Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Loco Pez

2401 East Norris St
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(267) 886-8061

Loco Pez is a new member of the Fishtown bar community, and it is a welcome addition to the area. Before their existence, if you wanted tacos, you had to hit Que Chuela or Riendo in Olde Kensington. Well, Loco Pez is an "LA style" street-taco place, and they offer a small but strong selection of food that I have been missing since leaving Los Angeles.

One of my favorite parts about the whole concept is the fact that they stayed true to their roots in the interior design. It's like a Fishtown dive bar inside, except clean.

After perusing the menu, I started with some margaritas, before transitioning into my taco drink of choice, Modelo Especial. Below is the Monte Carlo - chipotle infused tequila, hibiscus water, sugar and lime. It was spicy, smokey, and slightly sweet. Absolutely delicious, but I would not be able to handle more than one.

This one was the Coupe De Ville, a customer favorite, or so said our attractive and attentive server. A mix of tequila, blood orange puree and lime juice, with a salty sugar rim. This is one that could get you into trouble.

I couldn't decide which tacos to order, so we ordered all of them. Spare me the shock, it was only nine street-style tacos. Now, as this is not all we ordered, I am going to give you a run down, and you can figure out the rest. Below (clockwise from top left) is the al pastor, shredded chicken, carnitas, and carne asada. Winner of the bunch was the al pastor, but they were all delicious. They may look tiny (because they are) but they range from $1.75-2.50 a piece, so you aren't exactly breaking the bank (unless you eat like me).

Carnitas below.

Carne Asada below.

Chicken below.

Al Pastor below.

They serve three homemade hot sauces. One is a smoky chipotle, one is a spicy green tomatillo, and one is a sweet hot habanero. Watch out for the green, it's sneaky hot. And delicious.

After the first round of four, the next five came out. Here we are looking at (from front, clockwise) the mushroom, soy chorizo, chorizo and potato, pez and shrimp. Surprisingly, my favorites were the fried mariscos (seafoods, for those of you not keen to Spanglish) and the soy chorizo. The soyrizo had an awesome flavor, and was dripping with delicious spicy (veggie?) grease; the meat inside of the seafood tacos both had a crunchy batter on the outside with a perfectly cooked interior of fish (pez) or shrimp (camarones).

Camarones, soyrizo and mushroom below.

Mushroom below.

Chorizo & potato below.

Camarones below.

Pez and camarones below.

Well, this wasn't quite enough to fill me up (I really just wanted to try a couple more items), so I decided to go for the street dog. I used to eat street dogs all the time on my walks home from nights out in Hollywood, so it was a nice trip down memory lane. I once even gave a street vendor a twenty for their last dog, much to the dismay of the drunk guy beside me who was digging through his pockets looking for $3 to buy it. Anyway, the street dog at Loco Pez is wrapped in bacon, smothered in cheese, pico and topped with jalapeno slices. It was gloriously messy, had a nice kick from the jalapenos, and a fresh pop from the pico. It was satisfying in the way only pork on pork can be.

Not to be outdone, I also went for a gabacho taco, which was basically their take on a taco supreme. Hard shell, ground beef, shredded lettuce, sour cream and cheese. It was another delicious taco, and the crunch and familiarity were a nice addition to the authentic street-style tacos. At $2 a pop, they weren't breaking the bank either.

Last but certainly not least, I had to get a taste of one of the special tacos for the night. The lengua (beef tongue) was one of my favorites. It had a rich beefy flavor, yet was silkenly tender. Although you may be put-off by tongue (I love it when it's cooked right), it's worth it to try something new. You never know, you may just find a new favorite.

Loco Pez is a pretty great place to hang out, drink some cervezas and eat some street meat. It's got a certain charm to it that could only come from a local bar, and some food that could only come from someone that cares.


No comments: