For a poor twenty-something working a part-time job that pays in peanuts, I have been especially poor as of late and have found dining out (even at my usual low-budget haunts) increasingly difficult.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel of destitution, and that shining beacon of hope for the down, out, and hungry is called Dollar Taco. Well, actually, it’s called Cotija, but to the hungry hoards of penny-pinching gringos who have come to hold this establishment dear, it’s simply “Dollar Taco.”  

It shouldn’t be too difficult to surmise how Dollar Taco, located on Main Street in Asbury Park, got its nickname. Their tacos only cost one dollar. Surprise! They don’t fuck around, either. Chorizo, pastor, azada, chicharron, tripe, beef tongue, chip meat: all one measly dollar, and all totally delicious. Granted, the tacos aren’t gigantic, but whether you’re a three taco type of dude like myself or you need double that to satiate your appetite, Cotija provides guilt free dining (at least monetarily).


Cotija’s menu doesn’t end at tacos. They offer a bevy of Mexican cuisine options, and while I personally have never strayed from the tacos (because duh!), I have stolen bites from friends’ plates. The build your own burrito may appeal to the more imaginative diner, and Cotija’s entrees provide choices for those looking for a more substantial meal. Their tortas, stacked with layer upon layer of meaty, cheesy, saucy goodness, leave nothing to be desired. Plus, with their free salsa bar, you can add an extra kick to any dish.

As the sign in front of Dollar Taco reads, “If you are gringo!.. and you like tacos, come, eat, and enjoy!” Well, I am, and I will, thank you very much.

El Cotija, 420 Main Street, Asbury Park, NJ,  (732) 455-3020

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