Freelance life is not for everyone. For every perk (no commute, no morning alarm) there is a drawback (lonely lunches, sabotaged conference calls). It can be disconcerting to work without the framework of an office, of set hours. I know many freelancers who bemoan the life.
Big reveal: I said all that bad stuff about freelancing so you won’t be too cross that I went to the beach on Tuesday. In a sense, this was a professional trip. I went to the Rockaways to visit Tacoway Beach, to write a little post for this very website. But let’s be real — I did it because I could. For a freelancer, there’s such a thing as a Summer Tuesday.
Before anyone loses it on a technicality here, we know that the Rockaways are actually in another borough. But the Rockaways have become such a go-to destination for Manhattanites and Brooklynites in need of heat relief, you’ll have to excuse our momentary Queens border-hopping.
Tacoway Beach could be considered the second incarnation of Rockaway Taco, the critical darling that helped usher in a Rockaway renaissance. I profiled Andrew Field, the surf-loving mastermind behind Rockaway Taco, some years back. At the time, he and I were both somewhat new on the New York food scene (I was still trying to write articles that used every available adjective). I maintain fond memories of the wily dude skateboarding up to our interview, full of big ideas and drive.
Now Rockaway Taco has closed; in its stead is Tacoway Beach, housed in the Rockaway Beach Surf Club. It’s a bigger space, sprawled out on a winding outdoor patio. You can sit under thatched shade covers or risk direct sunshine — your choice. A full bar is now available next door; feel free to enjoy your taco with a tallboy.
I visited Tacoway Beach with my Edible co-workers on a recent Saturday; it was mobbed and I felt claustrophobic. But a Tuesday visit hit the spot — plenty of space to spread out, mellow vibes, rapid service. I saw Field holding court when I first arrived, but when I went to find him later he had escaped. Surfing? I’d like to think so.
The tacos are as reliably good as I remember from years ago, with fish taking top honors. Fried, battered filets, topped with a tangle of slaw, signature sauce, radish slices and guacamole (if you’re smart). There are also chorizo and tofu tacos, but I think fish steals the show. Accessorize with some jicama on the side, maybe a watermelon juice or a coconut with a straw in it — you’re all set.
After my feast, I wandered down to the beach, appreciative of how few people were around (being alone is rarely an option in this city). I fell asleep thinking of how much has changed since I first met Andrew Field, how much has stayed the same. Didn’t even mind the sunburn when I awoke.