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Dirty Taco and Tequila in Wantagh to open new location, in Rockville Centre

Korean short rib (topped with kimchi slaw and

Korean short rib (topped with kimchi slaw and spicy mayonnaise) is one of the street tacos at Dirty Taco and Tequila in Wantagh. Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Almost from the day it opened last summer, there have been lines out the door at Dirty Taco and Tequila in Wantagh: on weekends, a two-hour wait is standard. Now the owners are hoping to ease the pressure by opening a second restaurant in Rockville Centre.

“Rockville Centre will be more than double the size of Wantagh,” said Tom Cataldo Sr., a catering veteran who owns the place with his wife, AnnMarie and son, Tom Jr. “But the menu will be exactly the same and so will the décor.”

That menu is, as the name says, a collection of 15 tacos and 15 tequilas. Some of the former are classic — like the carne asada with pico de gallo, or Baja-style fish taco with cabbage slaw — but most are in the Los Angeles-fusion style, evincing an Asian perspective: Korean short ribs with kimchi slaw and Vietnamese shrimp with cabbage slaw and peanut sauce are best-sellers. Tacos are $4 to $6. The 15 tequilas are divided into three categories, blanco (young), reposado (aged up to a year) and anejo (aged one to three years). Shots range from $8 to $12, flights from $20 to $27. There are signature tequila cocktails as well as margaritas, sangria and beer.

Dirty Taco’s distinctive décor features the work of local muralist Arlene Mcloughlin, with lots of Day of the Dead-style images of skulls, roses, etc.

The Rockville Centre restaurant will take over the corner location occupied, until last week, by Bucket List RVC, which opened just about a year ago. A portion of that eatery's chicken-centric menu, however, is crossing the road to take up residence inside Cherry Valley Sandwich Shop: in the next few weeks, the deli will add some of Bucket List’s signature chicken specialties to its sandwich-driven menu.

Cataldo hopes to open the Rockville Centre Dirty Taco by the end of May. In the meantime, Dirty Taco is at 3261 Merrick Rd., Wantagh, 516-785-5300, dirtytacoandtequila.com.

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