Fish tacos are tricky business. The batter fried ones are OK, but to this eater they seem like little more than fish and chips gone South of the Border. I prefer my fish tacos with a batter and a hard fry like they do at Tortilleria Nixtamal, where they use skate wing. The other day though I encountered a kind of seafood taco I never tried, octopus tacos.
They come from my friend Pedro Rodriguez of La Esquina Del Camaron Mexicano, a gent who knows a thing or two about how to cook octopus. I count myself a huge fan of his seafood cocktails. “Tacos de pulpo!!?” I exclaimed in my best bad Spanish. “Verdad!!?”
About five minutes later the chef presented me with a double tortilla stacked with charred octopus and sautéed onions. “Try it with the salsa,” he said a handing me a bright red concoction made from chili de arbol. The smoky tender tentacles and fiery salsa were a match made in heaven, that is if heaven is a spotless kitchen in the back of a Jackson Heights bodega.
Pedro’s taco de pulpo is the best octopus taco I’ve eaten in the back of a bodega or a anywhere else for that matter. When he opens a restaurant, you can bet I’ll be first in line.
La Esquina Del Camaron Mexicano, 80th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights