LITTLE FALLS, NJ - A delicious "affair" to remember is what the owner of a newly opened food eatery located in the township is aiming for.
A ribbon-cutting grand opening ceremony was held for "A Taco Affair" on June 1. Several local officials were on hand for the ceremony, which included Mayor James Damiano, Councilman Chris Vancheri and Little Falls Democratic Chairman Kevin Barry.
According to Jessica Phillips, 32, owner, the goal she had for some time was to own her own place, which would offer great food at great prices, with a fun atmosphere. She recalled that while growing up, her family would eat out a lot and would frequent many New Jersey restaurants. It's when she began to appreciate the atmosphere of the restaurant industry and the sense of family with staff members, especially those who created memorable meals behind kitchen doors.
"I wanted to own my own place for a while and I figured tacos are a fun and good thing to spotlight for my first venture," she said.
Originally from Randolph, Phillips now resides in Budd Lake. After graduating culinary school at the Culinary Institute of America, located in Hyde Park, N.Y., in 2006, she then moved to Boston to work for several establishments.
"It was a good move for me and it was great. I enjoyed being in that city," she recalled. " I worked in Boston for seven years in places like Harvard University and Google."
Phillips then came back to New Jersey, where her family still resides, and worked at the The Grove, located on Pompton Avenue in Cedar Grove for five years.
"I got to know this area pretty well over the years and thought this was a nice town to open up a place," she explained. "So then I saw an ad that there was a space, where a coffee shop stood, being sold here on Main Street, so I decided to look into it. That's when I was told that the empty store next door was in the process being renovated and would be even more accommodating for what I wanted to open. I then saw the space and agreed to open my place in here."
The store's menu features an eclectic variety of tacos in a family-friendly setting. Signature dishes include New England Lobster Roll taco and a Churro ice cream bowl.
"We refer to it on our store's website as 'a fun and intriguing take on tacos,'" she noted. "It's tacos with a gourmet twist. I enjoy being a chef!"
Phillips designed her own countertop as well, by placing $34 worth of pennies as decor, underneath a clear, see through covering, with the exception of one nickel.
"The one nickel here is for good luck," she added. "It represents my uncle who passed away. He had a collection of nickels and after he passed we would constantly find nickels that would turn up all over the house."
Damiano also commented after the grand opening.
"I am incredibly excited to see a new food establishment open in the heart of our downtown that features a unique menu that still caters to all palates," said Damiano. "I hope that 'A Taco Affair' becomes an overnight success and a staple for the Little Falls Downtown for decades to come."
A Taco Affair, located at 81 Main St, is open for lunch, dinner and dessert. The eatery is open from Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Visit their website at www.atacoaffair.com or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atacoaffair.