Thursday, December 18, 2014

Memphis Nosh: Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana

I've talked about how I'm not a *huge* fan of restaurant Mexican food. 

I love Las Delicias, and I like my own Mexican food, but that's about it.

Except for Las Tortugas

It's kind of far from my house, but Kyle and I were waiting for an appointment at the Apple store, so we headed up the parkway for some amazing Mexico City-style Mexican food. 

Las Tortugas is in a small strip center on Germantown Parkway - the sign just says "Deli Mexicana" so keep an eye out for it, it's easy to miss!

From their "About Us" page:

Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana was opened in 2003 by Jose “Pepe” Magallanes.
Our restaurant strives to preserve the integrity of Mexican cooking and cuisine by refusing to Americanize the process or presentation. The philosophy of purist methods and techniques and self sourced fresh food should be obvious when you eat!
They're very big on making authentic food - no melted cheese, no refried beans, none of the icky stuff I don't like. It's perfect. 

Here's our "pre-gorging selfie" - I figured (correctly) that we would both be so full after we ate we wouldn't be quite as cute!

Kyle got (I think) the filet mignon torta. Steak, bread, cheese, tomatoes (which he picked off, but they looked amazing), with tortilla chips and pico. 

He said it was really good. He spoke about 3 words the whole time we were eating, and all three were yum so I think he liked it.
I had the Carnitas de Mexico City tacos - "hand carved Newman Farms Berkshire pork shoulder, braised in a copper 'olla' pot with whole orange, bay leaf, jalapeno, and allspice. They came in four tortillas with cilantro and fresh avocado slices, with a little salad of lettuce and cucumber, a cup of pico, a cup of spicy salsa (the amazing salsa de aguacate tayde), and tortilla chips. 
Oh. My. God. 
The only thing I would change about this is some more sauce - maybe something tangy, like pineapple salsa or even a bbq-type sauce (yes, I know...I'm a Memphis cliche). Or maybe another lime slice, or salt. But that's literally the only thing I would change - and I'm pretty sure they would give you another lime slice if you asked!
The interior is interesting, with lots of turtles and interesting signs, but it is small, so be prepared to wait, sit at the bar that runs along the windows, or get an embarrassing amount of food and eat in your car.
Not that I've ever done that.
The daily specials are always fantastic, and the guacamole and queso fundido alone are worth the drive. If you're out in Germantown, or just really want some great, authentic, Mexican food, go.
And invite me.

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