I’m craving salsa like you wouldn’t believe. Maybe even the kind that involves black stilettos, a flirty skirt and a sultry Latin lover.
Well, trash your Tums collection, chicos and chicas, because these Mexican restaurants won’t leave you dateless with bulging eyes and feeling bloated inside.
This first recommendation was delivered with emphatic gesturing and the phrase “seriously, it’s awesome” about 12 times by a friend and editor.
I took his hint and I ran with it – all the way to El Fuego. My source was right on target with this place. I was afraid that the chicken burrito I ordered would be too spicy, but instead it was smoky with a succulent, slow-cooked flavor.
If you have never eaten a real burrito, step inside El Fuego and just sniff. Don’t trigger a nosebleed; just let aromas of onions, chipotle, beans, homemade guacamole and smoky beef sneak up your nostrils. Cheap choices and a whole spread of burrito toppers kept me and my date satisfied.
The next stop for Mexican food is a few blocks over in Center City. Santa Fe Burrito has a menu catering to most picky eaters – even whiny kids and low-carb addicts. My roommate and I ordered the classic taco salad, topped with some of the silkiest guacamole I have ever tasted.
The best part of the salad was the salsa fresca, with just enough cilantro to mask the sometimes overpowering onion. And of course I asked for extra cheese. You know me. Santa Fe Burrito definitely has my vote. I only wonder how many people order the faux beef burrito made with wheat gluten soy product. Tempting, yes I know.
I’ll have you prancing up and down the aisles of the Reading Terminal Market if it’s the last thing I do.
I never cease to be surprised during each visit I make. Read past issues for additional praise. In the market, the 12th Street Cantina stands out as a tiny, yet powerful corner shop with salty blue corn chips.
If you are kind, they might offer you a sample. I usually just buy them by the big, big bag. The grocery store also serves meals – traditional Mexican options good enough to keep a line packed during lunch hours.
So, if you find yourself shamefully hankering for some mysterious Taco Bell paste, substitute one of these bona fide Mexican restaurants for a cheap and filling fix.
Brianna Barry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.