North Beach Tortilla Co. focuses on fresh views, fresh food
By Phil Heppding
Opening a restaurant is notoriously one of the toughest things a
businessperson can undertake. Doing it in one of the nation’s
most popular tourist spots, in the middle of the summer season,
adds a whole new layer of challenges to the process.
If you’ve spent any time in South Walton or crossed the 331
bridge, you have probably seen the beach destination’s newest
culinary establishment: North Beach Tortilla Co. This new eatery
resides on the south side of the Choctawhatchee Bay, across 331
from sister restaurant, The Bay.
We caught up with Dan Tinghitella, director of operations for Chef
Jim Shirley Enterprises, to get an update on their latest venture,
affectionately known as NBTC.
“With a spot like this, we wanted to keep the bay as the focal
point. Whether you are sitting outside at the bar or inside behind
the floor-to-ceiling windows, you can really feel the bay is the
focus of the restaurant,” said Tinghitella.
NBTC offers house-made blue corn tortillas for the wide variety of
offerings on the menu.
“We decided to offer tacos how we would like them. So guests
can order something that maybe has pickled vegetables or micro
greens. Or if you just want a simple taco – the way you like them
– pick your protein and you are all set.”
As a Gulf Coast restaurant, it’s no surprise the grouper tacos
have quickly become a fan favorite.
“Having great access to fresh Gulf seafood, our guests really love
that and enjoy knowing it is fresh and right from the Gulf in our
backyard,” Tinghitella explained.
North Beach Tortilla Co. is not just a cool taco bar with an
awesome backdrop, though. Guests can enjoy the sunset while
sipping a margarita made from one of over 100 tequilas stocked
at the bar. NBTC hosts happy hour drink specials from 4 to 6
p.m. each day. The early crowd-pleaser is the North Beach
Margarita that features Corazón Blanco, agave, Grand Marnier
and fresh lime.
Tinghitella added, “All of our juices are juiced on-site each day
and we don’t use any mixes in our margaritas.”
And finally, after you have finished off your tacos, be sure to
check out the dessert menu. NBTC offers up a cinnamon sugar or
chili spice churro with Mexican chocolate and hazelnut mousse.
While everybody loves churros, we would also suggest the
coconut cream tostado make its way on to your must-try list. The
combo of homemade coconut pudding, fresh whipped cream,
fresh berries, and toasted coconut flakes is a fantastic choice to
finish off the evening.
As fall approaches and NBTC settles in, it’s safe to say that for
both locals and tourists alike, we’ve found our “cool new taco bar
with an unbelievable view.”
North Beach Tortilla Co. is located at 24200 U.S. Highway 331 on
the south end of the Clyde B. Wells Bridge. NBTC is open daily
from 4 to 10 p.m. and entertains guests with live music on
Tuesday and Saturday. Happy hour runs from 4 to 6 p.m. each
day. The latest menu can be found at
www.NorthBeachTortillaCo.com and for additional information,