Fresh food, bold flavors and sizzling hot meats.
Oleh Balaban promises all three at his new Tex-Mex restaurant Ole’s Fajitas in Wantagh.
“All the meat’s fried fresh to order,” Balaban, 30, of Smithtown said. “You’ll wait an extra two or three minutes for your order, but you are getting something sizzling, not something that has been sitting on a steam table for 20 minutes.”
Balaban soft opened Ole’s Fajitas Nov. 19, and has since been crafting new menu items and signature flavors for his customers.
In addition to fajitas as the name suggests, Ole’s serves up burritos, tacos, quesadillas, crunch wraps and fajita bowls, which Balaban said is his most popular dish at the moment.
For each variety, customers choose their protein base from steak, chicken, shrimp or a vegan option. Then the fixings like grilled peppers and onions, lettuce, sour cream and pico de gallo come into play.
What makes Ole’s Fajitas meals stand out are the signature sauces made in-house from recipes Balaban concocted. There are five to choose from, like salsa macha and ranchito, with varying flavors and degrees of spicy sensations.
A passion for hospitality
Ole’s Fajitas is a small storefront with enough seating for a dozen or so customers, but the restaurant primarily cranks out orders for take-out and delivery.
This is Balaban’s first restaurant after a career in accounting. However, he said he once took time off of college to open a food truck, but that plan fell through.
This time around he not only had more money saved to kick things off, but more drive as well.
“I guess the passion was always burning inside of me to do something in the hospitality business,” he said. “I had a little savings and figured now’s the chance to try.”
He said he decided on fajitas, as they are his go-to option when he orders Mexican food. Plus, fajita platters make a great option for families looking to please members with wildly different tastes.
Grand opening next month
After his first month in business, Balaban said he still tries new things.
Next month, he will debut a new signature menu item, a mammoth-sized chicken BLT ranchito torta. He said he is also establishing himself as a micro-caterer for office settings and small party gatherings of about 10 to 15 people.
January will also mark Ole’s Fajita’s grand opening, with an exact date still to be determined. Balaban said he will host a ribbon cutting ceremony, hoist flags and banners, walk around the neighborhood with menus and offer free churro bites with $20 orders.