When it comes to Mexican cuisine on the East End, few people have more Taco Tuesdays under their belt than Justin Schwartz of Noah’s on the Road. His shiny airstream and farm-to-food truck tacos are a regular sight on the North Fork all summer long. This year he’s planting roots in Mattituck, with the opening of his new restaurant, Mattitaco, in the space formerly occupied by the Crazy Fork.
“We’re definitely going to serve different stuff here,” said Schwartz. “The food truck menu changes on an almost daily basis. Mattitaco will have a consistent menu and specials.” While the focus at the restaurant will be mainly on tacos (of course), he plans on featuring a burrito of the week, torta of the week, tostada of the week, and even a weekly ceviche. “Ceviche has got to be super fresh and you’re not always getting the same stuff out of the water,” Schwartz explained. “Whatever the fishermen are pulling in that we can work with, be it bay scallops, sea scallops, [red] drum or bass - there are so many different fish that make an awesome ceviche.”
Schwartz has a passion for featuring ingredients sourced from local producers whenever possible, and his new restaurant will be no different, with slow-cooked barbacoa made from goats raised at 8 Hands Farm in Cutchogue, and pork sourced from Deep Roots Farm in Southold. “I sent all the farms my wish list for this year,” admits Schwartz. “Peppers and peas and beans, and some stuff that will take forever, it won’t be available this year but it’s a wish list for people to say ‘Oh I always wanted to grow that, but didn’t think there was a demand for it.’ Well alright – I’ll demand it.”
One of Schwartz’s more ambitious goals is to produce his own tortillas from North Fork grown corn. “I have the machine, but I don’t have the right kind of corn yet. I’m trying to get corn that’s not GMO, or considered a feed grade. Michelle from Deep Roots is planting that this year, so this coming winter we’ll be able to get corn from Deep Roots and a couple of other farms that is a heritage or heirloom variety, and we will nixtmalize it and make our own tortillas in house.”
In addition to freshly made tacos Mattitaco will feature a tap system where customers can fill up on cold brew from Ace Coffee Co., or sample five different flavors of kombucha by Mombucha – both produced on Long Island. “We’re going to offer our own growlers, half growlers, and pints, so trying to be a little more environmentally conscious.”
Mattitaco is set to open mid-June on Tuesdays and Thursdays for breakfast and lunch; Friday, Saturday and Sunday for breakfast, lunch and dinner.