What made my afternoon, recently, was a visit to the new Magic Taco Corp. in Islip Terrace. The little roadside shack is owned by two chefs — Steven Scalesse, profiled in Newsday’s All-Star chef series as chef-owner of Tullulah’s in Bay Shore, and Devin Delgado, who cooked at Tullulah’s with Scalesse for years. The ultracasual place is painted a bright turquoise and orange. It has three tables indoors, six picnic tables outside and — helpful to know in advance — no public restrooms. Dinnerware is foil and plastic.
What made me forget the lack of niceties was the first bite of a Portuguese octopus taco ($9.50), a special that day, featuring a soft white corn tortilla filled with tender pieces of octopus, potatoes, avocado and a tomatillo vinaigrette. An eye-opener, for sure. Magical, as well, was my companion’s steamed Asian buns with pickled red onions and cabbage, hoisin BBQ sauce and his protein choice of juicy marinated grilled flank steak, or carne asada. ($5.50 taco; $3.50 steak).
We ate indoors, since it seemed the cooler place to be that hot afternoon. At night, though, an outdoor table might prove a better choice.
Magic Taco Corp. is at 3321 Sunrise Hwy., Islip Terrace, 631-277-8226, magictacocorp.com.