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City Talk: Bull Street Taco brings fresh, simple menu to Thomas Square area

Bull Street Taco has been a big hit since opening earlier this month on a formerly quiet block between 32nd and 33rd streets.

And it’s no wonder that the new restaurant has proved so popular with little promotion beyond word of mouth.

With casual, comfortable seating in the well-designed dining room and outdoor patio, Bull Street Taco offers a flavorful, unique, reasonably priced menu of tacos, salads, appetizers and various other tempting items.

Bull Street Taco also serves beer, wine and various tequila drinks, including margaritas and specialty cocktails.

I live in the immediate neighborhood and have already tried most, if not quite all, of the tacos, which are served on house-made tortillas.

So far, my favorites include the chicken taco ($3), the roasted cauliflower taco ($3.50), the white bean hummus taco ($4) and the tuna poke tostada ($4.50). If you’re looking for a relatively light meal, two tacos might suffice, but I imagine that many readers will opt for the meal with three tacos and a side ($15).

But I don’t feel like I’m doing justice to the tacos by merely listing the main ingredients. The roasted cauliflower taco, for example, is served on a beet tortilla and flavored with poblano, salsa and basil crema. The tuna poke tostada includes onion, cabbage, lime zest, jalapeno and sesame ginger dressing.

One afternoon, I sat at the small bar and enjoyed the rich chorizo rice bowl ($11), which includes hearty ingredients like beans and a fried egg in addition to the sausage and jasmine rice.

As much as I’ve enjoyed the food so far, I suspect the menu will get even better as Bull Street Taco settles in for the long haul.

Located at 1608 Bull St., Bull Street Taco is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. As a neighborhood resident long accustomed to quiet streets in the evening, I’m thrilled to see more activity along the corridor after dark.

On-street parking will be easy to find at some times, but could be tricky to find at other times. During the day when SCAD is in session, the blocks immediately adjacent to the restaurant will have few spaces, but parking will be relatively plentiful in the evening, especially when the college is not in session. There is also a new bike rack next to the restaurant.

Bull Street Taco shares a lovely old brick building with two other newish businesses – Bell Barber Company and Finesse Family Hair Care. They join an increasingly eclectic mix of businesses, churches and organizations on Bull Street south of Forsyth Park.

Natural Selections Café and Henny Penny Art Space &Café opened earlier this year in the block of Bull Street between 31st and 32nd streets, and we will likely see even more restaurants in the Thomas Square neighborhood in the future.

Employment stays strong in August for Savannah

According to estimates recently released by the Georgia Department of Labor, the Savannah metro area (Chatham, Effingham and Bryan counties) had 181,500 payroll jobs in August, an increase of 2.8 percent from August 2016.

As I have noted in previous columns, the rate that we are adding jobs is markedly faster than the rate of population growth. We obviously can’t sustain that pace of job growth indefinitely, but the durability of the current streak bodes well for the near-term future of the Savannah area economy.

Not surprisingly, the leisure and hospitality sector has been adding payroll jobs faster than other sectors, but there were strong employment gains over the past year in construction, information, wholesale trade, government, and education and health services.

The August estimates for the Atlanta, Augusta and Gainesville metro areas show similarly strong growth, but some other metro areas in Georgia posted comparatively weak numbers.

How much will damage, displacement and power outages from Hurricane Irma harm the local, state and regional economy?

We had dramatically less tree damage than during Hurricane Matthew, but some homes experienced horrible flooding from Irma’s surge. During both storms, many Georgians lost about a week of wages.

Beyond the obvious impacts like those, there will be many other impacts. For example, SCAD is making up the week by having Friday classes, which means the college’s fall quarter will be nine weeks instead of 10. Since many students do not live in Savannah year-round, they’ll likely inject less money into the local economy this fall than in average years.

We won’t have a good handle on all the impacts for many months.

City Talk appears every Tuesday and Sunday. Bill Dawers can be reached via billdawers@comcast.net. Send mail to 10 E. 32nd St., Savannah, Ga. 31401.

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