Friday, November 9, 2012

Los Gallos

Enchiladas and groceries. No, seriously. At this tiny corner market at 10th & Wolf you can shop for produce, canned tomatoes and prepaid phone cards while you wait for your chicken tacos and salted beef tortas to be prepared. It's kind of a crazy setup, but the food here is authentic and addictively good.  

Just cooked chips, hot from the fryer and free bowls of salsa verde keep you busy if you're not browsing the shelves. Bright green guacamole with chunks of whole avocado is some of the best I've had in Philly. And those homemade chips can stand up to the thick guac. No party foul chip breakage here, although you might be tempted for the double dip.

salsa verde and house made chips

chicken tacos a la plancha
I swear, there actually is chicken under the pile of grilled cactus. Bonus - they serve all their a la plancha tacos with slices of avocado, grilled jalapenos & charred green onions at no extra charge. This is a hell of a deal for $10.  The chicken is grilled nicely, and mixed with the pile of veggies on top creates a substantially filling meal that will leave little room for anything else. You'll probably be wrapping this up for lunch tomorrow. 

steak enchiladas
Steak enchiladas with green chile sauce reminded me of the local Mexican places in Denver. The suace tasting like it  had been slowly simmered for hours with just enough heat to keep it interesting but not overpower.  Lovely refried beans on the side with an almost silky texture. The steak inside was fork tender and melt in your mouth good. 

el ranchero tacos
Grilled bits of chicken topped with lettuce, avocado, Mexican sour cream, pico de gallo salsa and crumbled fresh cheese define the el ranchero tacos. Something about that thin, tangy Mexican sour cream just brings these simple tacos up to another level. The scattered crumbles of queso fresco don't hurt either. A squeeze of fresh lime and suddenly you could be in a Corona commercial somewhere overlooking the Pacific. 

tacos al pastor
Not quite as good as Los Taquitos de Puebla, but definitely a contender for their tacos Al Pastor. That spicy seasoned pork carved from the roasting spit, topped with cilantro, onions and chunks of fresh pineapple. It creates such a fantastic mix of spicy, sweet and savory in each bite. If I had to eat one meal for the rest of my life, it might very well be Al Pastor tacos. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.  

Need some canola oil or a can of spaghetti sauce? You can literally reach behind you from the tables in the middle and grab items from the shelves. Apparently they started as more of a market that happened to have a takeout menu. The food was so good that they added a couple small tables. Now they've removed a whole row of shelves from the middle of the store to accommodate more seating. This is a sign of a restaurant that is doing things the right way, and one that is starting to develop a cult like status for their tacos. 

Tacos, tacos, tacos! I can't even remember what these ones were, but the picture came out so pretty. The bright pink radishes, green limes, grilled scallion laying lazily over the jalapeno.  The backdrop a beautiful canvas of tortillas, cilantro, grilled meat and diced onions. This is what Mexican should look like, taste like, smell like. It's bright flavors, simple ingredients, fill you up kind of food. And it should never be expensive. Los Gallos hits it on all notes. Salude!  

Food Baby rating: Twins!

Los Gallos market/restaurant
951 Wolf Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
Open daily 9-11
Cash only | BYO

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