Are your weekend plans even real if they don't involve massive tacos in Midtown Manhattan?
The answer to that question is obviously a resounding meh, because now that you know an enormous 14-pound taco exists in NYC, you have no choice but to read on for the details to make it a part of life.
One of Hell's Kitchen's most popular eateries, Cantina Rooftop, offers 14-pound taco with either chicken of beef and all your favorite fillings and fixings like lettuce, sour crea, pico de gallo, chihuahua cheese, avocado slices, morita sauce, avocado sauce, pickled red onion, and queso fresco. Yum! And while it's clear most of us could probably go to town on this bad boy if left to our own devices without onlookers, it's really meant to serve six to eight people, and probably meant for friends looking for hearty refreshment after a day out and about in the Midtown area.
"Our guests inspired me to create this massive taco of pure love," says Cantina Rooftop executive chef Saul Montiel. "I was seeing so many large groups of friends, coworkers and family members, and wanted to create one dish where everybody can share and have fun, to keep sharing beautiful moments and like I always say to my daughters, sharing is caring -- because when you share anything it always tastes much better to you."
And if you're wondering if this is a popular dish, it is -- so much so that locals have dubbed it the "Big Ass Taco" and now it can literally be ordered off the menu by that name. In fact, Chef Montiel says he gets up to nine orders of Big Ass Tacos an average weekend day, and similar numbers especially on busy days like Taco Tuesdays, adding that, "It’s one of our signature dishes and we have it on the menu all the time with a nice picture of the Big Ass Taco."
If you're wondering what goes into this beast of a dinner (or frankly, for some of us, this 14-pound Big Ass Taco is just a midnight snack with Netflix), the ingredients list is pretty eye-opening. Here's what Chef Montiel told News Break he uses to create each one:
- 4 lbs. of chicken breast
- 4 lbs. of chicken thighs
- 1 twenty-six inch flour tortilla
- 5 hearts of shredded romaine lettuce
- 2 lbs. of Monterey cheese
- 1 1/2 lbs. of pico de gallo
- 1 lbs. of queso fresco
- 1 lbs. of sour cream
- 2 cups tres chiles sauce
- 2 cups avocado sauce
- 3 whole avocados
- 8 ounces of sliced radishes
- 8 ounces of pickled onions
- 1/2 bush of cilantro for garnish
Guests dining at Cantina Rooftop aren't obligated to go heavy on the chicken though, because other protein options including steak and pork carnitas are on the table, as well as vegetarian-friendly cooked mixed seasonal veggies.
"I remember a few years ago the restaurant at the Dream Hotel offered a seven pound taco that I wrote about, and at the time I thought that was kind of over the top," says Aly Walansky, a New York City-based food writer for magazines including Forbes and Today.com. "So this Big Ass Taco is obviously double the size of that one, and obviously it's over-indulgence to the extreme. But you know what? I'm here for it. Most of us haven't had a quality night out in over a year, and if you're being reunited with your friendship circle and going to share a giant taco and pitcher of margaritas? Go for it!"
Walansky, who has focused her career on deciphering the best eats across New York and the world at large, just has one question. "How do you eat this thing? Do you slice it? Is it just a messy hands-on adventure?"
"It's a feast of taco love," says Montiel. "The best way to eat this magnificent taco monster is by sharing it with at least six of your coolest friends or family members, it gets pretty messy and fun." The long story short is you're going to need extra napkins, but that's half the fun.
The Big Ass Taco costs $80 and is available by request every day week at Cantina Rooftop at 605 West 48th Street in Midtown, Manhattan.
Would you ever eat a taco this massive? Tell us what you'd fill it with in the comments section below, or if you've aready tried it at Cantina in New York.