A Mexican-food boomlet has descended on greater Huntington, and now shrimp quesadillas and BLT Bomber tacos have joined the scene as Shrimpy's Burrito Bar has debuted a North Shore outpost on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station.
In 2018, Shrimpy's opened its original location in a former taxi depot at the LIRR station in Massapequa Park, but partner Ryan DiPaola — who grew up in South Huntington — has always hoped to expand to the North Shore. The second Shrimpy's was on track to open this spring until COVID-19 upended those plans. "We signed a lease [here] on March 1, and then 'boom'," said DiPaola.
Down in Massapequa, he and partners Thomas J. Soluri Jr., and John Nasta Jr. stayed open through the pandemic, preparing tacos, burritos and quesadillas for hospital workers as well as their regular clientele. "I was doing the deliveries myself," said DiPaola. "And our workers were our backbone."
Nasta came up with Shrimpy's original menu, best described as playful Tex-Mex and devoted to things such as burritos stuffed with battered cod, rice and jalapeño queso (the Poseidon), an "avocado bar," shrimp skewers and loaded fries.
Nasta and DiPaolo have debuted the same menu in Huntington, in a larger space with a beachy theme of rustic wood high-tops and a mural across one wall, painted by Andaluz the Artist. (Soluri Jr. remains a partner in Massapequa Park).
Underpinning some of the dishes is Shrimpy's sauce, which which Soluri once called "a chipotle-maple syrup aioli." Nasta said he plans to bottle and sell Shrimpy sauce soon; for now, It comes atop the signature Shrimpy taco ($5.50), filled with grilled shrimp, shredded cheese and mango-pineapple salsa. Other tacos, such as the BLT Bomber (with fried chicken and bacon, $4.99) or the Ruff Buff — a riot of fried chicken, melted cheeses, buffalo sauce and Doritos ($4.75) — are stuffed to the point of bursting, and come with hard or soft shells.
Burritos start at $9.25 and combine chicken, steak, shrimp, fish or vegetables with seasoned rice and layers of black beans, various salsas and jalapeño queso. Shrimpy's "avocado bar" consists of bowls, avocado toast and an avocado salad, from $9 to $11, and shrimp skewers are grilled on the flat top and then can bedoused with sauces such as honey-barbecue or pineapple.
On the dessert front are churros or Reesarito, a fried burrito with crumbled Reese's peanut-butter cups, marshmallow fluff and ice cream. Also on hand are canned beers from Montauk Brewing Co., among others, as well as margaritas, hard seltzer and red sangria. Shrimpy's doesn't have a bar, per se, but a full liquor license and a tiny, tented outdoor area for sipping cocktails al fresco.
Shrimpy's Burrito Bar is at 135 W. Jericho Tpke., Huntington Station. It opens at 11:30 a.m. for lunch and dinner, every day but Monday. 631-312-5588. shrimpysburritobar.com.