Saturday, December 27, 2008

Taquería Los Ocampo - Spicy Chicken Taco

If you've been in any large public place in the last few weeks, you know that cold and flu season is in full swing. I can spot co-workers and friends popping decongestants and cough syrup, but when I feel like I'm getting plugged up, I go for more of a natural cure: good old-fashioned spice. Let's just say that I have a different type of over the counter cold remedy in mind.

I got worried when I felt a bit stuffy the other day, so I wanted to make sure I did everything possible to prevent a cold, not only because I'll be off to Mexico soon, but because if I get plugged up, I'll lose my sense of smell, and even worse, deplete my sense of taste. Now, I just can't let that happen. I decided to break out the big guns and headed over to Los Ocampo for a nice spicy taco. Now, I know this blog is all about sandwiches, but I feel like tacos are close enough to my definition of a sandwich, and at the end of the day, it's my blog, so back off!

I ordered a taco as a quick snack before I shopped at the Midtown Global Market and was shocked at the variety of fillings I had to choose from. I wanted something with some nose-knocking spice and went for the spicy chicken filling. As I waited for my taco, I marveled at the sheer amount of offerings they could crank out of their little kitchen. Everything looked and smelled great and all of a sudden my wait, which was only a few moments, seemed as if it lasted an eternity. Finally, my number came up and I bolted to the counter to grab my taco.

It was a work of beauty. The taco came on a perfectly authentic tortilla and was piled high with spicy shredded chicken. The taco was topped with tons of fresh cilantro and a nice fine dice of fresh onion for some brightness and a bit of kick. The small plate is also overloaded with fresh radish and some lime wedges to provide some crunch and punch. I loaded my taco up with as many toppings as the tortilla could handle and dove right in.

It was a serious treat. The chicken was perfectly spicy with a nice burst of heat, and the accompanying toppings added some serious flavor to the dish. The freshness of the cilantro, onion and radish provided a really nice texture and contrasted the abundantly spicy chicken. The lime juice made the flavors sing, and provided a nice tang at the end of each bite. I don't know if it was the speed of which I consumed this frugal little piece of paradise, or the heat provided by the spicy chicken, but when I finished my last bite I could breathe easy and felt no more pressure in my sinuses. Either the spice truly worked, or the satisfaction of the meal provided just the relief I was looking for. Look out NyQuil, I've got something much, much better in my flu-fighting war chest.
Sandwich Rating: Killer. I'll be back for the tacos soon, but will expand my ordering as well. The food was authentic, flavorful and well worth the trip. I can't imagine going any where else for a quick, authentic Mexican fix.

Happy Eating,


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