"Smell that perfume," says Parsons from behind the line, taking a whiff of dried chilies in a ziplock bag. A couple of dozen "ghost chilies," as they're called, each about the size of a thumb, offer a seductive earthiness — yet hit more than a million on the Scoville scale. Compare that to Tabasco sauce at 2,500 Scoville units and you get the idea: It's best to use restraint when dressing a taco with this stuff.

At Taco Beach Shack, the location is important — perhaps more than the food. Conceived by real estate guru Alan Lieberman of South Beach Restaurant Group and partner/chef Stuart Snowhite, a former chef to a slew of national athletes, the open-air hangout, located steps from the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, features cement floors, Ping-Pong tables, and outdoor couches. Kids might be running underfoot; a dude might be singing karaoke to "Sister Christian." A huge sign advertises rooms available at a nearby hostel so as to avoid drunk driving. (The hostel is owned by the restaurateurs.)

The menu is stacked with tacos, burritos, and quesadillas — mostly standard beef, chicken, and fish (available both grilled and Baja style), but brisket and Korean short rib are also offered for the more adventurous. Solid as the food is, patrons seem equally lured in by the $15 beer buckets and supersweet sangria.

"Hard-core Mexican street food": Al pastor taco with pineapple from El Jefe Luchador.
"Hard-core Mexican street food": Al pastor taco with pineapple from El Jefe Luchador.

Location Info

Map

El Jefe Luchador

27 S. Federal Highway
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Deerfield Beach

Taco Beach Shack

334 Arizona St.
Hollywood, FL 33019

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Hollywood

Details

Jo-Jo's Tacos, 216 E. Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. Call 954-835-5561

El Jefe Luchador, 27 S. Federal Highway, Deerfield Beach. Call 954-246-5333.

Taco Beach Shack, 334 Arizona St., Hollywood. Call 954-920-6523.

Related Stories

More About

Will tacos keep gaining momentum? Or will their popularity wane, as we've seen with comfort foods and sliders? Time will tell, but for now, there's proof: plenty of butts in the seats.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
55 comments
Seth Platt
Seth Platt

The Guac and Chips are an experience unto themselves, and worth visiting JoJos for.I recommend their fish taco, the flank steak taco and the the Chicken and shroom tostada.

PaulyBoy
PaulyBoy

Nope. Tacos Al Carbon in Lake Worth is better than any of those places. And they're 24 hours. Trust me, go to Lake Worth Rd and Military and look for it. It's worth it.

Bone Lee Tadpole
Bone Lee Tadpole

Mmmmmmmmmm....!!!!!!!!!!!!    Bhut Jolokia....!!!!!!    I'm gonna have to try Jo-Joe's Tacos...

John L.
John L.

Great article, Melissa! I love El Jefe; was there last night after drinks, actually. The tortas are fantastic, too, if you've never tried them (then you must try the carnitas torta at Tacos al Carbon, it's other-worldly). 

TrueMexicanFoodConnoisseur
TrueMexicanFoodConnoisseur

"Hard-core Mexican street food" at these Gringo joints?  Don't make me laugh!  No one in his right mind pays $3.50 and up for a taco.  In Dallas and Tarrant (Fort Worth) counties, and all over Texas for that matter, and L.A.also, you can find tacos that ARE hard-core Mexican street food, and they generally run $1 to $1.25 each!

Corky
Corky

Pork butt IS shoulder.

MelissaMcCart
MelissaMcCart

The piece focuses on chefs with fine dining experience who have chosen to open taco shops with the hopes of making money now that fine dining is on the wane. It's as much about the economy as anything. It's not a roundup of the best taco places in the area. That's been done, but is always worth a renewed discussion.

freakerdude
freakerdude

It would be nice if El Jefe Luchador created a website

Melissamccart
Melissamccart

you got it. fine dining chefs are charging a bit more for their take on street food to make money on something that's been traditionally cheap. restaurants are less likely to make that 10% profit they used to pre recession. taco joints can bring up to 25% when you use flap meat and shoulder and cut out the servers, plates, and bistro accoutrements. thank god we don't live in dallas, eh? even with great tacos i'd be on a serious prosac regimen.

Melissamccart
Melissamccart

You are correct. At one point in the drafting process I differentiated between the butt and the picnic. Somewhere in the edits I changed it to shoulder and did not strike the redundancy. 

freakerdude
freakerdude

Thank you. Google came up with zilch. As I have read, this menu is confusing.

 
Loading...