Have you ever eaten something so absolutely delicious you wondered how it could possibly be legal? Well that’s what happened at Tuesday night’s taco crawl hosted by Dishcrawl Miami. As we previously posted,Taco Crawl is one of the newest and most original culinary experiences in Miami. Each event is different, but the concept is generally the same: you meet with a group of about 25 at one location then walk to three other undisclosed locations, stopping at each to try a dish.
Monday night, an email was sent with details on where to meet and when – YUCA on Lincoln Road, 8pm. As explained on the website, this was all the information that would be disclosed before the event. Why they keep the restaurants a secret is not quite clear, but it makes the evening a little more enjoyable, a little more mysterious. Also mentioned on the website is the option to go vegetarian, and some of the meatless tacos looked just as delicious as the regular options. Just make sure you state your dietary restriction when you buy your ticket online. Water is served everywhere but each restaurant charges cocktails and sodas separately.
All four restaurants were overall pleasant – enjoyable atmosphere, delicious food. The people were great too, from Vicky, the Dishcrawl coordinator, to the restaurant staff to the fellow guests. It really is an opportunity to meet new people, if that’s what you’re looking for, or a nice twist to a date night.
Now to the best part: the food. The amount of food definitely exceeded expectations, as did the service. Each restaurant is listed below. We at Distraction like to make things easy for our readers so we gave each taco a superlative, listed the ingredients and give you our verdict on taste and presentation. Try not to drool.
YUCA: Best Taco Ever
Ingredients: slow-cooked baby back ribs mixed with guava and pineapple BBQ sauce topped with pickled shallots, poblano and red peppers, cilantro aioli and black beans
Verdict: amazing; simply perfect. Guava is a tricky flavor to incorporate into a taco without allowing its flower to overpower the rest. However, the sweet guava and pineapple glazes, along with the cilantro and beans, quietly complemented the tender pulled pork. According to the hostess at YUCA, the chef is considering adding this item to the regular menu; let’s just hope this is true.
Balans: Healthiest Choice
Ingredients: Chopped chicken mixed with pineapple and spices, served on a romaine lettuce wrap
Verdict: needs improvement. This taco has a lot of great things going for it: the lettuce is a guilt-free way to enjoy a taco, the pineapple adds great sweetness to the chicken. But it all didn’t totally work together. Unlike a regular salad, the lettuce wrap actually overpowered the flavors of the chicken. Eat the chicken alone and you’ve got yourself a delicious snack.
Serendipity 3: Most Creative
Ingredients: Tiny puff pastry taco shell with shredded lettuce, chicken, cheese and salsa with sour cream and guacamole served on the side
Verdict: tasty and cute. Each guest was allotted three baby taco salads. Mind you, this was the third restaurant so most were pretty full by now. The taco shell was more flaky than the crunchy corn tortilla many of us are used to, but it still was delicious. Inside the shell was a combination of chicken, lettuce, cheese and salsa; although it tasted great, the salsa was on the spicy side. The sour cream was a great touch.
HUAHUA’S Taqueria: Most Authentic
Ingredients: Marinated chicken thigh, adobo, “special spice”, charred pineapple and onion, raw onion, topped with lime crema and a lime wedge and served on a flour tortilla
Verdict: a really delicious blend of flavors. It’s almost a shame this was the last restaurant because, this being the 7th taco offered to us, we were quite full. The chicken was marinated really well. They also get extra points for beautiful presentation, no matter how simple it was. This restaurant is one of those holes-in-the-wall you hear about on blogs and through word-of-mouth. If you visit them soon, make sure to try a homemade “paleta” ice cream bar, you’ll be happy you did.
Seven tacos later, the Dishcrawl Miami taco crawl was over and our appetites were certainly satisfied. Check out the Dishcrawl Miami website for upcoming events and ticket information. And if we got you in the mood for tacos, head over to Lincoln Road where you’ll find our favorites of the night.
words and photos_nicole vila.