Kirk and Cathy and all the other yosoers are eating, taking pics, and having fun. Today, though, ed (from Yuma) wants to share three tacos with you and explain how he broke an important law.
I've never been very good at following directions or abiding by the rules. On the other hand, one culinary law rarely violated since I moved to Yuma is my rule against eating Mexican food anwhere outside of Yuma or Mexico. Yes, I know there is great Mexican food elsewhere, but when I go to San Diego or Monterey, for example, I am far more interested in other cuisines. I get enough good Mexican stuff around home.
So when I pulled into the empty lot next to a liquor store that surrounds the Marisco German truck at 35th and University, I felt a small twinge of guilt:
I had my reasons, however. First, almost all of the Chowhound buzz about this small San Diego chain of Mexican seafood eateries (estilo San Felipe) has been very positive. Second, Chris, a friend of yoso, compared Mar Azul, an excellent Mexican seafood house that I had just posted about, with Mariscos German. Third, as I was leaving my favorite San Diego used book store at around dinner time last Wednesday, I glanced up and noticed that the cross street was 35th. I took that as an auspicious omen and headed up 35th until I found the taco truck.
I'm certainly glad I did. Shortly after placing my order, I was handed a small styrofoam cup full of broth (free with order). The plastic spoon dredged up bits and pieces of fish and veggies:
After taking that picture, I ate the other solid goodies from the soup and then spooned a little bit of the broth into my mouth. Oh wow! The stock had a depth of fishy flavor like the one at Mar Azul, but even more complexity, all of which was highlighted by a significant picante hit of red chili. In my haste to wolf down the flavorful contents of the little cup, I forgot to take a picture of the broth by itself. Oops.
Soon after I finished the soup, I was handed a styrofoam tray about 10 to 12 inches long filled by three enormous tacos (each $3.75):
The gigantic taco on the left is a smoked marlin (marlyn) taco. In the center (partly covered by its neighbors) is a gobernador taco. And to the right, the taco is octopus (pulpo). I had wanted to try the scallop (callo) taco, but the truck was out of them.
My favorite taco of this trio has to be the gobernador:
The perfectly cooked shrimp had been grilled together with bell pepper slices, tomato wedges, slices of celery, and perhaps onion on a very hot griddle, charring some of the veggies and leaving little flecks and bits of smoky goodness throughout. Then the shrimp and veggies were placed in a warm yellow corn tortilla on which a layer of white cheese had been melted (much as in a vampire taco). Perhaps the cheese serves the same purposes as on vampiros - adding richness and flavor while keeping the tortilla from being soaked with juices.
All the tacos were so huge that no way could I eat them in standard taco fashion before I had consumed half the filling with the forks provided. Not until then, could I fold the tortilla over small enough to cram into my rather large mouth. As I forked my way down into the generous filling, I discovered some of the sources of that great Smoky charred taste:
As you can see, many of the vegetables showed the dark scars of the hot griddle. The flavor of the octopus taco (a tako taco?) was outstanding, at least partly because of the smokiness. On the other hand, the pulpo was a bit chewy for my taste. I guess I have been so spoiled by the tender octopus in most Mexican cocketeles that I have forgotten how chewy octopus usually is.
The most powerfully flavored taco was the marlyn:
The combination of flavors in this taco is outstanding. Here the grilled charred vegetables were complemented by the deep, rich, dense, smoky, fishiness of the chunks of smoked marlin. And the veggies in this taco also added a welcome contrastive crunch. As with the gobernador, the tortilla was covered with mild white cheese, adding a smooth richness. Again, the taco was far too gigantic to be picked up and eaten in a standard fashion. Let me say that I am not complaining about being given too much taco for my money; I repeat the point only because actual size does not always register in photos.
My one and only complaint about this wonderfully smoky and fishy treat is that it was a bit greasy:
Of course, as soon as I spotted the grease I stopped eating. Yeah right, who am I kidding? - that's not gonna happen with something that tastes this good. Plus, sometimes an intrepid reporter has to put him/herself at risk for the good of the community. Yeah right.
In no way should this little report about three tacos be confused with a real review. The three tacos that I ordered are similar in many ways, but the truck at 35th and University offers 15 different tacos, eight cockteles, aguachile, tostadas, burros, ceviches, and caldos.
In addition, Mariscos German also has trucks at 3269 Beyer Blvd, and 174050 S. 43rd, and a restaurant at 2802 Ocean View Blvd. Try one, you'll like it!
Mariscos German, 35th & University, 619-239-2351, Open 10 AM - 7 PM daily.