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Baja Shack

Posted by DID 20 Feb 2013 No Comments

For downtown Durhamites, Northgate Mall is the closest mass retail spot. Sure it’s quirky and feels a bit like stepping back in time, but occasionally one has to venture inside – be it for the DMV, a Hallmark greeting card, a neon spandex jumpsuit (widely available), an airbrushed tee or just to satisfy an Orange Julius craving.

When you do find yourself in Northgate Mall needing a quick bite to eat, you  could do worse than the newish taco stand – Baja Shack. Owned and operated by the same folks behind El Rodeo, Chile Bomba and Jibarra, Baja Shack is a step above your average food court offerings. They have a wide selection of burritos, tacos and nachos.

I gave the tacos a try, which at lunch are three for $6 with a drink. I choose chicken, pork and fish on corn tortillas. You have the option of soft corn, hard corn or flour (none of which seem to be housemade) and a variety of different meats. You also choose your toppings, which include the basics – salsa fresca, corn, pineapple, cilantro, onions, cheese, etc. Some of the lettuces on the the toppings bar looked a bit wilted, so I stuck to the onion/cilantro mix, salsa and limes.

The meats were all good, the chicken was actually my favorite. Marinated in chili, grilled and cut up into chucks – it was the most flavorful. The fish is fried upon ordering. You get two strips of beer-battered white fish per taco. It’s is a step above what you’d find in the freezer section and was really tasty (as most fried things are) when topped with hot sauce. The pork was my least favorite; carnitas style, it just seemed to have been sitting on the bar too long. Baja Shack does offer aqua frescas, a rare find in a mall food court.

Does Baja Shack compete with Los Comales or Superior? No. Is it worth seeking out over Cosmic or Chubby’s? No. But when you find yourself in Northgate Mall, needing a quick meal versus Pan Pan diner – Baja Shack is a good bet. And horchata beats an Orange Julius in my book any day.

Baja Shack
Northgate Mall
1058 W. Club Blvd, Durham.

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