Tacos in the Fog: Let the Good Times Roll


A picture from the original (and still going strong) Nick's Crispy
Tacos, which is currently owned by Howard Schindler.

Nick Fasanella, who started the first Nick’s Crispy Tacos, is settling in the outer Sunset, specifically at Underdogs Sports Bar & Grill (“Good Drinks, Good Food, Good Sports, Good Times”). Starting next Thursday, the same place where you can stop by for a little NFL fix is now going to be The Taco Shop at Underdogs from 5 pm to 10 pm (the bar will remain open till 2 am). Nick Fasanella (who is no longer affiliated with the original Nick's) is longtime friends with Doug Marschke, one of the two owners of Underdogs.

Fasanella, a CIA school graduate who spent time working at the Inn at Little Washington, started the original taqueria with the idea of taking over the world (Paris, London, Hong Kong, Outer Sunset!). Since a break with his original partners, though, he's done some consulting for Tortillla Heights and taken over a Italian deli in North Beach located on Stockton at Union Street called La Spiaggia. But he's happy to be back on the taqueria track, not to mention help infuse a little spirit into his friend's bar. Expect breakfast burritos and college football on weekends and a couple new menu items like authentic Texas-style queso with roasted green chiles and popcorn shrimp. Fasanella works with natural meats and organic produce as much as possible and expects to be doing the cooking himself through the year. To this, Marschke says he knew that the time had come to fill a niche in the taco-dry neighborhood and he knew the guy to do it.

This news-breaking story could end here, but instead I polled the office to see what type of food is missing from their hoods. Restaurateurs: Listen up.

• Jessica (brutally honest) Battilana, associate editor: “It’s hard to find good Chinese in the Mission. I mean, can you think of a single place that doesn’t suck?”

• Chris Ryan, executive editor: “I feel that pizza is sorely missing from Bernal Heights. I want a Pizzeria Delfina on Cortland.”

• Jennifer Pollack, (our brand new!) managing editor online: “I live in Pacific Heights and I feel like there is a lack of a good sandwich shop. And good Mexican food.” 

• Kathryn Roach, photo associate: “Vietnamese on 24th Street.”

• Stefanie Michejda, (our pregnant in heels) photo editor: “The Outer Richmond is seriously lacking in places to get fresh organic salads and lighter meals. Besides Pizzetta, it's all salty Asian, which I love, but it’s not very healthy for a pregnant woman.”

• Lindsey Shook, marketing director: “Good sushi is missing from the Mission.”

But just as the poll wound down, and I was starting to think everyone had a glass half-empty view of their neighborhood, along came John Verduzco, our financial director, who was on his way out of the office. I stopped him in his tracks and posed the ‘What’s missing?’ question to him. The thoughtful West Portal resident paused for a moment as he scratched his head and finally said, “Well, we have great sandwich shops, Italian, Polish … We've got it all.”

Who would have thought? West Portal: Something for everyone.


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