Shaka Taco: Head North, Foodies
So you’ve been at the beach all day, you’re tired, sunburned and there’s NO WAY you’re cooking dinner. You’re still wearing your beach clothes so dining in a restaurant isn’t really an option and besides, you and your crew just want something quick. At Topsail Beach in the past, that meant your choices were limited to a hot dog stand or a couple burger shops but SHAKA TACO has changed that!
After seeing a very cool SHAKA TACO sticker on a passing car, I decided I needed some of that in my life. After all, I love long, romantic walks to the taco truck so I headed down to Surf City to see what this SHAKA place was all about. For those that don’t know me yet, tacos are near and dear to my heart so it was not uncommon for me to abandon my day’s “to do list” to hunt down this land of heaven wrapped in tortilla goodness. Some may call it an addiction but I like to think of tacos as a lifestyle. I mean, come on, it takes a special kind of dedication to alter one’s plans (or family trip itinerary) just to try out a new taco place. Don’t judge me.
As part of the Surf City Surf School, SHAKA TACO opened last summer at Topsail Beach to give beachgoers a fresh alternative to the previously limited options available there. Simply put, SHAKA was great and definitely worth the drive. I know, I know, if you’re in Wilmington you might need special stickers on your passport to go “all the way” to Topsail, but after one bite of their fish taco you’ll be glad you made the voyage. Almost all the fish in their DELICIOUS fish tacos is either caught or speared by staff members! You really can taste the difference between this fresh (freshly caught) and others (freshly taken out of a block of ice and kinda thawed).
I opted for the fish taco (their recommendation of course), a Carne Asada (how can you go to a taco joint and NOT get Carne Asada?) and a side of their coconut rice and black beans. Fresh, fast food bursting with flavor and extremely friendly service made this a great experience for me. A limited, yet very good collection of beers made it even better to enjoy this meal with. As I sat outside (before the SNOWPACALYPSE, of course) stuffing my face with these heavenly little pockets of utopian charm, curious people walked by eyeing my meal and wondering when the heck a taco place had opened. I’d be hard pressed to call the fare traditional tacos because they aren’t. They’re delicious and kicked up in a way that will make even the most seasoned taco aficionado take notice and smile because they ARE different but in a VERY good and much appreciated way.
Although the place gets its name from the Hawaiian SHAKA “hang loose” sign, I think an alternative definition for “SHAKA” should be “good tacos” but who am I to alter the Hawaiian language after all these years?
If you find yourself “way up north” in Surf City, you’ve gotta try this place, and if you’re just in the mood for some great food, friendly service (and a pretty cool sticker) SHAKA TACO is definitely worth the drive.
Try it, you’ll like it “brah.”
Contributing blogger: Ed Walsh grew up in Las Vegas, the son of an accomplished chef. Traipsing all over the world to more than 35 countries during a 21 year Marine Corps career allowed Ed to sample and appreciate all types of food from grass hut family dining to Michelin star rated fine dining restaurants. “I know my way around a dinner plate and I just like what I like,” he says. Asked what his absolute favorite dish from all of his international travels was, Ed quickly says it was his Mom’s spaghetti. Ed is single, and loves long romantic walks to the taco truck. He also loves spending time with awesome food – almost as much as he enjoys spending time with his awesome kids.