Photos courtesy of Upstate Taco
Mexico City-inspired tacos shine at Upstate Taco, a casual-cool eatery owned by a foodie couple in Stone Ridge.
Mauricio and Sasha Miranda opened Upstate Taco last August on Route 209. Mauricio grew up on his family’s farm in Guerrero, Mexico, where he learned to grow corn and other produce and cook alongside his grandmother. When he moved to New York as a teen, he began at the bottom as a dishwasher and gradually honed his skills to full-fledged restaurateur, working in many high-end spots including the distinguished Union Square Café. Sasha grew up in Queens, attended the Culinary Institute of America, and studied Italian cuisine in Northern Italy. After returning to the U.S., she helped open Gigi Trattoria in Rhinebeck, and cooked at several Manhattan restaurants including Verbena—which is where she met Mauricio. In 2007, the couple opened their first restaurant, Miranda, in North Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It became a neighborhood go-to for Italian-Latin fusion fare. Luckily for us, the couple relocated to Marbletown with their young daughter in 2017. After an inspirational trip to Guerrero, Pueblo, and Oaxaca in Mexico—Upstate Taco was born.
There are six Mexico City-inspired tacos on the menu such as pollo (marinated chicken), tinga (chipotle-braised chicken), and vegetales (sautéed zucchini, tomato, jalapeños, onion, and cilantro). The best-seller is taco de carne asada, made with marinated flank steak. Each taco is topped with cilantro and fresh onion, plus a choice of “SOS”—sauce on the side—such as pico de gallo, salsa roja, and salsa verde. Upstate Taco also plates up innovative quesaburros (quesadilla meets burrito): folded flour tortillas filled with meat, rice, beans, three types of cheese, kale, crema, and sauce. Mauricio says customers rave about the quesaburro de cochinita pibil—slow-braised pork with achiote, citrus, spiced with cumin, Mexican cinnamon, and star anise. He says their tostada de tinga de pollo is a big hit, too. “It was the first meal I made for Sasha when we started dating!” Their specialty drinks include the Mezcalita—a staple in Southern Mexico—made with passionfruit, mezcal, and Crimson Amaro from Catskill Provisions. There are also fresh margaritas, micheladas, and Mauricio’s personal favorite, Tía Flor, made with mezcal, orange liqueur, hibiscus, and lime.
“Having always cooked tacos and other Mexican dishes at home, we wanted to bring the foods we love to our neighbors in Stone Ridge,” says Sasha, “Our goal is to create an approachable menu and cook delicious food that everyone can enjoy.” Upstate Taco leans on Hudson Valley-based ingredients and offers several plant-based and gluten-free options.
Route 209 in Ulster County is undergoing a slow—but exciting—revitalization. Upstate Taco is between Stone Ridge and Accord at 4293 Route 209—a few blocks from Cherries Ice Cream. Mauricio sources some ingredients from his native Guerrero in addition to local farms, like Saunderskill in Accord.
Upstate Taco is open Monday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–7 p.m; hours will be extended starting in May.