Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fish Taco Heaven: Palapa

It's not often that I post about food on this site, partially because my attention is mostly toward music and partially because once I find a place I love I tend to be a repeat customer. Being unemployed also means watching the budget and finding ways to stretch my dollars and actually (gasp!) cooking at home.

That said, I spent some time in Chula Vista this weekend meeting my nephew for the first time ever. On my way to my parents house yesterday, a 99 cent Fish Taco sign caught my eye and I had to try it out. My parents live off of Orange Avenue so for most people, this might be a little out of the way. Additionally, just like you can count on great Filipino food just about anywhere in Mira Mesa or National City, great Vietnamese in City Heights, or great Chinese in Clairemont, there are pockets of the county that have great Mexican food at every turn. So what I call a great fish taco might generate 50 people telling me dozens of other places that are better. I can accept that. I'm just saying I was happy to find this tasty little spot near my parents' house.

It's called Palapa, and it's located at 263 E. Orange Avenue, in the parking lot of the Albertson's (that is slated to close soon, unfortunately). I thought it would be worthy of mentioning here versus just a regular Yelp review because the summer concert season is about to jump into full swing and this happens to be one freeway exit north of Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre. The fish tacos were absolutely perfect, with huge pieces of lightly battered cod with a colorful heap of green and purple cabbage on top. Inside the shop they've got a complimentary chips and salsa bar with a red salsa with just the right amount of kick, a tomatillo salsa that rivals the best, and a creamy chipotle that tasted great on the taco, not to mention hot carrots mixed with zucchini and jalapenos that made my Mexican eyes tear up a bit.

The rest of the menu looked pretty great, too. The focus of their menu is on full charbroiled chicken dinners in two, four, or eight piece options and you can choose sides or just get the chicken with tortillas and salsa. They also have a full fruit bar with smoothies, aguas, juices, and fruit salads. They also have typical Mexican fare including burritos and tortas, and a full breakfast menu. We fed a family of five for under $11 and in these times, that really cannot be beat. I might have sudden inspiration to visit my parents a little more frequently.

Again, Palapa is located at 234 E Orange Avenue, just one block west of the 805 offramp. You can call in orders by calling 619.426.1229. Hours are M-Sa, 8a-8p, and Sunday 8a-6p. For my Catholic mother, I can guarantee I know where she'll be spending her Fridays.

No comments: