Friday, February 09, 2007

My street food urges

As evidenced in previous post, I haven't had a truly good taco in a long, long time. I tried to fulfill my cravings a few nights ago at the most popular Mexican restaurant in Greensboro. It's called Mexico Restaurant. They've been around for 20+ years, and after dinner there the other night, I'm beginning to think they cater to the P.F. Chang's crowd. You know, ethnic food catered to suburban white America. No offense, suburban white Americans.

The tacos I ordered from Mexico (the restaurant) were individually wrapped in parchment paper like a to-go burrito. Each one was drowning in pre-shredded white cheese (mozzarella?), with lettuce as the lonely veg. Being on a dairy-free regiment at the moment, I scraped off the cheese, which left a tiny pile of dry meat and limp lettuce sitting sadly on a huge flour tortilla. If you drew a cartoon of the taco, the meat would have arms in the air as if being pulled into quicksand, and a bubble yelling "Help!". I'd draw the cartoon if I weren't so bad at drawing.

I tried to salvage it with salsa from the pre-meal tortillas. The addition of tomatoes made it palatable, but overall a depressing taco experience.

Besides the cheese drownage and lack of fresh veg (tomatoes, cilantro, onions and lime come to mind), I have a personal preference for corn tortillas. They are generally smaller (i.e. fit nicely in your hands), thicker, and much tastier in my humble opinion. I mean, a flour tortilla is literally flour and water rolled out into a tasteless disk. I like 'em for bigger stuff (enchiladas, etc), but I want my tacos with corn tortillas, please.

When I think tacos in the States, my mind wanders to El Siete Mares in Silverlake, LA. It's an orange stand (like a mini-drive-thru) with bad parking and a slanted covered patio, right on Sunset Blvd.

The Seven Seas

The picks

The food is fresh, the ceviche is satiating, and there's a nice counter on the side with a selection of various homemade salsas and extra veg for your eating pleasures. They serve their tacos with a dab of delicious aioli-like white sauce. Nothing beats a horchata and fish taco for late-night eats.

...except maybe a ghetto dog on Hollywood Blvd when you're drunk at 2AM and achin' for bacon...

I miss you, Los Angeles.

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