Authentic Street Eats at Electric Circus Taco Bar
A recent meetup with my college roommate prompted the perfect excuse to check out the freshly minted Precarious Beer Project in Williamsburg. The beer hall-arcade hybrid is situated in the heart of the colonial district and is just a short walk from its sister restaurant Amber Ox Public House. While I was eager to sample Precarious’ cleverly named brews, the true motive behind my visit was to sink my teeth into the from-scratch cuisine at Electric Circus Taco Bar.
The makeshift food truck anchors the west end of Precarious in the form of a shipping container graffitied in neon hues. At the helm of Precarious’ taco scene is the self-proclaimed Head Taco Slayer and chef de cuisine Michael Pollard. While Pollard assisted with the opening of a number of area restaurants including Opus 9 Steakhouse and Amber Ox, the Electric Circus gig allows him to fully explore his gastronomic creativity. The Taco Slayer is a natural in an apron and is developing some of the tastiest flavors in the 757.
Of utmost importance to Pollard and his culinary team is the accessibility of Electric Circus dishes. “Everything is made in house,” explains Pollard. “We make 1,000 [corn tortillas] a day from masa, water and salt. We even use gluten-free flour in all of our fried ingredients to make them accessible to our gluten-free customers.”
On the plasma screen menu is a taste lineup of handmade and locally sourced street tacos loaded with savory meats, freshly battered fish, funky glazes, colorful slaws and spicy drizzles of creamy aioli. Per Pollard’s recommendation, I opted for the Bay Area Fish Taco and the Steak “Al Pastor.” Both arrive beautifully plated and bursting with authentic street taco flavors. Perfectly blackened and embellished with a citrusy cabbage-orange slaw and agave lime sour cream, the fish taco offers refreshing bites of coastal cuisine. More on the terroir side is the “Al Pastor” which boasts slices of medium-well steak, grilled pineapple and a chipotle aioli that really packs the heat. I washed both down with a cold pour of Precarious’ Grabbleflerb DIPA, which breathes complementary aromas of pineapple, berries and starfruit.
Pollard explains that the taco options often rotate and are influenced by customer demand. “We made a Chicken Tinga taco because a customer brought the idea to us. We like to listen and evolve with them,” says Pollard.
The Electric Circus chef also works with head brewer Greg Fleehart to develop pairings and flavor profiles. The two are currently working on a Mexican lager that incorporates Pollard’s corn tortillas into Fleehart’s brewing process.
Just as we were about to wrap up, Pollard surprises us with a foot-long Electric Churro plated with a saucer of dulce de leche dipping sauce. The Mexican staple arrives warm, coated in cinnamon and sugar and tossed in an unconventional mixture of ancho chili and cayenne pepper. “We add just enough spice to make your tongue tingle,” says Pollard.
Coming soon to Electric Circus is Sunday brunch featuring Pollard’s take on a traditional torta.
Electric Circus Taco Bar is located at Precarious Beer Hall, 110 S Henry St., Williamsburg.