Saturday, February 19, 2011

Guest fish taco blogger does Philly

Love fish tacos? Heading to Philly? Here's a review from guest blogger John Lyon!

I made the five-hour drive from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia in order to see the Phillies take on the Mets. Wanting to expand the fish taco blog outside of the Lou, I had to try El Vez, Philly’s most famous Mexican restaurant. 

El Vez is located in the heart of Washington Square West. The colorful exterior is nothing compared to the d├ęcor that awaits you inside – think Tijuana meets Vegas glitz. The restaurant is filled with Day of the Dead chachkis, with a random assortment of goodies thrown in, such as Charo’s face painted on the bar stools and a low-rider bike dedicated to the boxer Oscar de la Hoya hoisted above the bar.

We started off with the Indian Red Lopez guacamole and without a doubt, it was the best I’ve ever had. It’s a mixture of fresh avocados, spicy crab, cilantro and salsa roja. Then it was time for the fish tacos; a tough choice between crispy mahi-mahi and sea bass. I went with the sea bass because it was prepared with a sweet potato puree, grilled scallions and fried jalapeno. I was curious, having never had a fish and sweet potato combination. The sweet potato and Baja sauce gave the taco a sweet and sour (yin/yang) taste. The tortilla is on bottom, so it is not eaten like a traditional taco. The taco size is rather small but stacked high and I found it very filling (especially after chowing down on the guacamole). The only downside was a lack of sides to go with the meal (not that I had much room to spare). I was glad to be able to walk off the meal and see the sights of the City of Brotherly Love.

And, oh yeah, the Mets beat the Phillies 4-3.

121 S. 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 928-9800

4 out of 5 fishies.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cha Cha Chow!!

So when my friend Mike told me there's a taco truck in town and that it's actually good, I admit I was a bit dubious. But I immediately added Cha Cha Chow (@whereschacha) to my twitter feed and waited for a good day to check them out. Recently that day finally came. The bright yellow truck is a ray of sunshine on any street corner and cheerily calls you out to sample its goods. This is "street dining" in keeping with the times - everything is freshly made-from-scratch using natural ingredients. You can peek into the window and see them cooking stuff up in that tiny little kitchen. The menu is made up of a number of different tacos (including a fishy one!), as well as some sandwiches and salads. Tacos are reasonably priced at $3 each a la carte, or you can buy them as a platter that includes a side of beans or fiesta corn salad. The fish taco on the menu that day was a grilled tilapia, served on a nicely charred flour tortilla, topped with a crunchy red cabbage cilantro lime slaw and a creamy house cha cha sauce. Everything was simply wonderful and spiced just right (though definitely not on the hot side for those who require that). And the taco was a little drippy and messy to eat - just the way I like them. I also tried their summer preview special - the Baja Chicken Taco with fresh basil and a roasted tomato salsa. It was so good that I asked for another one, this time with fish. They were very accommodating and made me my special ordered taco whereupon I immediately went into a happy food coma. So don't be a luddite - go to twitter (or facebook) and see when the truck is parked near you next.

a moving target

4.5 out of 5 fishies.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

taco truck delight
so fishy and delishy
with a squirt of lime