Hey bro — got a jones for some righteous SoCo-style eats? Make the drop into Bay Ridge, where Ho’Brah, Bay Ridge’s new surfer-inspired taco joint, is currently riding the sweet wave of success.
“I’ve been waiting and waiting for this place to open,ever since the plywood went up,” said 77th Street resident Grace Losecki. “And it’s everything I hoped — great design, relaxed atmosphere, fun, fresh food — no need to travel into Williamsburg anymore!”
Not that the cozy Cali spot is yet another hipster invader — two of the owners are local firefighters, and one hails from the popular next-door brew and burger bar, Kettle Black.
“I’ve been saying for years that what this neighborhood needed was a great taco place, and when this space opened up, it seemed the right time to finally just do it ourselves,” said co-owner J.P Casatelli. “So far the response has been terrific — we’re packed every day.”
Ho’Brah’s titular, corn tortilla tacos range in price from $3.50-$4.25 each, and come in tasty iterations like the Barbacoa (shredded chipotle rubbed beef, pico de gallo, avocado crema), Sunset Pork (orange/pineapple pulled pork, California coleslaw, pickled red onion), Classic Cali (panko crusted cod, jack and cheddar cheeses, salsa rojo, chili-lime sour cream), and Diablo Diego (double chili marinated tiger shrimp, jalapeno pico, and chipotle crema).
Other sunshiny bites like Consuela’s Empanadas with chili marinated pork and salsa verde dipping sauce ($2.95/$4.95); and JP Ceviche with mojo tiger shrimp, red onion, tomato, cilantro, and plantain chips ($9), will almost convince you that Ho’Brah’s blue bay windows overlook the breezy beaches of Cabo San Lucas, rather than a winter-worn stretch of Third Avenue.
“We’re making everything fresh — nothing comes out of a can except maybe the tomato sauce,” said Casatelli. “We’re doing the chips, the salsas. We only use fresh fruit purees in the margaritas — we strain our pineapple/ginger juice through cheesecloth. We’re cooking down blueberries on top of the stove.”
“We’re one of the first restaurants, at least one of the first bars, to do this kind of food in the neighborhood,” he added. “That’s why people come in here and say, this feels like Williamsburg, this feels like the Lower East Side.”
That being said, they do serve those tasty margaritas in adorable frosted mason jars.
Ho’Brah Tacos [8618 Third Ave. between 86th and 87th Streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 680-TACO].