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Good Evening

Jax at Sugo

Patrons, after getting their food from the window

Patrons, after getting their food from the window at Jax Tacos and Dogs, dine at the tables outside of Sugo restaurant in Long Beach. The little stand is an offshoot of the restaurant. (June 19, 2011) Credit: Yana Paskova

It's noon in Long Beach, and West Park Avenue is teeming with foot traffic.

My pal has been out walking the boardwalk. I have a date to meet her at Sugo, an Italian restaurant, where owner Alan Adams recently opened a taco and hot dog window called Jax. It's open daily from noon until about 9 p.m., later on weekends.

We meet up and order two soft corn tacos ($5 apiece, two for $9) one with jerk chicken, the other with blackened fish. A hot dog, too. "Have it Alan-style," Adams advises, "with coleslaw and ketchup. You'll never want it another way again." Hey, I'll try anything once.

It's shady and cool at an umbrella table. The Alan-style, beer-boiled Hebrew National hot dog is a surprise kick, a study in crimson, since the slaw is made with red cabbage. It works amazingly well with the ketchup. And I'm into those tacos; jerk chicken is fiery and nuanced, crowned with mango-pineapple salsa, cabbage, salsa verde and pickled jalapeños. Blackened flounder is topped with smoked chipotle aioli, guacamole and spicy banana peppers, setting off little mouth explosions. Adams suddenly appears with a pulled-brisket taco topped with pico de gallo, crema and hot sauce. "Taste it," he tells us, placing it on the table. Simply grand.

New to Adams' repertoire: a Reuben taco. And a lobster roll, served with Cajun sweet potato chips and a Waldorf potato salad. Also, a muffuletta done with an assortment of cured meats, cheeses, Cajun mayo and olive salad. For dessert: Key lime pie.

Street food; it's hard not to love it.

Jax at Sugo is at 62 W. Park Ave., Long Beach, 516-431-7846, $

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