You really must stop by Terrapin Tacos and have some of Dan Ferron’s good food. Dan, in his first season on Block Island, sat and talked with us while we sampled the Baja Shrimp and the Blackened Mahi Mahi tacos along with the Terrapin Nachos. His company as well as his food were a real treat.
The menu for Terrapin Tacos, which by the way is named after the song “Terrapin Station” by the Grateful Dead, is based on the concept of “healthy, fresh and clean…and a little edgy.” There’s no beef or pork, but plenty of seafood, chicken and vegetables with the tastes of lime punched up with a little heat from jalapenos — a little cumin — a little cilantro, and more. The flavors are all balanced, fragrant and satisfying. Orders are artfully arranged.
“You eat with your eyes first,” Dan says.
Kari and I loved the taco chips. Dan makes them to order. They’re thin and very crispy, and so good in the nachos. He makes his own beer batter for the shrimp, too.
The combinations are endless at Terrapin, so you can request a meal that suits your preferences. Dan says he wants everyone know that “we’re here to cater to your dietary needs — more or less spice, vegan, gluten-free — anything.”
The inspiration for Dan’s food comes from his years on the west coast, from San Diego to Maui. He was a singer for the band, Vegitation, but in his free time he cooked in various restaurants. Finally, he decided it was time to move to the East Coast and closer to his family. Owner John Cusick, found Dan at that point and Dan traded in his idea of a taco truck in the Berkshires for Block Island.
“I’m a nerd for history,” said Dan, “I took one look at Block Island and loved it.”
Probably the best endorsement was a comment a customer made as he was leaving, “I’ll be back!”
Terrapin Tacos is BYOB and open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
— Becky Ballard
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