Cinco de Mayo can be an everyday affair. Case in point: Patchogue Swell Taco opened its doors May 6 and has been delivering top-notch Mexican fare ever since. The menu is full of bucket list-worthy dishes. To help guests figure out what to order first, I caught up with co-owner Brooke Jankow to learn about some of the early crowd favorites.
Carne Asada Taco
Swell Taco’s spices are delivered straight from Mexico and Southern California and are used to create the steak marinade in this dish. Served on a soft corn tortilla, the flank steak is dressed with a little bit of jack cheese and the “almost famous” salsa verde comprised of tomatillo, garlic, lime and cilantro. “[The salsa verde is] a spin on a century-old family recipe my brother learned in Mexico.” It adds a brightness and authenticity to the tacos and goes perfectly with Swell’s fresh made chips.
This tender, authentic dish is “really representative of the tacos we grew up with in Southern California.” They are made with roasted (super-juicy!) pulled pork and topped with cheddar cheese, a pickled red onion that “really adds a pop [of flavor] to the whole taco,” and a little bit of the salsa verde.
The fish taco is a delicacy. Served on a warm flour tortilla, the battered and fried mahi-mahi is topped with cheddar cheese and a smokey chipotle cream sauce “that’s balanced by the refreshing brightness of our freshly made salsa fresca.” It is then dressed with a little bit of “chop mix,” which is diced lettuce, cilantro and red onion.
The loaded nachos really know how to get the party started. To make ’em, the staff tops crispy tortilla chips with juicy ground beef, then goes to town layering on a nacho cheese sauce that includes jalapeños. Beans and salsa fresca add a kick that is hearty in all the right ways.
The Swell Margarita plays by its own rules. It’s made with five ingredients, but Jankow was mum on the secret recipe. Diners can expect a “fresh and simple taste without any artificial heavy syrups.”