Navajo Frybread Tacos
At Garage on Passyunk
March 17th 2014
After the success of last year's frybread pop-up at 12 Steps Down, the proprietors of Shiprock and famous Philadelphian & food illustrator Hawk Krall (see hoagie drawing at right) brought it all back to Garage for a second run.
Shiprock is made up of two masterminds (seen below): Marcos Espinoza and Lucio Palazzo. Marcos is a blogger over at Fidel Gastro and Lucio is the chef at Taqueria Feliz in Manayunk (formerly of La Calaca Feliz on Fairmount). And that's pretty much all I know.
Well, that and that Hawk is pretty much the coolest illustrator I know.
Garage has a little cart inside that can be used by food industry folks, by request, to sell their munchables to nearby drunks, like myself. This is the first time I'd seen it in use.
This night they were offering a twist on the traditional fry bread taco by throwing some chili dog action in the mix. No doubt this was influenced by Mr. Krall. The other recommendation came from all three of the purveyors and it was to try the goat birra. This was a no brainer, so I put the order in.
Hot and fresh from the fryer. (the bread is all Marcos)
The tacos are made with love, each one assembled carefully at the hand of Lucio.
The goat meat looked mouthwateringly delicious and I couldn't wait to dig in.
They hooked me up with a little extra jus, so there was no way to pick this one up with my hands. This slopfest called for a knife and fork. The goat meat was tender and juicy, with a mild spice and more of a beefy flavor. It didn't really taste like goat or lamb. It could have been some beef short rib for all I knew. Whatever it was, it was the most delicious component I had that evening.
There was a lot going on with the toppings, a bit too much at once and it was hard to discern one ingredient from another. The fry bread got soggy from all that delicious jus, which was fine with me. It just didn't have much flavor of its own.
Next up was the hot dog. This was more easily handled as a taco, I could pick it up without fear of it falling apart.
Here again, lots of ingredients, but little in the flavor department. A pretty big meh on the hot dog all around.
All in all, I love the idea of the Navajo fry bread taco, but I also love the idea of a more flavorful vessel. Think funnel cake without the sweet and with little salt to steer it the other direction. Here's to hoping the next Shiprock pop-up packs a flavor punch to match their colorful and attention-grabbing illustrations.