West Palm Eats: Cholo Soy Cocina
Liz Lemon basically does whatever Oprah tells her to do and I pretty much do whatever Liz Lemon tells me to do.
Which sounds like a bad idea but dudes, she's a female show-runner, she lives on the Upper West Side close to Levain Bakery and she ends up marrying this guy:
Living the dream, guys.
Anyway! My girl Double L's world view is as such:
In my world, the taco is the universal language/conveyance vehicle of joy.
Well-seasoned morsels of deliciousness slathered with sauce and lovingly swaddled in flatbread can be found the world over from Boyle Heights to Beirut to Bombay to Benito Juarez.
No matter the language you speak, the God of your prayers, the color of your skin, you can find comfort and a moment of joy in a frankie, a rolex, a wrap or a gyro.
And at the apex - the taco.
I've eaten approximately 5489 tacos in my life and have never eaten a bad one.
Admittedly, being a vegetarian helps in this situation. There's a zero percent chance of eating graying mystery meat and it basically takes an act of god to fuck up beans and cheese. And while I've had mediocre tacos before, I typically just douse them in hot sauce and go about my day.
(Sidebar: A popular and nameless Mexican joint around these parts makes veggie tacos with button mushrooms. Not only are the structurally unsound but they're under-seasoned. Thankfully, their peanut salsa covers a multitude of sins).
Some of my favorite tacos are conveniently located in my neighborhood at Cholo Soy Cocina.
Cholo Soy Cocina is not your typical Mexican joint, so if you're expecting quesadillas blanketed in queso or burritos the size of a small toddler, you're in the wrong place (but I've got a killer recommendation for that too, so keep checking back).
Cholo Soy features super-fresh Mexican-Andean (Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador) cuisine with seasonal ingredients and a chef (Clay Carnes) who aren't afraid to go all Jackson Pollock with the spices.
Case in point - their chifles.
Plantain chips dusted with chili, salt and I don't know....making out with Gael Garcia Bernal? That's how delicious they are. They taste like what I imagine making out with this man would taste like:
They've got a small but solid stable of hot sauces (repping Cholula and Valentina) but their house-made hot sauces are truly excellent - house red with a great texture and a nice bite right at the very end and this pineapple-habanero sauce that was straight magic.
If you sell tacos and you're not slingin' your own salsa - shutter up shop because you are obviously doing it wrong.
As for their main attraction - the tortillas are homemade, the fillings are carefully chosen to hit that textural contrast between soft and crunchy, rich and fresh and the sauces make the whole experience a gorgeous, finger-licking mess.
Which is kinda the whole point of life, right?
Dive in with both hands and emerge a joyful mess.
Their veggie selection changes every day based on what's available at the market so if you see sweet potato on the list, snatch 'em up. If shishito peppers are the order of the day, skip it and grab the llapingachos instead (potato cakes with corn salad). I like blistered peppers as much as the next girl but I'd rather have them blitzed into a sauce than eaten straight up in a taco.
So, if you're on Antique Row - grab a cerveza or a margarita (or both, no judgment) and a seat at a communal table. Pass the hot sauce on the left hand side and remember that any day can be Taco Tuesday if you believe in yourself.