Leave your passport at homeEat This!, Latest Issue Thursday, August 17th, 2017
There’s a lot to love about Barrio Logan; the rich history, the vibrant culture, the burgeoning art scene (Art Walk on the second Saturday of each month is not to be missed). And of course the food! You don’t need a passport to experience authentic Baja-style seafood. Just grab a seat at Mariscos el Pulpo.
To walk through their doors is to be transported to a cantina in Cabo; only thing missing is the surf and sand. The casual high-ceilinged space features brightly colored aquatic-themed murals, surfboards, Mexican beer advertisements and a palm frond covered central bar. A festive open breezy palapa.
Patricia, the friendly industrious bartender, recognized me as I found a place at the bar. “Good to see you again”, she said as she presented an oversized trifold menu. Mariscos el Pulpo features a generous selection of fresh seafood dishes prepared with shrimp, langostino and octopus, as well as oysters, mussels and clams. Choices range from ceviche, to tacos, to burritos, to dinner plates with rice and beans and a side of house salad. The full-service bar offers specialty cocktails, several imported and domestic beers and a limited selection of wine. Since it was Tuesday, I knew I would be consuming lots of tacos, but first I needed to slake my thirst and ordered the Reefed Up Cadillac Margarita ($10).
The classic concoction from south of the border, served in a massive salt-rimmed glass goblet garnished with a slice of lime, is made with Don Julio Blanco tequila, fresh lime juice and triple sec with a shot of Grand Marnier floated on top. A little on the sweet side of the palate, but icy cold and refreshing nonetheless.
Their Taco Tuesday Happy Hour is a great opportunity to sample several varieties of the tasty tidbits without spending a lot of dinero. I bypassed the standard fish tacos made with grilled mahi mahi, and the NY steak tacos, and instead chose the shrimp tacos and other house specialties. When it comes to food, just like when faced with any temptation, I always choose something I haven’t tried before.
Well, not always. I fell in love with the Shrimp Tacos ($2.75) from first bite and have remained true ever since. The tender crustaceans, served in a warm homemade corn tortilla, are imbued with a heavenly smoky flavor from the grill, then topped with caramelized Bermuda onions and minced cilantro. I drizzled a fair amount of mild, smooth and slightly sour crema sauce over the savory bite. Yummy!
Next up is the Pulpo Ajillo Taco ($3). Succulent bites of octopus are sautéed in garlic and guajillo chile butter which infuses the mollusk with a mild heat. So much buttery deliciousness stuffed into one small tortilla. Finally, I ordered a taco which wasn’t on the happy hour menu, but one which Patricia fervently urged me to try. The Shrimp Culichi Taco ($3.75) is filled with shrimp sautéed with roasted pasilla chile, slightly pungent Monterey Jack cheese, and a zesty cilantro cream sauce. An amazing salty and savory taco – rich flavors with a lot of depth.
So the next time you’re in the mood for authentic Baja-style seafood, leave your passport at home, hop on the blue line trolley and step off at the Barrio Logan station. Mariscos el Pulpo, open seven days a week with happy hour from 3- 6 M-F, is one block away. Just look for the neighborhood gateway arch. Eat this, hungry readers. You’ll be glad you did. Mariscos el Pulpo
1900 Main Street, Ste. 101
Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri.-Sun. 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
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