Taco Tuesdays, at my house, are decidedly uninteresting. When I’m hard-pressed for inspiration (or haven’t made it to the grocery store in a while), I fall back on my old friend, the hard taco kit. Any Tuesday looks a little less grim with 12 crunchy tacos, ground meat, a seasoning packet, and a can of black olives at your disposal.
But wait just a second. Your friends at Bridgehampton’s Almond want you to know that you do not have to do as I do. There is, in fact, a better way. Save tacos from the fate of boring — or, worse yet, obscurity — by allowing someone else to do the dirty work. Keep disappointment at bay.
As part of its ode to these wide and wandering days (Corona Days, as they’ve been calling them), Almond has rolled out a new fun menu, including a ramen night and a Halal cart night. The newest addition, of course, is taco night, appropriately billed for Tuesdays.
This taco night has a Korean twist. Meant for two people, the $60 meal includes a choice of three different kinds of tacos: chicken adobo, crispy pork belly, or salmon yakitori. The meal also comes with an avocado salsa verde, cilantro, radishes, charred scallion, black bean ssam sauce, kimchi, sesame seeds, pico de gallo, salsa roja, crema, lime, onion escabeche, yellow sriracha mayonnaise, and warm tortillas.
It’s a cultural marriage, and one that might make you think about all of the places you’ve been and might like to go again someday, and about the broadness of the American pantry, foraged in the wide world — a world that we have been lucky enough to see through the telescope of so many chefs’ passports. Travel is on pause, but food isn’t. In this way, we have been extremely fortunate.
Almond’s pop-up meals have garnered enough buzz to be considered “popular.” Its ramen night routinely sells out, and one imagines that Korean taco night will suffer the same fate. Luckily for the fast-fingered among us, you can order your tacos in advance, beginning on Mondays at 6 PM, through the L&W market website. Pickup takes place between 5 and 6 on Tuesdays.
One thing I’ve noticed, as I’ve continued to study, think about, and write about food in these weeks of restaurant-less dining is our evolution. What has surged in popularity is not the high-concept dining that I cut my teeth on, but, rather, the casual comfort of communal food. It’s fitting that these tacos come in packages for two, maybe. We can’t commiserate in large groups yet — but we can still commiserate.
Food is still for sharing, even if that sharing arrives on different terms. When occasions arrive, in the hopefully not-too-distant-future, for formal outings and tableclothed dinners at formal restaurants, I expect we’ll embrace them, too, but for now, the moment feels ripe to kick our shoes off (if we were wearing any to begin with) and dig into the foods that bring us unsullied joy. Which is why the taco feels particularly of-the-moment (no more so, though, than a bowl of ramen, if you can manage to get your hands on one).
As for my crunchy tacos, a throwback to my 1980s youth, I’m not yet willing to disown the failures of a semi-homemade childhood, and I will confess that even bad foods have redeemable qualities. But I’ll say, too, that Almond’s tacos surpass my own bad version nine times out of ten. Still, my suggestion is a broader one here: enjoy this kind of food, as a note of where we are. Casual dining is a point of reference, a jumping off point, a place in which it’s ok to float for a while. A sea of tacos? I’ll float there for eternity, if you let me.