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Tacos and bigos: Catholic food in NE Ft. Lauderdale


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Tacos and bigos: Catholic food in NE Ft. Lauderdale

s.m. koppelman | Mar 21, 2003 08:14 PM

Amen, now that I'm living in Ft. Lauderdale proper I'm seeing its little nooks and crannies, and have found a place that makes real tacos and finally checked out that Polish deli...:

Mi Taqueria Los Comales, on 3495 Old Dixie Highway (that's north of Oakland Park Blvd. in Oakland Park) is a little joint by the railroad tracks. It's been there 5 or 6 years. When I spotted it trying to bypass the afternoon traffic along Andrews and Federal, I did a U-turn even though I'd had some lunch 2 hours before because, well, I've been looking for some time now for decent real Mexican in Broward. (Tex-mex and Cal-mex are easy to fnd, as is bad real Mexican. It's good Mex-mex that I'm looking for.)

There are maybe 6 tables in the dark, narrow place. The owner's a nice woman with braces. She's got a couple of people chopping tomatoes and cooking. The menu on paper only lists prices for complete meals and for 3-or-4 item appetizer orders, but you can buy single tacos for $1.50 apiece. They were out of tongue today, dammit, so I had one barbacoa (which here is goat, not the beef so many places wimp out with) and one al pastor (grilled bits of marinated pork).

The corn tortillas were fine, and they come topped only with onion, cilantro and tomato. The al pastor was quite decent. The barbacoa was pretty much unseasoned and nothing special. I'll be back to try some other things, but so far I'd say they're at least Good Enough if you're hankering for some real tacos and don't want to drive to one of the Mexican hubs in South Dade or Central Palm Beach County.

Bonus points: lunch combos run between $4.50 and $5.75 (which gets you chilaquiles con bistec), they're open until 2AM every night, and they have a 21-ITEM BREAKFAST MENU--7 OF THEM FEATURING LIVER!

Meanwhile, Poland. For a year and a half, I've seen the Kosciuszko Deli on Commercial in a strip mall right near the bridge to A1A. It's got a Polish flag motif on its sign. Today, on my way home sitting in traffic after some business along the beach, I decided to pull in and see if they had bigos for sale. They did. They make it there (well, shoot, it's just stewed sauerkraut and scraps of kielbasa and smoked pork), so I got me a quart to go, skipped the flaczki (tripe soup) and the homemade stuffed cabbage (not bathed in tomato sauce--these are Poles, not Jews or Romanians or whatever). The owner is pretty cool, the small selection of Polish pop music on CD is skewed a little towards punk and new wave, and they've got a reasonable selection of the usual Polish groceries and the requisite array of Polish candy and cookies, poppyseed danish by the pound, and bulk pickles and herring from vats. Takeout only.

The bigos is all right. It is generous on the meat. Needs some paprika or something, though, so have some handy when you get it home.

Bonus points: a decent Eastern European beer selection (including Russian Zhigulevskoe and the usual Polsih suspects) and at least six kinds of pierogi including cheese-potato for all the Ukrainians in the house. The place isn't much by Jersey City/Brooklyn/Hamtrammck/etc. standards, but there it is. Oh! And on Fridays only, they have prune-filled paczki, for those of you who like prune in your jelly donuts. Glazed, in this case.

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