Philadelphia, PA - Central Taco & Tequila is the latest and also 23rd dining establishment managed by The PJW Restaurant Group, launched in Westmont, NJ. The contemporary Mexican restaurant, situated at 350 Haddon Avenue, represents the dining group’s 4th concept on the very same half-mile stretch of the road. Central brings together: P.J. Whelihan’s (700 Haddon Ave., opened 1995); Treno Pizza Bar (231 Haddon Ave., opened 2006); as well as The Pour House (124 Haddon Ave., opened 2007)
Central T&T is a 150-plus-seat brand-new concept in design, décor, as well as cuisine, for PJW. Previously The Irish Mile, PJW has created a spacious environment featuring plenty of natural light by way of numerous skylights. Developed by Stokes Architecture, the outcome is stunning features exposed wooden beams and rafters, in which string lights help create a relaxed, festive feeling.
PJW Restaurant Group’s culinary director, Rich Friedrich along with assistant culinary director, Jacky Platzer, created the menu after six months of tastings, research, and trips to Mexican establishments all-around the country. “We committed early on to embracing true, authentic and fresh Mexican flavors through traditional preparations like dry-roasting chiles, braising meats over long periods and layering delicate flavors,” said Rich Friedrich.
The Food: The menu consisst of starters such as a Shrimp Coctel, perfectly chilled shrimp in a spiced tomato sauce along with avocado and cucumber, $8 as well as Mexican Street Corn, sautéed off the cob with jalapeno, epazote, mayonnaise, cotija cheese, chili and lime, $5; two soups Chicken Tortilla, $5 and Pozole Rojo, a smoky red broth with tender pork and hominy, crispy tortilla strips, avocado, cilantro, radish, cabbage, oregano, and onion for $6. Also included are chips and dips with traditional salsas and guacamole; and salads such as the Mercado Ensalada made with a blend of roasted vegetables, farro, arugula, goat cheese, toasted pecans, and a chipotle vinaigrette, $9. Burritos are available with several proteins and the option to serve in a bowl, $11; ten varieties of tacos from $3-$4 each, the main feature; and traditional Mexican sides and desserts – Churros with dipping sauce, $4, and a Shortbread Skillet Cookie with vanilla ice cream and cinnamon sugar, $5 – round out the menu.
The Bar: Central offers an extensive and extraordinary tequila list, the beverage menu, as well as beer and wine lists, selected by PJW’s beverage director, Jake Karley and opening general manager, Remo Croce. You will find 118 agave-based spirits available to you at Central: 91 tequilas, 26 mezcals, and one sotol. Tequilas range from $8 for a two-ounce pour of Espolón Blanco to $130 for two ounces of Gran Patrón Burdeo, a luxury añejo produced from the most beautiful blue agave and aged in Bordeaux wine barrels. Five flights offered: a Mexican Spirits flight highlights a tequila, mezcal, and sotol for $18 while the Single Village flight features three mezcals by Del Maguey, $27. The mixed drink menu is made up of ten margaritas ($8-$11) and nine cocktails ($7-$9.50) and the beer list remains true to theme boasting a number of Mexican lagers, a tap devoted to gose as well as a variety of regional South Jersey beers by Tonewood, Double Nickel and King’s Road.