Restaurateur Scott Slater has a new fast-casual, dual-restaurant concept, Spitfire Tacos and Head Lettuce, which debuted Nov. 9 in the Regents Marketplace, 4150 Regents Park Row, Suites #170 and #175.
Slater, creator in 2009 of Slater’s 50/50, a meat patty made of 50% ground bacon and 50% ground beef, describes his latest pioneering business model as being “craveable.”
“Craveable is rich, bold flavors,” said Slater, who comes from a concessions background. “It’s a different approach — meat cooked on a spit, with salads on the healthy side with some really fun ingredients and toppings.”
Slater said his dual restaurants are breaking fresh ground. “This is the first time the two concepts are side-by-side,” he noted. “At Spitfire, all the tacos and gyros will be cooked on the vertical broiler with a glaze as well as pastrami, which nobody else puts on a spit.”
Spitfire Tacos will feature seven vertical spits slowly rotating hand-stacked meats like traditional al pastor along with flavorful and unique options like pastrami and Kalbi pork belly. Expect savory offbeat menu choices the likes of boeuf dip spit-roasted Angus steak, Montreal marinade, horseradish slaw, crispy shoestring potatoes, a flour tortilla and hot French onion au jus dip. Or try Castro’s Last Stand with roasted pork carnitas, shaved ham, creamy mustard sauce and a pickle spear wrapped in a Swiss quesadilla.
“I’ve always loved the idea of unusual tacos and utilizing multiple spits for different meats is something I’ve always wanted to try out,” Slater said.
On the other side, Head Lettuce offers a healthy, fulfilling design-your-own-salad experience. Salads feature house-made toppings like crispy creole chickpeas, chili lime corn nuts, pickled red onion and olive tapenade, plus fresh dressings ranging from wildflower honey vinaigrette to charred jalapeno yogurt ranch.
“I just wanted to do something for this neighborhood, something that’s quick and healthy,” Slater explained. “A lot of the other salad places are ‘too healthy.’ I still wanted to bring the healthy concept, but something that’s a little more craveable and fulfilling, so after you eat a salad, you’ll be full.”
Head Lettuce will also offer salads, bowls and soups all imagined by Slater.
Talking about the advantages of his two-in-one restaurant Slater said, “They both share a kitchen. We’ve created a new business model that takes advantage of having one management team under one roof.”
Slater’s breaking other fresh ground as well with his latest enterprise: Both restaurants will be completely cash-free, instead utilizing order kiosks.
“We will be cash-free accepting only credit or debit cards or payment online via an app,” Slater said. “It’s a much easier way to operate. You order it your way when you walk in, then you go to the shelf and find your name stapled to a bag. We’re trying to make it as easy and quick as possible for busy people to get their food and get out.”
There are order kiosks at the front of each restaurant and a mobile application soon to be debuted.
For more information, visit spitfiretacos.com and theheadlettuce.com, or follow on Instagram at @spitfiretacos and @eatheadlettuce.