Surprise! I received another invitation for a media preview of Sully’s Side Bar, the newly remodeled and re-imagined taqueria next to Sullivan’s Steakhouse downtown.
Surprise! Instead of just a nibble on appetizers and sip of a cocktail or two I had imagined…
…the room was set up for quite a feast!
Surprise! In addition to starters and a selection of cocktails…….there was a four-course taco tasting…and dessert.
What a surprise to find a shrimp ceviche just like the one I remembered from Mexico.
Probably NOT a surprise that this was the best thing I* ate all night.
*I was probably alone in this selection…but I’m a sucker for flavor nostalgia.Surprise! There are housemade sweet potato chips lurking with the corn tortillas (also housemade).
No surprise to any of you…I immediately made a plate, despite having had a big (late) lunch and “not being ready for it.” [Y'all know how I feel about taking any free food opportunity that presents itself. ]
Surprise! There was smoked gouda* in the Smokey^ Guacamole. No surprise that this was the most popular thing eaten that evening…or that I made a request for extra to be brought to our table during the taco tasting.
^I spell Smoky, you spell Smokey…let’s call the whole thing off!
Speaking of taco tastings…
How precious of a surprise were the taco trios in their perfect little trays?
I didn’t even care* that, although I got a great hit of chipotle flavor with the Pollo Tinga tacos, the chicken as a little bit dry and the lettuce and hint of tomato were slightly sad.
*OK, I did care.
Surprise! Here comes round two: Green Chile Pork [Puerco con Chile Verde] Although the queso fresco was a nice touch, and the pork was meaty, juicy, and tender (although a bit oily for my liking)…it was not the standout of the evening.*
*Since I hold Torchy’s Green Chile Pork taco as the standard to which all other pork tacos should be held, it’s not surprise that I was judgemental on this one. Torchy’s might not do everything right, but they DO make a killer Green Chile Pork taco. [And yes, I just said "killer."]
That honor was reserved for the fish tacos. [El Pescado del Dia]
Surprise, surprise…my tastebuds were alive with the flavor of poblano-citrus marinade on delicious grouper with shaved cabbage and a hint of creamy habanero salsa.
A little late in the game came the brisket taco,* which I had anticipated as being my least favorite…
…but I guess Texas has truly taken over my soul, because despite the three tacos (and helpings of ceviche and guacamole before it), I was surprised to find myself loving the pickled onion paired with beautifully cooked brisket.
Surprise! There was also dessert…which, of course I had room for.*
*No surprise there…the insatiability of my sweet tooth for custard, ice cream, and other frozen or pudding-like desserts is stronger than…um…something really strong?
How surprised were ALL of us to try this Coconut Flan, with a toasted coconut crust, and realize that this was unlike any flan I’ve ever had before. As I tweeted that night, it wasn’t “gooey jiggly” like most flans. Surprise! Delicious…even for people who “hate flan.”
I would happily go back to Sully’s Side Bar, but to be honest, just for some more ceviche, guacamole, and dessert. There was also a Tres Leches on the menu that-surprise, surprise-keeps calling my name…