Fresh is the word that immediately comes to mind when you bite into a Baja fish taco at Maria’s Kitchen on Shelter Island.
Served on a flour tortilla with fried or grilled fish, the tacos are topped with chipotle mayo, cabbage, a hint of lime, pico de gallo and two slices of avocado.
The freshness of the flavors stand out because you can taste each one separately. You taste the pico de gallo, you taste the avocado, the lime juice. The tomatoes and red cabbage are crisp and crunchy, the fried tilapia is light, tender and flaky.
Owner Maria Schultheis said fish tacos are the number one selling item on her menu. Larger then a typical taco, just one fish taco is quite filling and costs $7.99. Schultheis recommends two if you’re really hungry.
“Nothing here is pre-made, everything is fresh,” she stressed.
Located at 55 North Ferry Road on Shelter Island, Schultheis has been running Maria’s Kitchen for the past three and a half years. The cheerful little deli includes a small lunch counter, as well as several small tables with chairs. A large chalkboard menu welcomes you when you walk in the door. Everything from tacos to enchiladas to salads and smoothies are available.
Now as the weather cools down, Maria is turning her attention to homemade soups.
“Today we have turkey chili, which is very popular,” she said. “I also do a quinoa vegetable and a lentil soup. I try to do a lot of healthy stuff. And a lot of kale, most of my soups include a lot of kale and people love it.”
Maria’s fresh made juices and smoothies are also a big part of her menu. With Halloween on Saturday, her “Vampire Juice” made with fresh beets, carrots, apples and celery is a popular seller this week. Next spring she is thinking of building an outdoor juice bar, that will include tastings to get people more familiar with her juices and smoothies. “It’s not going to be beer, it’s going to be a juice,” she said with a nod towards Shelter Island Brewery, which is next door.
Maria’s Kitchen is located at 55 North Ferry Road on Shelter Island, call (631) 749-5450 for daily specials.