The Gluten Free Babe
Badlands Tacos: A Hidden Gem in Ramsey, NJ
Spoiler alert: there's not one bad thing to eat here.
If you haven't guessed it by now, I am obsessed with tacos and Mexican food. My love for this specific cuisine stems from the fact that the majority of Mexican cooking is corn based, not wheat based such as Italian food. But enough about my weird food choices.
When I was working at Wurth USA in Ramsey, the guy who sat next to me, who quickly became a life long confidant and travel buddy, and I would go to lunch quite often. We both love food and specifically, we both love the same kind of food. Our lunches were always pretty standard, covering all aspects of what was happening in life, work and side hustles (click here to check out Thomas's dope photography, literally recognized by Savage x Fenty) and of course, the food we were eating. Even after I made the difficult decision to leave Wurth USA to pursue a different career path, Thomas and I still continued to have lunch biweekly up until about two weeks ago, due to relocation of clients. None the less, our food adventures will continue.
A staple for us always: Badlands Tacos.
Badlands is a tiny little counter service restaurant, connected to a burger place right on Main Street in Ramsey, NJ. Nestled between a Dominos, a sushi restaurant and an ice cream shop, on first glance it may be hard to miss. Heads up friends who hate parallel parking (I'm looking at you Dave), there is a lot right next to the strip it's in (next to the lot is a Carvels, CARS, and BBQ place) and you can park there and walk over.
Inside, Badlands is simple but colorful boasting simplistic southern decor, with menus on the counter and wall. If you go on Tuesday, prepare to wait. The offer a Taco Tuesday deal, where they have $2 mini tacos (not that mini at all, and I can confirm I have housed four of these at once). This a crowd favorite, and you can observe all the taco lovers: from men in high end suits to kiddos walking down from school, Taco Tuesday is genuis.
The staff at Badlands is always friendly, and I can proudly say not once has my order been wrong (and lemme tell you I order like a butt considering my modifications).
My order? Simple(ish). "Chicken in The Garden" tacos with no tomatoes or dressing with an extra side of salsa on corn tortillas (pictured above). Along with that, they offer a variety of El Yucateco hot sauce to bring to the table- my choices are always Black Label Reserve (buy on Amazon here*) and Chipotle (buy on amazon here*). Let's break it down: it's a cold taco, which weirdly enough I'm into. The lettuce is always crisp and cold and the chicken has that great grill taste. But that tortilla..... if I could buy a 20 pack of these I would, and I can assure you they wouldn't make it home. These aren't those weird, tiny, grainy corn tortillas you a buy in a store and that some restaurants use (I'm looking at you, Chili's). These are what I'm assuming are homemade corn tortillas, that are not only delicious, but THEY DON'T GET SOGGY AND WEIRD AND BREAK! YOU HEARD ME, THEY DON'T BREAK! They also don't have the consistency of those weird corn tortillas which I appreciate. By far, top two tacos I've ever put in my body.
With all their tacos, come chips and salsa. This salsa is like a little party in your mouth. It's not to tomato-y or onion-y or jalapeno-y. It's this perfect almost smooth blend of tastes that's definitely not chunky, that I like to smother my tacos in. If you in a hungry mood, I suggest the guacamole. Every time we got the guac, it comes with an insane amount of crunchy, salty chips, and is more than big enough for a table of 4. If you're craving it to go, Badlands offers different sizes of chips, salsas and guac for the road.
The overall review: Badlands is a can't miss spot when in Bergen County. From their friendly staff to delicious authentic food, you can't go wrong with any meal at Badlands.
ALLERGY NOTE: I have never gotten sick at badlands. I let them know I have a gluten allergy when I order. While I cannot confirm a separate fryer or prep station, as someone who get very ill from cross contamination, this did not happen to me in the probably 50+ times I'e been to badlands.
* = These links are affiliate links. You will not be charged more for the product linked, but I'll receive commission for sending you their way! More commission = more tacos.