Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Los Gallos

951 Wolf Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 551-1245

I have heard the buzz about Los Gallos, but I hadn't happened upon an opportunity to stray too far from my local Mexican fix, Los Jalapeno's. Last weekend, I decided "enough is enough," and I made time for some lunchtime Mexican food, outside of the comfort of my own neighborhood. Good choice, if I do say so myself.

Although it isn't much to look at (I would be wary if it was), there is a small clean Mexican grocery store, and towards the rear, a counter at which to order. The owner is very friendly, and passionate about his food. It is kind of expensive for a Mexican spot in South Philly, but the price is worth the freshness and quality of ingredients. The chips and pico were above and beyond what I had expected. The salsa is light, fresh, loaded with citrus, and packed with avocado chunks. I was certainly glad I opted for this over the guacamole, as it was the best of both worlds. At $6, it was a bit pricey, but well worth it for the freshness of the dip.

I had to order a torta because I love a good sandwich (and they don't have burritos), and the Cubano was calling my name. For some reason, the red and green salsa's are served with the tortas but not the tacos. Either way, the salsas were spectacular. The green salsa reminded me of the avocado based sauce that every taco stand on the Baja serves with their fare. Delicious. The red was more of the smokey, spicy sauce that you would expect from a Mexican place.

The Cubano comes wrapped in wax paper, which is awfully helpful when trying to keep this beast of a sandwich together.

It was kind of expensive at $9. However for your money, it came packed with breaded fried beef, shredded pork, ham, refried beans, avocado, onions, creamy Mexican queso, jalapenos, lettuce, tomato and mayo. This sandwich is huge, even by my standards.

The bread on it is delicious. Light, crusty and exactly what is called for when assembling a torta of this caliber. It was perfectly put together, and all of the ingredients married in perfect harmony. Definitely the best torta I have had in Philadelphia. Which leads me to the al pastor tacos. At $6.50 (with queso) they were a great deal. Stuffed to the max, they contained perfectly smokey spicy pork, large chunks of fresh pineapple, chopped onion and cilantro. Garnished with radish, grilled jalapeno and lime wedges, these were some serious tacos. The tortillas were fresh, grilled and perfect, while the ingredients came together better than any other pastor tacos I have tasted South of Washington. Seriously. This place has it going on. For the time being (burritos aside), this is my favorite Mexican place in Philly. A tall order, to be sure, but one that Los Gallos fills quite nicely.

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