An upgrade to the food choices on Ocean City's deep-fried boardwalk is long overdue, so the new Pure Tacos stand from former Manhattan lawyer Ted Schroeder is worth rooting for. Inspired to create a flavorful gluten-free option due to his celiac disease, Schroeder has borrowed in equal parts from New York's hot taco trucks and quick-serve Mexican chains such as Chipotle Grill, with corn tortillas as a canvas for your choice of meats.
The early-season service was rough, with a slow turnaround and a confused counter guy taking orders on a paper towel. The tacos, though, were impressive, from the house-made chorizo singed with smoked paprika, to the butter-braised achiote chicken, to my favorite, a grilled hanger steak sparked with garlic and clove. Dress them up gringo-style, with lettuce, cheese, and sour cream, or go "authentic" with cilantro, onions, and chipotle salsa. Just plan your order to go. There's no seating, and the dive-bombing gulls have taken a shine to Pure Tacos, too.
- Craig LaBan
Two tacos $6.50 (three for $9), at Pure Tacos, 1138 Boardwalk, Ocean City, 609-736-8028; www.puretacos.com