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In it to win it – Deep South Taco

Deep South Taco’s second location is now open. Since opening upon the New Year, the restaurant has been serving an average of 600 people a day. I stopped in last evening for a beer, but the place was too busy to find a spot at the bar. I spoke to owner Richard Hamilton who told me that they were on par for serving 720 customers on that day – not too shabby.

What’s interesting is that the North Buffalo location is slightly smaller than the Downtown location, and obviously the patio isn’t open. Hamilton said that as soon as the temp breaks 40 degrees they will test out the patio, which is designed with advanced radiant heating mechanisms.

As we talked (it was around 7pm), he mentioned that there had been approximately a two hour wait since 5pm. Obviously people had been waiting for this place to open. I asked him what he most recognized as being different between the two locations. “There are a lot of families (kids) at this location,” he shared. “The higher ceilings allowed us to play around with the dramatic lighting – there’s a great energy here.”

Before leaving, Hamilton mentioned that he had spent a total of $1.5 million on the project. “That’s a lot of money for a place that sells $4 to $5 tacos,” he told me. “But we wanted to create something that was truly special to Hertel Avenue. I think we’ve done that here. People aren’t going to believe it when we open the patio doors.”

Deep South Taco | 1707 Hertel Avenue | Buffalo, NY 14216 | 716.235.8464 | Locations and times

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

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  • UrbanLove

    This is great news for them and the space looks really exciting.
    I have yet to meet a DS taco that remotely compares to a Lloyd’s, unfortunately.

    • greenca

      DST certainly holds its own and is comparable with Lloyd. (IMO the loaded nachos as DST are much better.) Lloyd benefits from being the first decent taco place in Buffalo. They’re certainly good, but too many people attach god-like devotion to them because it’s trendy and they being the first.

      • OldFirstWard

        My devotion is to high quality, cleanliness, a decent price, and good service. I don’t care if they’ve been here five days or fifty years. Just understand that all businesses have their up and down moments, as they are at the mercy of their help.

      • sydsizer

        Mighty all the way.

      • flancrest

        Neither Lloyd nor DST (both of which I like) are real tacos, they are fusion food, more wraps than tacos. La Divina or Casa Azul have proper tacos that more closely resemble a taco as originally intended.
        Spot on that much of Lloyd’s popularity stems from their novelty as both a food truck and their unusual combinations (ie Big Mac Burritos).

        • Jordan Then

          At this point tacos have become as American as pizza or hamburgers. Fusion will be the rule going forward. The melting pot keeps on rolling.

          • Jeff

            incorrect. mighty=good. lloyd=good. ds=good. lone star=good. all are good for different reasons. the only fusion is the con – fusion in your head. dont be sour

        • Richard Hamilton

          Actually that’s not accurate. We aren’t a fusion of anything. We aren’t street tacos. We are a premium version of what you know to be street tacos. My menu and recipes are based in Mexico city and Oaxaca style. Trained there for a great deal of time to learn them

    • Richard Hamilton

      Good news is that we aren’t anything like lloyds nor are we trying to be. They have their own style as do we. Buffalo is big enough for us both happily.

      • flancrest

        Thanks for investing in our neighborhood! Agree completely, you aren’t Lloyd, you aren’t La Divina, you are something else. And it’s great that there is increasing diversity in our Latin-style food options! Really excited to see this place flourish, we were there last night and enjoyed ourselves. However, it sure was loud, and we were there pretty early (4:30ish). I suspect opening the garage doors will help, but perhaps some sound panels on the ceilings might help with that as well.

        Welcome to the neighborhood!

    • flancrest

      You should try in-person comparisons, it’s very difficult to compare tacos remotely.

  • Bringing back Buffalo

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens to this corner. I know the building across the street has sold, so I can only imagine another restaurant will go in. Too bad BOSS went belly up so fast. It won’t be too long before BRO starts calling this part of town, Restaurant Row.

    • greenca

      The bank will be Dash’s corporate HQ, not a restaurant.

      • Captain Picard

        He may have been referring to the BOSS building on the southeast corner.

        • greenca

          The BOSS building sold? The last I noticed the for sale sign was still up.

    • “Is Hertel Avenue Buffalo’s ‘Restaurant Row?'”

    • eagercolin

      It is too bad that BOSS went out of business, but they really were taking a risk by being the first restaurant in Buffalo to serve steak and seafood.

  • Patricia Bogdan

    Parking will be a constant issue as it is for all of Hertel. I am not afraid to walk a bit but others are and off street parking over there is very tough.

    • greenca

      There is plenty of parking nearby on this part of Hertel. All of Starin, part of Hertel and the side streets have a lot of available space. It’s a much different situation than the Hertel block between Colvin and Parkside.

      • Bringing back Buffalo

        I live just down the street from this location and there’s plenty of parking. That being said though, I bet the people who opposed this project are piiiiiiiiiissed. There’s cars pretty much lining this section of Starin all the time now.

        • Jordan Then

          No cars North of Hertel on Starin yet though. I do find it odd that people will walk a block or two south on Starin rather than cross Hertel and park on the northern blocks of Starin.

  • Ivan Putski Jr

    it looks like it would be loud in there. Mes Que and Hydraulic Hearth are too places that come to mind that need to soften up their ceiling in order to absorb some of the background noise. This looks like it potentially has the same issue going on

    • flancrest

      It’s super loud. All the surfaces are hard, and with the bar smack in the middle of the room, there’s quite a din. Hopefully once the weather warms, opening the bay doors will mitigate that somewhat, but you are spot on that places need to do more to absorb sound.

  • breckenridge

    Looks good, glad this finally came to fruition. I really like the food at the downtown location, though its bar can get quickly overwhelmed if the outside one isn’t open.

  • Yup

    Is there an easy way to order for take out?

  • Sheldon S. Kornpett, D.D.S.

    Here’s what I require: Large steak taco with extra cheese, peppers, onions, shit-ton of hot sauce, and possibly sour cream depending on my mood that day. Do they have that? I didn’t see it on the menu. If they have that, I’ll go there for sure. Bam!