really wanted more heat on these tacos after trying the sauce on the table. Gringo’s has heard this demand for a “hotter” taco and has just introduced the Reaper taco made with a Carolina Reaper Pepper. I will return for the reaper challenge shortly!
Part two! – 4/23/19 – I try the Fusion Tacos – see why I bump up the score and make Gringo’s Tacos one of my Top 5’s
- Solid Taco Review Score: 7.8/10
- Taco Price: $11 for 2 tacos, $15 for 3
- Location: Jersey City, NJ & Seasonal Taco truck at Pier 14 in Hoboken, NJ
- Strengths: quality meat, fresh homemade tortillas.
- Also try: brunch and drink specials
12 Coles Street – Jersey City, NJ