Hype or HighQ: How Do You Define a Taco?

Photo by Getty Images

“What’s in a name?” That which we call a taco, by any other name or filling, could it not still be delicious?

I’ve always been a Shakespeare nerd, but I’ve been a food nerd even longer. And when someone uses the word “fusion,” I’m always a little wary about what they say next. So, when I heard about these “Indian fusion” tacos everyone’s going on and on about, I had to see what all the fuss was about at Gao Taco.

For this adventure, I decided to bring along comedian, Noah Gardenswartz, to smoke and find out if these “tacos” were Hype or HighQ.

Goa Taco

Tucked away on a busy intersection in the Lower East Side of New York City, you’ll find Goa Taco. It’s a small spot, but if you use your nose, you can’t miss it! After perusing the menu, Noah and I quickly made our decisions.

Noah got the tofu Bánh mì taco and the chicken chorizo taco.

Noah said both were great, but the chicken chorizo was “on point, and my favorite. The shell is probably my favorite part.” He even said he would be coming back to try the others.

I ordered the pork belly (by recommendation) and the mojo beef tacos, and let me just say I was blown away!

I’ve been a fan of tacos and Indian food my whole life, and I’m kind of upset it took me, or anyone, this long to enjoy the combination.

I loved both of the tacos, but the mojo beef was my favorite of all four we ordered. The shell is a thin, toasted piece of naan and is incredible… maybe even better than a tortilla! The beef is perfectly tender and juicy, and when mixed with the pinto bean pure and fried plantain chips, it catapulted me higher than I already was when I walked in.

I will say one thing about these tacos, they are extremely filling. Which is great, but don’t order the number of tacos you’d normally order. Each taco is probably worth at least two normal tacos, but that makes the $8 taco not as crazy as one might think.

Noah and I finished up, helped each other out of our chairs, and slowly began to walk away…

As we walked down Delancey Street, Noah and I talked about his experience getting to record his first comedy album, “Blunt,” and also getting to film his Comedy Central Half-Hour. If you’ve not heard Noah’s album, do yourself a favor: Roll a “Blunt” and get on that shit. He’s a great comic.

He even convinced me to walk into a 3D printing store in our current frame of mind, which, turns out, makes 3D printing actually seem relevant.

Noah waked in saying, “Full disclosure, I’m high and have no interest in buying anything. But I want to know everything.” The employees were somewhat annoyed, but they warmed up and let us play around.

Walking out of the printing store, we found ourselves needing something sweet.

Anytime I eat something heavy or spicy, I think it’s important that you follow it up with something sweet. I know, it’s not a crazy life policy to live by, but whatever, ice cream is ALWAYS a good decision.

Just down the street from Goa Taco, you’ll find another hyped sensation, “rolled ice cream.” I had never tried rolled ice cream before, but when we saw that 10Below Ice Cream actually made rolled ice cream TACOS, we knew it was meant to be.

10 Below Ice Cream

10Below specializes in Thai Style rolled ice cream. “10Below” because they use a metal drum that’s kept at -10°F.

This place will have you smiling from ear to ear before you even eat anything. It smells unlike any ice cream place, but at the same time has a familiarity that you can’t quite describe.

Normally, this place is packed to the gills, but we went in the middle of the day on a Tuesday (hint, hint!), and there were only a few people inside.

They pour out the liquid ice cream mixture and continue to mix until it comes to a thick enough consistency… then they “roll it up!”

Noah and I both ordered ice cream tacos, but Noah ate his before I got a chance to take a picture… It was hard to understand exactly what he was saying, there was a lot of nodding, pointing and “oh hell yeahs,” so I’m thinking he was a fan.

I got the Cookie Monster.


It was like holding Heaven in your hand… only this taco for sure exists! It’s rolled cookie dough ice cream with teddy grahams and chocolate syrup all nestled in a waffle cone “taco shell.”

This is probably the best ice cream I’ve ever had, and aside from burgers, I believe ice cream is one of my better area of expertise. The consistency of their ice cream is unparalleled; it’s like they somehow made ice cream, cookie dough consistency. And it tastes fresher than any other ice cream, because it was just made seconds ago.

I will say my one warning (and this was digging) is that it’s very cold. I’m not exactly sure how Noah ate his taco in four bites, but it took me a little bit longer. But that just meant I enjoyed mine longer!


Definitley TACO!

Goa Taco: HighQ

10Below Ice Cream: HighQ

When it comes to unconventional, or ”fusion,” tacos, you cannot go wrong with either Goa Taco or 10Below. They’re both very different and untraditional, but I imagine the creator of the first taco, whoever the hell that person was, wouldn’t have a problem eating at either of these establishments.

So, next time you’re in the Lower East Side in NYC, “roll” on over and get yourself a taco!


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