The first two of nine new eateries slated to open this spring and summer in Hamilton Heights are finally here (and based on the number of papered-up storefronts in the neighborhood, even more will be joining these nine).
After a few weeks in soft-open mode, Buddha Taco Bar (3628 Broadway between 149th and 150th Streets) had its grand opening last week.
The menu–you check off your picks and hand them to the server–lists nine types of tacos, from strip steak and pulled pork to fish and portobello mushroom; even more fun might be deciding which of the four house-made sauces (roja, verde, tequila and habanero) to add on top. A few "not tacos" items like chicken wings and guacamole round out the selections.
Drinks play a big role here, with the menu including margaritas, micheladas (spicy Mexican beer), plus a rotating list of IPAs, ciders and ales on tap. The four categories of beer–crisp/fruity, hoppy, malty and sour/funky–make things user-friendly.
While you can't sit outside just yet–the spot is still waiting for its sidewalk license–there's more than enough room inside to accommodate both big and small groups. The airy, white-walled space has tables on one side and a welcoming, U-shaped wood bar that makes it easy to grab a bite and a drink.
The current hours are from about 11am-2am, with happy hour from 4p-7pm. Check Buddha Taco Bar's Instagram for things like televised soccer games and beer specials.
One block south, Sita Thai (3609 Broadway between 148th and 149th Streets) is also up and running, bringing much-needed Thai food to this northern section of Harlem. Delivery isn't available yet, but you can stop by the small restaurant and get takeout or dine in at one of the two tables in front.
Dishes include classic Thai fare like tom yum soup, massaman curry that's "made traditional style," and noodle dishes such as pad thai. It's sure to be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.