HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >


Surf Taco coming to Red Bank

Look for it at 35 Broad Street. Aiming for a March 1 opening.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. http://www.redbankgreen.com/2011/01/s...

    I wonder if this location will also feature live music. Other locations do and the new RB store is a generous size.

    1. not familiar with surf. is that a good thing?

      6 Replies
      1. re: Papa Bing

        PB, Surf Taco's fish taco is decent for lunch. They are chain-like in menu style. Do a boat load of charity projects in the area. Family place, quick lunch grab. Not bad.

        1. re: HillJ

          I never really enjoyed ST or a fan of Tex/Mex anything...although they have a nice salsa bar love the Baja & Verde salsas...other then that there are so many better choices for authentic really good tacos........their salads for me are the best choice for the once in a blue moon I'm there for some reason.


          1. re: Tapas52

            If tex/mex isn't your thing and you've found other options more to your liking, ST won't make you happy T. OTOH, ST is probably going to be an incredibly popular summer night hit with kids and families hanging out in RB. Families do complain that there aren't enough kid-friendly dining options/values in RB now.

            1. re: Tapas52

              +1 on the salsa verde. Re: "authentic" tex/mex--it's not. In the Seaside Park location there's a news clipping on the wall that says the owner is a Jersey guy who went to school in California and wanted to bring California cuisine to the Jersey shore. In that, I'd say he succeeded. It's one of our shore "go-to" places.

          2. re: Papa Bing

            There's one thing at Surf I love - their surf taco. It really is wonderfully delicious.. gotta love the combination of the hot crispy fried fish and cool crunchy cabbage. I've never had a better fish taco in our area.

            The salsa bar is nice but there's only 1 salsa worth getting IMO, the chipotle one. Wonderful smoky salsa. I could eat that with everything.

            Everything else on the menu is pretty bland and horrible. And overpriced too. Their rice and beans have absolutely no flavor and their regular tacos are lacking at best. Aside from the surf taco, I would choose Chipotle over Surf every single time.

            1. re: joonjoon

              Thumps up, joonjoon. All I mentioned was the fish taco...and the wonky website before the thread got a bit too dismissive for my tastebuds.

          3. The surf taco is okay... everything else is bland bland bland.

            1. Can't really see the attraction when there are cheap, authentic taquereas nearby like North of the Border. In an unrelated observation, I've seen some pretentious establishments that will not post prices on their website menus, but Surf Taco? What's with that?

              North of the Border
              176 Monmouth St, Red Bank, NJ 07701

              21 Replies
              1. re: equal_Mark

                e_M, just about one of the worst websites around. Really wonky.

                1. re: equal_Mark

                  equal_Mark - just a warning, you will certainly want your own hot sauce at a Surf Taco.

                  1. re: MGZ

                    Not to worry, I keep a carrier of hot sauces and spices in my car for just such emergencies...

                    1. re: equal_Mark

                      equal - I've seen stemware, chopsticks,and even maple syrup brought into a restaurant but never a six pack of hot sauces. Have you every received any looks or complaints from management? BTW, I applaud your efforts. You are the customer and entitled to enjoy the food the way you want it.

                      1. re: bgut1

                        It's actually rare that I bring the whole carrier of hot sauce into a place. It's more to just keep them from rolling around in my car. I'll bring a bottle of Tapatio to some Mexican places, and Siracha to some Asian ones. The only places I've brought the whole carrier to is 10th Ave Burrito because I figure Brian was into it, and Ada's Dominican. Otherwise a bottle of El Yucateco for Caribbean spots and a bottle of Mazi Piri piri at some Mediterranean places. The one place I absolutely don't need to bring any of my sauces into is Ibby's Falafel, who make a housemade hotsauce to kill for.

                        To understand my seriousity for the fire, just Google "hot spicy food"

                        1. re: equal_Mark

                          Great site equal_Mark. Reminds me of the time I mistakenly took a bite of a ghost chili.

                      2. re: equal_Mark

                        Mark, this is why we need a thumbs up button on Chowhound.

                        1. re: joonjoon

                          I'm likin' the image of equal_Mark walking into Surf Taco with a six pack of hot sauces in one hand and a six pack of beer in the other. Then again, walking in wearing a hot sauce laiden bandolier across his chest while spinning bottles of wine would be pretty bad ass too.

                    2. re: equal_Mark

                      My sentiments exactly equal_Mark. Why choose a knockoff when you can have the real thing. I guess there will always be those who would rather order a pizza from Domino's versus the authentic tomato pie from DeLorenzo's.

                      1. re: bgut1

                        Who's comparing Domino's to DeLorenzo? That's a bit much even for someone as respected on this board as you, bgut1.

                          1. re: MGZ

                            You like comparing restaurants that have nothing in common?
                            Your right. I think its ridiculous. When did this become the Chains board?

                            1. re: HillJ

                              Surf Taco : NOTB :: Dominoes : DeLorenzo's

                          2. re: HillJ

                            HillJ - The comparison was all mine. They both have alot in common. One is authentic and one is a knockoff. That's what's great about this board. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. You have yours and I have mine. We are not always going to agree with each other and thankfully so as it would be quite boring. :)
                            BTW, Thanks MGZ.

                            1. re: bgut1

                              Boring? Never. And, I wish Surf Taco a successful opening.

                                1. re: bgut1

                                  b, you really believe Surf Taco is a knock off of NOTB, and Dominoes is a knockoff of DeLorenzo? I don't follow that analogy at all.

                                  1. re: HillJ

                                    I took it to mean Dominos is not real pizza and surf tacos are not authentic tacos, but maybe I am mistaken.

                                    1. re: hcentro

                                      Ding - Ding- Ding. hcentro got it! :) All I meant but my post was to echo equal_mark's statement that why get the facsimile when you can get the real thing down the road. That's all. But as my good friend RGR would say (in french however) to each his/her own.

                                      1. re: bgut1

                                        Just for the sake of argument...

                                        Surf Taco isn't pretending to be a North of the border. Consider that their flagship and namesake product is a baja style fish taco, which NotB doesn't even have on their menu. No one else in our area is doing that, if anything they are the real deal! :)

                                        1. re: joonjoon

                                          For that style of restaurant I prefer Fins down in Bradley Beach. Just seems brighter & cleaner. Seems more professionally run with more attention to keeping the place clean and attractive. ST seems more enamored of "Sullen Yoots" more interested in commiserating with their buds than keeping the trash containers empty and the tables wiped clean.

                      2. in the words of my grandmother... "Feh!"

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: HillJ

                          I wouldn't describe it as typical Tex-Mex. They (ST) describe themselves as 'Coastal Cuisine' some kind of Calif-Mex hybrid.

                          I wonder if they will have a bar? The Jackson location has one of the best craft beer selections on tap that I've seen.

                          I've been hooked on the Mango/Shrimp tacos and one or two of the beers. Admittedly it's the beer that makes it. IMHO
                          The beer selection changes almost weekly. For those interested, here are a few from the last week in January: Stone Ruination, Green Flash Imperial IPA, DogFish Head Palo Santo Marron, Rogue Dead Guy Ale. Also bottles of Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale, and Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Ale.

                          1. re: HillJ

                            They have a full seated bar at the Jackson's Surf Taco with an upstairs lounge with Sofas that overlooks the restaurant also.

                            1. re: Tapas52

                              Come better weather, I'm going to head over there and check it out.

                        2. I went to Red Bank the other day to check for a bar. Unfortunately they have brown paper over the windows. So I'll have to wait and see...

                          1. Wish them the best, but I dont see it as a savvy move. Red bank is like little Mexico. 'Border'line saturated with decent to good mexican food establishments.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: Tom Sawyer

                              Sadly, they'll probably do well anyway. Places like Surf Taco, Chipotle, etc. are able to benefit from prejudice and racism. Face it, there are more people who want to eat Mexican-flavored food than are willing to go and eat in a Mexican-run restaurant.

                              1. re: MGZ

                                Prejudice and racism? Really?
                                With all due respect; that's far off base.
                                Surf Taco was never sold as 'Authentic Mexican,'
                                It's more of a lighter, healthier style of Mex food.
                                Their words, "Our coastal cuisine menu features our unique blend of Surf Mex"

                                For me, it's similar to getting tired of old fashioned authentic red sauced Italian food; and searching out something Mario Batali would make.
                                Though I may be a little tired of red sauced Italian food; doesn't mean I'm racist. My Italian mother might get upset.

                                I love Mi Mexico, though I'm tired of it. I like the lighter fare & the craft beer at the Jackson location.

                                1. re: rickster71

                                  Please be careful with what I’m saying and why it was offered. My point is that there are those in our area who are more comfortable getting their “Mexican-flavored” food from homogenized, “safer” places. Part of the reason for that is the fact that many of those people maintain, consciously or not, latent prejudices. Consequently, Surf Taco, Chipotle, Baja Fresh, Fins, etc. derive some economic benefit.

                                  And, I agree, the beer selection in Jackson is quite good.

                                  1. re: MGZ

                                    I do understand what you're saying.
                                    Though I tend to think the perceived safety from this homogenate comes more from familiarity than racism.
                                    An example being, people that drive to Florida; they will eat at McDonalds instead of trying an unfamiliar place.
                                    They aren't racist; they simply find safety / comfort in what's familiar. Much like an infant that recognizes their mother's voice & face.

                                    Nice tap beer selection at Shipwreck Point also. :-)

                                    1. re: MGZ

                                      Frankly given the limited family friendly, kid friendly places RB offers; I'm glad this summer the kids will have a place to go that welcomes their dollars with smiles rather than hanging out all over the street. RBs dining scene should offer a mix. Plenty of independent restaurant owners have tried and sadly didn't succeed...so this "chain" vs. "indie" thing is undeserved.

                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        What's wrong with hanging out in Marine Park, smoking weed and skateboarding, before heading over to Mr. Pizza Slice to play Ms. Pac Man? I mean it was good enough for the generations before them.

                                        1. re: MGZ

                                          Ha! That was the "old" RB...when rent was 10K or higher a month :)

                              2. Is it open yet? If not, any idea when?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: cantkick

                                  Obviously it's past March 1st. :) Found this:


                                  and this:


                                  Of course, both articles are dated early January.

                                  1. re: cantkick

                                    Grand Opening . . . Thurs, March 24! and byob for Red Bank location.


                                  2. Got to Red Bank a bit later than we hoped for, had about 40 minutes before the movie (Win Win was a great movie) saw Surf Taco and decided it should be quick and easy.

                                    It seems that Surf Taco has their detractors but I have to say the food was tasty and fit with our timing. DW had a surf taco and a garlic shrimp taco. Good ingredients and spiced it up with the sauces. Had half of the surf taco and enjoyed it.
                                    I had the Chicken burrito (there is a name for it, can't remember). Moist grilled chicken, beans, rice, sour cream etc in a nice soft shell. Have to say, it was good.

                                    Not the cheapest tacos and burritos but last night it fit the bill nicely. Not sure what was in the space before but its comfortable and large.