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Phantom Gourmet: Yellow Door Taqueria In Dorchester

DORCHESTER - For Colton Coburn-Wood, the only thing better than eating tacos, is making them. Having spent most some of his youth living in Ojai, California, Colton got a taste for tacos when he was a teen. He turned his love for Mexican street food into his job and started making tacos for the masses at The Yellow Door.

Located on the corner of Dorchester and Washington Streets in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester, Yellow Door Taqueria is a fun and festive spot that is more like a party than a restaurant, according to the Yellow Door's Shannon Emerson.

"We wanted the vibe to be like if you were actually getting a taco in old school Mexico. When you walk in, it's a very industrial feel. We've got neon lights. We've got a really, really long bar. We try to make this a party seven days a week!"

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While the menu may be small, it is laser focused, so you won't go wrong no matter what you order.

"Who doesn't love a taco?" Shannon asked. "Some of them are $4, some are them are $5, and you can order a bunch."

"I think every taco that goes out of the kitchen is executed and presented with a lot of love," Colton added.

The key to his taco success starts with the shell.

"A good taco starts with a good tortilla. That's your base. That's kind of like your plate. It's got to be just as high quality as all the other ingredients that you're putting on it. Every day, we make 400 tortillas in the morning, by hand. We don't use a machine. Someone's in here for four hours doing that."

Yellow Door Taqueria, Phantom Gourmet
Chicken Tinga Taco at Yellow Door Taqueria (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

From there, it is on to stuffing each one with slow cooked meats, flavorful sauces, and unexpected add ons, like the Spicy Chorizo and Fried Potato Taco topped with a fried quail egg, or the Chicken Tinga Taco spiked with an avocado frito.

"It's probably our most approachable taco," Colton said. "The thing that kind of sets it apart is that fried avocado on there. It's all crispy on the outside. It has that nice, soft, rich avocado flavor and texture on the inside."

If you are looking for some flavor directly from Colton's west coast stay, go for the Colorado taco, filled with stewed pork and queso fresco; or you could try the Azteca which features slow cooked tequila habanero braised beef, picked red onion, and crispy tortilla strings.

Yellow Door Taqueria, Phantom Gourmet
Azteca Taco at Yellow Door Taqueria (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

"When you bite into it, the first thing you're going to get is that rich beef flavor. And then I think right after that, the heat will kind of start to set in," Colton explained. "The pickled onions give it some tartness, which sort of mellows out your palate. Then I put a crispy thing on there and some nice fried tortilla strips, and then the cilantro, obviously, to give it a nice, fresh flavor."

There are Carnitas Confit in pork fat, Pork Belly Tacos topped with a sweet prickly pear reduction, and a Fish Taco which changes daily, but is always enrobed in a puffy Tecate Beer Batter.

"People love fish tacos because a lot of the fish that we use is local," Shannon said. "Our fish is beer battered with Tecate, which is a Mexican beer. It also comes with grilled pineapple, and it really goes well with the cilantro. Everything mixes together perfectly."

Yellow Door Taqueria, Phantom Gourmet
Fish Taco at Yellow Door Taqueria (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Outside of tacos, the Yellow Door menu offers a flavorful Mexicali Salad, three types of Ceviche, and hot tortilla chips served with salsa and guacamole that is magic in your mouth.

"This guacamole is the best guacamole you'll ever have," Shannon assured. "I don't know what Colton does to it, to be honest with you. He does some sort of magic in the kitchen."

One bite into any of the food coming out of the kitchen, and you will want to buy the chefs a drink, which is good because at Yellow Door, that is actually offered on the menu.

"When we really satisfy the customers, there's an option for them to satisfy us as well," Colton said. "There's a part of the menu there at the bottom that says, 'Buy the kitchen a six pack.' If you love your food, we strongly encourage you to buy us some beers at the end of the night."

After you have tackled your tacos, you will want to toast the kitchen staff for cooking up another amazing meal at The Yellow Door Taqueria. You can find it at 2297 Dorchester Avenue in Boston, and online at

Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.

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