DINING REVIEW #4: The Taco Shop

Cape May Brewing Company is one of our favorite places to go in the county, but as a result of using a special New Jersey law that allows breweries to serve their beer without a liquor license, they are not allowed to serve any food. You could have some delivered or bring your own, but the first option feels odd and the second one requires some more advanced planning than one often puts into such things. As a result, it's a bit surprising that it took this long for anyone to decide to open any sort of food-oriented establishment nearby, but someone has finally done it.

The creators of Cape May Point's acclaimed Red Store bring us The Taco Shop. The urban/modern design of the restaurant fits in wonderfully with the industrial nature of the complex, doing a perfect job of making the space fun, trendy and inviting while still utilizing the warehouse feel, much like their neighbors have done so successfully. Business seemed to be doing well as people were both getting take-out to enjoy with a beer next door, and enjoying the small dining area in the back.

As for the food, you can see it being made in the open kitchen, which is always appreciated, and which allows the tempting aromas to mingle throughout the space. Patrick and I ordered ours to bring home, as we felt we had already drank enough for one night, and the mouth-watering scents emanating from the bag had us absolutely ravenous by the time we reached the house. I ordered 3 shrimp tacos and Patrick had a chicken quesadilla, with us sharing sour cream and pico de gallo toppings. Neither of us was disappointed, to say the least. The ingredients were all very fresh and everything was bursting with flavor. The tacos were a blend of traditional Mexican flavors like cilantro, with some unexpected ingredients like radish, which gave them a wonderful, earthy taste. Patrick raved about his quesadilla, which also featured mole poblano and pickled red onion, frequently using the word, "delicious," between mouthfuls.

All in all it was a sensational experience, and one that we will be returning to again and again to try the different varieties (the chorizo sausage filling sounds especially tempting to me). It seems like a perfect match for the variety of beers served up next door and is definitely worth a visit the next time you're there.

GRADE: A

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