PROVIDENCE, RI – “I think if I had a last meal it would definitely be tacos.”

For Chef Jacob Rojas, there is no such thing as Taco Tuesday. It’s more like Tacos Everyday. After growing up in Texas and working in fine dining restaurants across the country, Jacob eventually moved to Providence, Rhode Island with his wife Kelly Ann. Since they could not find the kind of authentic, hand-crafted tacos they were craving, Tallulah’s Taqueria was born.

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“Tallulah’s Taqueria is a quick service Chicano style restaurant that offers fast casual style Mexican food,” Jacob explained.

“We chose this [Fox Point] neighborhood because that’s what we were looking for. Cozy little place in Providence that anyone could pull up, didn’t have a problem parking, and come and enjoy our tacos,” Kelly Ann said.

Enjoy their tacos they do. All day and night. All made fresh, right in front of their eyes from a hard-working kitchen team including Chef de Cuisine Benjamin Cantone.

“It’s not just coming out of a bag and getting heated up on the stove and thrown into a steam table. You get to see it from start to finish,” he said. “Get a few tacos, get a beer, maybe a margarita, and you kind of get to see what goes on in the kitchen. You get to see where you food comes from and see all the love and the passion that we really put into what we do every day.

“We grill it; it gets a little of a char to it. Fresh avocado, and then the protein that you choose. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, you’re not gonna go wrong. It gets topped with our fresh salsa, and then the fresh onions and cilantro really cut through all of that and kind of brighten it up.”

There is the Baja style fried fish taco; a tender beef tongue taco; breakfast tacos piled with chorizo, eggs, and potato; and the ultra-popular, incredibly addictive Carnitas tacos.

taco1 Phantom Gourmet: Tallulahs Taqueria In Providence

Carnitas Taco at Tallulah’s Taqueria (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

“We slow roast it for about 12 hours in our oven. The pork belly really introduces a lot of the fattiness to it that most people crave,” Chef Benjamin explained.

For something even more substantial, the burritos here weigh in at over a pound, packed with homemade rice and beans, avocado, salsa, onion, cilantro, and whatever meat you are in the mood for. There are quesadillas, double stacked between tortillas, stuffed with melty queso blanco, salsa fresca, and homemade crema.

For a Mexican spin on the sandwich, check out the enormous Al Pastor Torta overflowing with pineapple marinated grilled pork and pickled vegetables, served on a fresh-made roll from their neighbors at Silver Star Bakery. If plain old chips and salsa just won’t do as your side, you can always upgrade to a perfectly executed plate of nachos.

taco2 Phantom Gourmet: Tallulahs Taqueria In Providence

Nachos at Tallulah’s Taqueria (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

“We use fresh grated cheese on our nachos. They’re definitely layered. We make sure we layer them,” Jacob promised.

“It’s a hell of a plate: cheese and chips and beans, topped with some pico de gallo, a little crema, onion, cilantro, jalapeno,” Benjamin added.

If you are up for something a bit more adventurous, order the Mexican style shrimp cocktail, served inside a cup with fried tostadas on the side.

“Cocktail camarones is so refreshing. It is the hidden gem on the menu for sure,” Kelly Ann said.

Among their best bites are the deliciously deep fried churros for dessert.

“A churro is like a more sophisticated dough boy,” Kelly Ann explained.

taco3 Phantom Gourmet: Tallulahs Taqueria In Providence

Churros at Tallulah’s Taqueria (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

“It’s a Pate a Choux dough that we take and we pipe into the fryer. Then it gets rolled in sugar and cinnamon,” Jacob described. “They’re super soft and creamy on the inside with nice cinnamon and sugar crust on the outside.”

There might be a million burrito shops and taquerias out there, but in terms of taste, it is tough to beat Tallulah’s.

“A small eatery that has fresh ingredients, great product, lots of love, and people that just want to serve you,” Kelly Ann said. “From scratch is love. And that’s Tallulah’s.”

“We love what we do,” Jacob said. “We get to eat tacos all day long.”

You can find Tallulah’s Taqueria at 146 Ives Street in Providence, and online at tallulahstaqueria.com.

Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.

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