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Austin

N. Lamar: Mojarra Feliz and Mariscos Tampico

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N. Lamar: Mojarra Feliz and Mariscos Tampico

rudeboy | May 7, 2008 09:05 AM

I went to Mojarra about three months ago, on a Monday. That may have been a bad day to go. I ordered their special combo plate: Mojarra Feliz. It came with a whole, bone in tilapia, several fried shrimp, grilled shrimp, fries, rice, and salad. Unfortunately, the whole thing was a mess. The fried shrimp were small and overcooked in old oil.....not burnt, but it had a slightly rancid flavor. The grilled shrimp were flavorless and also small. The tilapia tasted muddy, which they sometimes do, and really wasn't cooked hot enough. This made the skin kind of chewy, exacerbating the muddyness of the fish. I'd go with a filet next time, but I can't drag myself back there, even though it may have been an off night. I should know better to go to a seafood place on a monday!

Last Saturday, I went to Marisco's Tampico and had a much better experience. I had to talk my wife and father in law into going there (they were leaning toward Chuy's because he liked it last time - he's from Philly). After you enter the black tinted doors, the place seems a lot more inviting than from the parking lot. It is cavernous with a lot of neon beer signs, it has a full bar, and there were two guys going pseudo mariachi (accordion plus guitar). I ordered the "chepeno," which is a take on the classic I suppose. I got the medium bowl and it was huge. Octopus, squid, fish, shrimp, and mussels were all floating in a fairly spicy red seafood based broth. Besides the squid being a little on the rubbery side, it was very good. Dad had the seafood parillada platter with all the same seafood. It didn't come with sterno cans underneath, but it also wasn't sizzling or anything. Plus, it was covered with cheese, which I thought was weird. I didn't get the opportunity to taste it, but he devoured it anyhow. Wife had "stuffed shrimp," which were bacon wrapped. She liked it but I didn't ever inquire on what the stufffing was, nor did I taste it. I was preoccupied with the baby. The best part was that the owner was at the podium, asked us how everything was, and said that he hoped we'd come back soon. That goes a long way with me........

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