Around Christmas of 2020, I had a taco dinner night with my middle school friends, Deepali and Hillary. If you follow my taco instagram, there is a picture of our taco spread on Hillary’s dining room table. It was quite the setup, where it looked like the table was set for 15 people and not just 3. But hey, tacos can make great leftovers. During dinner, we brainstormed planning a trip together and set a date in the calendar for late August/beginning of Sept 2021. From that evening on, we created an itinerary for a road trip to Acadia National Park in Maine.
Te Amo Tequila
Knowing that the drive would be terribly long, we broke up the hours on the way there and back. On route to Maine, we stayed the first night in New Haven, Connecticut. There, we explored Yale University and the food scene downtown. I expected to have unreal pizza in this town as New Haven is known for its pizza. However, I did not expect to have tacos while in Connecticut. Tacos found me, though, at Te Amo Tequila where we stopped for drinks before making the walk to pizza.
While sipping on our margs, we decided to take advantage of the happy hour special and ordered a round of tacos as a pre-pizza app. During happy hour, three of the same tacos are almost half off the dinner price. On Tuesdays during happy hour, you can mix and match tacos. Since it was Wednesday, we had to do three of the same. Since we didn’t want to ruin our dinner appetite, we decided on one order of 3 tacos to share. No taco swaps today.
Deepali, Hillary, and I agreed on the maple roasted acorn squash tacos. The tacos were topped with corn salsa, ginger crema, scallions, and arugula. Lots of veggies on this one. The taco toppings laid on a quality tasting corn shell. I thought the ginger crema was unique and even though there was plenty of it on the taco, there were no potent hints of ginger. We all were surprised at how well this combination of toppings worked. Hillary stated “I think you could really screw it up this taco, but they didn’t.” She also finished her taco and added “it could use a pop of something, or a hint of spice, though.” Deepali argued and said “It’s not missing anything on it” and “this is a taco a squirrel would eat and love.” There you have it crew. The analysis of tacos by my close friends. As for me, I give this taco a 4 out of 5. Nearly a perfect taco that could use just a little more corn and a little less crema. All 3 of us would highly recommend this taco.
Price: $7.50 for 3 tacos during happy hour.
Testa’s Bar and Grill
The next day, we traveled up north to Six Flags New England so I could fulfill my childhood dream of riding the Superman Ride of Steel roller coaster. The following day, we stopped at Tree House Brewing Co., a beer fan’s playground, before making it to Bar Harbor, Maine.
On our last day in Acadia National Park, we decided to explore an unmarked cave during low tide, grab lunch in Bar Harbor, and then spend the last afternoon hiking and watching a beach sunset on the less crowded Schoodic Peninsula.
For our lunch, we chose Testa’s Bar and Grill for two reasons. One, they have oysters for Deepali, and two, they have tacos for me.
I was very proud of my gang as we all ordered tacos for the entrée. Since tacos came two of the same per order, I ordered the swordfish tacos and Hillary ordered the chicken tacos so we could do a classic taco swap. I was sold on ordering the fish tacos when I saw that blueberry pineapple salsa would be on it. At the first presentation, these tacos were massive! I couldn’t come close to folding this bad boy to hold. Chunks of swordfish took up most of the space. Not fishy and the seasoning had a great balance of sweetness and spice. However, I was not impressed with the salsa. I was hoping for more of a blueberry jam instead of whole blueberries. Taco was also very soggy and hard to eat as a whole.
As for the chicken taco, the sauce was too much and too sweet. The onion slaw was unremarkable. The shell was nice and toasted. I ranked both of these tacos a 2 out of 5 on my scale. Hillary and Deepali agree on this ranking. Deepali said she would get the oysters again here, just not the tacos.
Price: $16-17 for two tacos.
On the way back to Pittsburgh, we spent some time in Portland, Maine. After the 3 hour drive from Bar Harbor, we made it to Portland just in time for lunch. On a whim, we chose to try Terlingua for BBQ dishes. Hillary and I ordered the nachos and an order of chicken tacos to share. I was secretly rooting for brisket tacos, but I went with Hillary’s food request. I was just happy to split a meal so I could save some room in my tummy for brewery hopping.
I am glad Hillary wanted the chicken tacos because they were bomb. Explosions of flavor from the chicken. The burnt shredded cheese that bubbled over the shell was appealing and also full of flavor. Little bits of fat from the chicken made it savory. Full on avocado, too. Light, even with all the chicken and avocado. I would not change anything about this taco and would recommend it to anyone who loves a mean, green chicken taco. 5 out of 5 taco. Would definitely return for that taco, and to try the brisket taco.
Price: $14-16 for two tacos.
After a full day in Portland, we woke up early to start the 10.5 hour drive back home. It went quicker than we expected. I would do this exact trip again, but maybe during a different season. Fall would be an epic time to see the leaves change. I already miss the rock scrambling, bicycling on carriage roads, and the amazing sunsets. When I do this trip again, and if I drive, I would definitely make taco pit stops to Te Amo Tequila and Terlingua.