Dirty Taco & Tequila — Main Street Patchogue’s new taco hot spot —opened Wednesday.
It’s the brand’s fourth location since opening its first eatery in 2018. Where once sat the Indigo Restaurant and Bar, customers can order Korean short rib and caramelized Brussels sprout tacos and pair them with watermelon basil or spicy blood orange margaritas.
The family-owned restaurant is the brainchild of Tom Cataldo Jr. during his college days in Arizona, he spent many night in Los Angeles, falling deeper and deeper in love with Korean-fusion style tacos.
Dirty Taco’s menu stretches beyond his original Asian street taco muse to include Jamaican jerk, carne asada and Thai meatball tacos.
Of course, the joint offers more than just its namesake. The menu boasts tuna poke, Mexi mac and cheese, sweet plantains, Mexican street corn, Kung Pao chicken dumplings and avocado toast.
‘It’s in his blood’
With his West Coast passion paired with his parent’s decades-long careers in hospitality, it seemed inevitable that Cataldo would develop his own restaurant brand.
“He’s watched us go from night clubs to catering facilities to beach clubs and all these different restaurants,” Tom Cataldo Sr. said of his son. “He’s been exposed to that through his adult life. It’s in his blood.”
“We always feel we have a finger on the pulse of what the next trend is going to be, what the hot new item in the industry is,” he added. “He came back with his vision of this Cali, Williamsburg, Brooklyn/L.A. kind of vibe in a taco spot. He wanted to bring in this Asian influence, which is very big in L.A.”
‘We want to have fun’
When it came time to expand into Suffolk, Cataldo Jr. said Patchogue was the obvious choice.
“Patchogue to us was an up-and-coming Rockville Centre, even to a next level. It’s very similar, but an atmosphere we always wanted to be a part of. We love Patchogue and what better place to be than one of the most popular places on Long Island right now.”
Cataldo Jr.’s mom said her son ”is just amazing. He’s exceeded all our expectations. We’re so proud of him.”
In addition to Patchogue, Dirty Taco also calls Wantagh, Rockville Centre and Woodbury home. Cataldo Sr. said the family has eyes set on the Smithtown/Commack area for its next location, which they expect to open next year.
Until then, the Cataldos will make the rounds through their dining room, talking up customers and dishing out the occasional free shot or slice of tres leches cake.
“We all about giving back and giving love and just being friends with everybody that walks in,” Cataldo Jr. said. “We want to have fun with every single person who comes in here.”