I honestly cannot remember a day when I scrolled through Twitter or Instagram and did NOT see a picture of a taco.
That’s not a criticism, mind you (and I’ve certainly contributed my share). Just an observation that, like other culinary delights that are neither new nor particularly profound – see oysters, rosé – tacos inspire fits of unbridled giddiness in people.
Yellow Door Taqueria, which opened this past July in Dorchester Center, could simply have ridden the coattails of the taco trend. Throw together a half-decent taco menu, put some snazzy pics on social media, and wait for the lines to form, right?
Instead, Yellow Door Taqueria elevates the most quintessential of Mexican cuisine. Executive chef Colton Coburn-Wood (who also runs the kitchen at Lower Mills Tavern, right down the street) brings Cali-Mex-style tacos to Dorchester, inspired by the taquerias he frequented when growing up on the West Coast.
Bright and energetic, Yellow Door Taqueria makes the most of its narrow space. There’s a bar with about 20 blue leather seats, and a handful of wooden tables and chairs.
Behind the bar are worn, wooden cabinets with chipped paint. Some of that décor is for effect, but the building itself does have some history – the floor, which is part tile and part wood, is left over from the building’s days as an antique shop, and before that, an apothecary.
Tacos Tacos Tacos!
I can say, without exaggeration, that there wasn’t one taco on Yellow Door’s menu that I didn’t want to try when I was there. With vibrant flavors and ingredients, from chili-infused fresh fish with grilled pineapple salsa to tequila-habanero braised beef with onion bacon jam, Yellow Door’s tacos are unconventional but always approachable.
Standouts include the Azteca taco and the chicken tinga, along with a spicy chorizo taco topped with a quail egg.
All Agave, All the Time
Yellow Door Taqueria’s beverage program goes far beyond the typical offering of fruity margaritas that populate so many Mexican restaurants’ drink lists. Tequila and mezcal serve as the base spirits for the entire menu, which balances original compositions with agave classics.
The cocktails were developed by the team at Lion’s Tail, and as you might expect from those folks, the drinks are fun, creative, and approachable.
Made in Mexico is fruity and bold, combining tequila, Ancho Reyes, mezcal, mango, and fresh lime. A cayenne/salt rim adds a blast of spice up front.
El Matador sounds bitter and intense, with its blend of mezcal, aperol, amaro, and lime, but is well balanced and surprisingly mellow.
El Guapo lives up to its name, with its foamy top and elegant bitters design. Made with mezcal, passion fruit, cinnamon, agave, fresh lemon, and egg white, this one is creamy and tropical-fruit-forward.
The Oaxaca Old Fashioned is masterful. Yellow Door’s take on Death & Co.’s modern classic combines reposado tequila, mezal, agave syrup, and angostura bitters for a smooth and eminently drinkable cocktail.
And if it’s margaritas you seek, fear not – there’s a solid house classic available with plenty of fruity variations.
Address: 2297 Dorchester Avenue, Boston
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