A plate of tacos at Gracia's Taqueria in Commack, which...

A plate of tacos at Gracia's Taqueria in Commack, which opened earlier this winter. Credit: Newsday/Corin Hirsch

Commack does not want for chain Mexican food — there are at least three here dishing up the familiar lineup of bowls, burritos and quesadillas. Which makes Gracia's Taqueria, a month-old place decked with folksy art and bright colors, the rare bird in town.

Gracia's is the first foray into restaurants for co-owner Diana Gracia, though her husband, Juan Gracia (a native of Puebla, Mexico) has 20 years of experience under his belt. "We were looking [for a spot] before the pandemic, but we didn't find any opportunity," she said, until they saw the space along Commack Road where Orlando's used to be, a low-key spot that takes some seeking out.

The moniker "taqueria" is misleading, said Gracia; the 48-seat dining room (24 seats under current restrictions) operates as a sit-down restaurant and the three-dozen main dishes on the menu combine Mexican, Tex-Mex and Mediterranean influences. From the fajitas to the enchiladas suizas, it's all cooked by Gracia's brother-in-law, Jaime Garcia. Tacos are an option, of course: carne asada, chorizo, carnitas, chicken, shrimp and cecina, or salted beef, which come three to an order with rice, beans and delicately sliced radishes for $16.95. There's a quesadilla ($12.95) served Jalisco-style with a tomato-based sauce slathered over the top, and a burrito that, for $18.95, probably generates leftovers. Enchiladas suizas ($15.95), taquitos ($15.95), queso fundido ($10.95) and tostones under a blanket of melted cheese ($10.95) also make appearances.

It's the larger plates which venture into fusion territory, with things such as chicken in a mole poblano sauce ($18.95) and fajitas ($18 to $24) sharing space with grilled "salmon jarocoho" ($23) or grilled pork chops in a mesquite barbecue sauce ($21). Sopaipillas and tres leches cake are among the desserts, said Gracia, and once the restaurant has its liquor license, margaritas will flow at the small, intimate bar. For now, there's horchatam lemonade, jewel-toned jamaica (iced hibiscus tea) and frozen virgin piña coladas.

Gracia's Taqueria, 285 Commack Rd., Commack. 631-623-6731. graciastaqueria.com

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