Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

Giant Shrimp Tacos and Mole Tortas at Philly’s Best Taco Shop — Dining on a Dime


– Hey, everybody, we are
heading to South Philly. We are heading to the 9th Street Market to go to South Philly Barbacoa, which is not in its original location, but is now moved into
its sister restaurant, called El Compadre. South Philly Barbacoa was opened by Ben Miller and Cristina Martinez. Cristina’s son opened El Compadre. He tragically passed
away at a very young age but they have since occupied that space and they are currently
operating out of there, serving some of the best tacos in Philly, if not the entire country. They’ve gotten a lot of recognition for the work that they’re doing. They continue to serve
their lamb barbacoa, which they do on weekends. But we’re actually gonna check out some of their other offerings. I think I’m gonna get some shrimp tacos, chicken mole torta that
they are known for, as well as the guisado, which is gonna be this stewed beef. We’re headed over there right now. I can’t wait to try the food. (upbeat music) Tell me how you guys met. – Cristina and I were working side by side in an Italian restaurant
here in Center City. She was baking bread and making pastries, and I was basically plating them, working the garde manger station. We worked together,
enjoyed working together, and after six months of asking her to go out, she finally said yes. – (laughs) I love that story. – Funny, okay.
(Lucas laughs) – Can you just tell me a little bit about coming to this country and your experience? – I know you spend a lot of your time and energy advocating for
immigrant populations, especially in the restaurant industry. What do you think needs to be done? – It’s not feasible to deport everybody and, you know, that’s not what we want. It’s important to make
sure that the people who are doing the work here, and throughout the rest of our
industry, are acknowledged. – Without immigrant labor, the whole industry would collapse. – Restaurant industry
and all the industries that are connected to it. Fishing, farming… – How do you feel like
the response has been as far as you trying to
make this dialogue happen? Do you find other people are joining? – I’ve come across a lot
of people who ignore us. Chefs who don’t want us to be here, don’t want us to succeed. But, overwhelmingly, we got new customers, college students, professors, and lawyers and activists and people that were involved in the same story. We can be who we are, and we can still have a
prosperous business in this city. (upbeat music) – What do I have in
front of me but a torta? It’s a common Mexican snack, Mexican meal. You can put a lot of things in a torta. In this case, we have shredded, stewed chicken with mole sauce. Legend has it, some nuns
got together one day and they mixed together
little bits of chocolate and some day old bread and some spices, and they cooked a turkey
and they put it on it, and they called it “mole.” But this is the chicken mole torta and I’m gonna eat it. The first thing that hits you is that dark, almost bitter spice. But then you’ve got that
vaguely sweet bitterness of the chocolate. Now, don’t think you’re getting some sort of chocolate treat. It’s still quite savory, but there is a hint of sweetness. It’s really nice, because it balances that
spice and saltiness. I’m gonna have a little
bit of this agua fresca. Agua frescas are a very typical drink that you’ll find in a lot
of Latin American countries. This is mango. Nice, refreshing. We’re gonna have a couple
cute little camarones. I say “cute” but they’re giant. These are creatures from the Black Lagoon. They’re smothered in
these super delicious, peppery stewed onions. Covered with some guac. And then on some freshly
homemade tortillas with the corn from Masienda. This taco’s gonna be a mess. It looks delicious. I’m just gonna go for it. It’s really good. It’s a nice, fat, sweet shrimp and these are good tortillas. Tortillas that taste like corn. This came from a plant in a field. Most of the time, when you eat a generic, store-bought tortilla
or you eat a corn chip, it’s so far removed from what it once was. But when you’re eating something that’s high quality,
it’s infinitely better than the generic, low-quality
ingredient tortillas. Shrimp taco, super good. And, lastly, we have the guisado. Now, a guisado just means
“that which is stewed.” But this is gonna be a big piece of beef and you’ve got some herbs and aromatics and this green salsa. It tastes kind of bone
broth-y and tomatillo-y. This is some thinly-pounded beef, but it came apart really nicely
and easily, as you can tell. I’m gonna take my nice,
freshly-made Masienda tortilla, and I’m gonna slop this on the tortilla. Should I do a little red on green? Mm-hmm. This is gonna be a much
deeper, spicier salsa roja. Alright, here we go. So good, it’s just a big shot of beef and spice in your mouth. Really good, I love this beef. Cristina said that she cares about using quality ingredients, and really trying to do
things the right way. Really trying to do it as sustainably and as authentically as you can when you are running a business. I appreciate that. They’ve had a huge amount
of well-deserved success. The food is excellent. What more do you want? I don’t want anything else. I really hope you enjoyed this episode of “Dining on a Dime” from South Philly Barbacoa at El Compadre Restaurant on 9th Street, in South Philly,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. If you’d like to watch
more, please click here. (upbeat music)

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