Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana
1215 S Germantown Rd
I had a dry spell and didn't get out to Las Tortugas for over a year. To make up for it, I've been several times in the past few months. I have no idea how I survived so long without going to what is hands down the best, freshest, most exciting Mexican restaurant in town. Likewise, I don't understand how I have not one, but two, reviews here, and neither contain photos. What?
Let's make the third time the charm.
A few weeks ago, I took the monkeys and met up with my mom and niece for dinner on a Wednesday night. I really prefer going at lunch so I can see Senor Dreamy, but seeing his dad, Pepe, is *almost* just as nice.
I had been for lunch just the week before and Senor Dreamy let me try all sorts of new dishes, so I knew immediately what I wanted to get--the chicken tacos with mole verde. (The mole verde is made with pumpkin seeds and is to die for.)
Unfortunately, that had been a special and it wasn't on the menu that day. No worries, I knew what I wanted next--the Newman Farms berkshire pork tacos. Dreamy had served them to me with the meat still on the bone and it was beyond delicious.
It's a mainstay on the menu, but it comes in already pulled from the bone and in taco form, as we soon discovered. No worries, it is still fantastic.
I love that Dreamy & Pepe are using locally sourced meats now. I ordered the pork tacos for Satchel, and the Neola Farms brisket ones for myself. Oh. my. yum.
Jiro just wanted corn (elote) and fried cheese. Unfortunately, Pepe said he was out of cheese and that if we wanted fried cheese we had to come early. I thought I might convince Jiro to eat a few tacos, but he was happy just eating corn.
You can find elote several places now, but none of it compares to Las Tortugas. It's perfection.
Satchel and I polished off all of the tacos and the accompanying chips and dips and he still wanted more food. I didn't think there was anyway he could possibly eat another order of ($13) tacos, but he was insistent. This time I asked Pepe to leave off the spicy sauce, which he was happy to do. (He doesn't like changing ingredients or adding, but leaving off is fine.)
Again, I tried to interest Jiro in a taco or two, but he just wanted an orange Juarito and some spicy prepackaged Mexican chips. My mom treated him since it was clear we were going to be there a bit longer while Satchel stuffed his face.
"There's no way you can finish," I said.
"Yes, I can. Wanna bet?"
"If I finish, I don't have to take a bath."
Well it took a long time--Jiro and my niece were released to play outside on the sidewalk--but he did it. He ate every bite. The tacos are just so good! I don't even want to tell you what we spent on dinner, but it was worth every penny. I think the casual atmosphere makes people forget just how fancy, fresh, and complex the food is. I don't mind paying for perfection.
I've been back again, without the kids, for lunch, and tried the filet mignon tacos. They basically melt in your mouth. It's crazy.
And I love, love the black bean tostadas.
If there is any tamale of any kind on the menu, just order it. Trust me.
And even though it does bring the price up even more, no meal is complete without an agua fresca. I love the lime and the mango. But also--the tea--oh my god, the tea. Don't leave without drinking some iced tea. (And I also highly recommend getting one to go and adding a little splash of bourbon!)
Finally, if Pepe is there, always ask if there are any popsicles or special treats for dessert. The last time I asked, I got a huge hunk of frozen watermelon on a stick.