Taco Bout It opens in downtown Riverhead

Chicken and steak tacos on house-made tortillas. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Taco Tuesday just got even better in Riverhead.

The duo behind Mattituck’s Boom Burger is taking its cuisine south-of-the-border with a new taco spot in downtown Riverhead.

Owners Anthony Catanzaro and Anthony Cicogna opened Taco Bout It on Tuesday, serving authentic tacos, quesadillas, loaded nachos, Tex-Mex omelets and other favorites courtesy of chef Alejandro “Chicki” Ramirez.

Born in Mexico and a resident of East Marion, Ramirez has more than 20 years experience helming a kitchen on the North Fork as the former chef at Pepi’s in Southold and more recently at Boom Burger’s Mattituck location.

Catanzaro and Cicogna’s fortuitous meeting with Ramirez nearly two years ago laid the tract for their expansion into the taco business. Downtime behind the grill at Boom Burger inspired Ramirez to cook up Mexican dishes for the staff and a concept for a new eatery was born.

Chicken Cemita Poblana (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

“Chicki really introduced me to a whole new world of Mexican cuisine,” said Catanzaro. “We kept saying, ‘We need to do a taco truck or something together.’ When this place became available, we jumped on it.”

The owners spent nearly four months renovating the former Las Mexicanas Tacos location (behind Haiku Sushi) on East Main Street. New kitchen equipment, festive decor and vibrant paint colors transformed the space into a bright 20-seat restaurant, which will offer additional outdoor seating in the warmer months along with a soon-to-come adult beverage selection.

Taco Bout It joins several other standout Mexican eateries to open in recent years in Riverhead — starting with Funchos on West Main Street, continuing with Taqueria Cierito Lindo on East Main Street and most recently Little Lucharitos on Main Road in Aquebogue — each with a different approach that sets them apart.

The simple, fresh, affordable food philosophy that informs Boom Burger, which has a sister location in Westhampton, guides the menu at Taco Bout It. Tacos start at $2.75, but it’s most certainly worth adding the house-made avocado salsa for an additional quarter. Ramirez makes everything from scratch — chips, tortillas, guacamole, sauces, corn chowder, soups— daily based on family recipes he learned from his grandmother and mother in his home country, with a personalized twist.

“I try to do something different,” Ramirez said. “I have a lot of restaurant experience. You can taste the difference when you try this food.”

As for the catchy name, Cicogna gets the creativity award.

“We wanted the name to be something fun,” said Catanzaro. “Our hope is that everyone of all shapes, sizes and creeds can enjoy genuine Mexican food. We want to share Alejandro’s food with the world.”

Taco Bout It is located at 40B East Main Street in Riverhead. Call (631) 574-8787.