As my senior year winds down, I'm finding more time in what should be less time. As I manage finishing up my schoolwork, working my job making pizzas, and doing other extraneous things like mowing my lawn and finding a matching bow tie and suspender set for my senior prom, I've also managed to try out some new and interesting restaurants and recipes. Today I have a restaurant, but I'll have a recipe soon!
A few weeks ago I read an interesting positive review of "La Taqueria Feliz" (located at 4410 Main Street in Manayunk, PA, Laban's Review, Their Website) by Philly Inquirer critic Craig Laban. So, when my family sat, wondering where to go on a cool and early Saturday night--I knew we had to try this new spot out.
La Taqueria Feliz is but one restaurant in a booming enterprise invested in by investment partners Brian Sirhal and Tim Spinner. La Taqueria is the newest, most casual addition into the family, where each restaurant incorporates the spanish word for happy into the name (see: "La Calaca Feliz") The decorations, including a sheet metal laser cut with the restaurant's name, are bright and exciting; the layout just works.
The food just works too. The chips came out hot (which is so easy and I always scowl when a restaurant can't pull it off), and the salsas and guacamoles are delicious and varied. The classic salsa is thin and soupy but packs a flavorful punch, and the guacamole is smooth and a little bit plain, but with a lovely citrus-flooded aftertaste.
The drinks, cited by Laban as the easy way La Taqueria draws the young Manayunk crowd that creates the bustling atmosphere, were tasty, but slightly undeserving of any overhype. A good mexican restaurant should serve a decent margarita, as La Taqueria does. The Dead Man Ryes (below, first) was a tickling rye whiskey and cranberry drink and the Feliz Margarita (below, further) was, as it needed to be, a formidable option. The restaurant also offers more adventurous cocktails such as the "Moonshine Margarita" and the "Three Chili Margarita" which proved too scary for any of us to try.
I also sampled the Brisket Al Suadero tacos coated in the famous Salsa de Arbol. The brisket was well cooked and tender, but the salsa may have been a little overwhelming. The heat was just too much to be eaten without a coolant--chef Palazzo would've done well to attach some of his smooth guacamole to the dish.
Finally, I merely witnessed consumption of the Red Snapper Enchipotlado, a well cooked piece of fish with a few sides (labeled as a "Plato Fuerte" or, "Strong plate" on the menu) like a seriously spicy corn salsa and some of La Taqueria's deliciously coated sweet plantains which we also ordered extra of as a side. It might not look awesome, but blame that on my poor iPhone photography, not the restaurant.