Reader: I find El Jarocho average, but good. I still prefer La Lupe in South Philly, though I had a very nice meal at Los Gallos at 10th and Wolf this weekend.
C.L.: I remain a La Lupe fan, too. As for Los Gallos, the latest "it" grocery/taqueria in Deep South Philly, I don't think it's quite up to La Lupe. I've been for a perfectly nice lunch, and the owner is a great immigrant success story. But in general, I did not find anything especially distinctive to require a drive to Wolf Street . . . unless, of course, you want to grab a tasty taco on your way to THE GAME!
Reader: Las Bugambilias in Headhouse Square is the Best AUTHENTIC Mexican food in the city.
C.L.: I like Las Bugambilias just fine, too, though I'm not sure I'd go as far as you do. By the way, ruling out "traditional" as a barometer - I don't think there's any doubt that Distrito is now the king of local Mexican restaurants. I had take-out leftovers from Distrito for my Saturday lunch and even reheated from my fridge two days after the fact, it was the best Mexican food I'd eaten since the last time I ate there. Chicken-cactus enchiladas . . . ay-yay-yay-yum.
Reader: I went to the Night Market this past Thursday, got there a little after 6 and it was already packed, I tried the Red Taco and the Thai Chicken Taco at Coup De Taco, the Thai chicken taco really stood out, the peanut sauce was in perfect proportion to the coconut sauce and the apples gave a nice crunch. Also tried the chocolate Maru balls from Maru Global, they were good, but probably would have been better fresh off the cooktop.
C.L.: Thanks for this report on the Night Market, which finally went off last week. I hear it was a big event, a lot of fun, if not a little overrun. (See Rick Nichols' column on this innovative street eats event on the front of today's Food section.)
Reader: We showed up early to last Thursday's Food Trust event in Passyunk Square - just a little after 6 - and the place was hoppin'. My husband grabbed a delicious shot of gazpacho from Fond's booth and we both had tacos from Honest Tom's truck - he had chicken and I had sweet potato. Both were served with guacamole and salsa. After we ate and milled around for a bit we walked down to Capogiro for pumpkin, peach and dark chocolate gelato - and some seats. While we were eating, we noticed staffers from Paradiso just next door replenishing their supplies. Apparently they were just about out of food and it couldn't have been much later than 6:30! All in all, I'd say the event was a huge success and the neighborhood loved it. Can't wait to do it again!
C.L.: Thanks for the additional report on the Night Market. Sounds fantastic, but my understanding from the Food Trust is that they're going to be moving this event around the city. . . . so if E'Punk wants another, they're going to have to put it on solo.
Reader: I also went to the Night Market on East Passyunk and had the apple cardamom cake and rosemary meringue cookies from the Fond stand. The pastry chef at Fond makes amazing desserts!
Reader: Do you know of any place that serves a good blood sausage? I've been craving it ever since a trip to Argentina last year, but I can't find it anywhere around here, at a restaurant or butcher.
C.L.: Blood sausage is a rarity around here, because, well, the name isn't exactly sexy. I have, however, had a couple memorable tastes. . . . The Garces Trading Co. has dabbled in blood sausage - I remember it as being intensely soft and sensual. Kraftwork used to sell blood sausage as part of its charcuterie platter - but that was before the opening chef left, and I'm not sure it's still on the menu. The other place to check out is Porky's Point, the 5th Street take-out corner that is a pillar of home-cooked Puerto Rican street food - they make their own "morcilla," adding rice to give it an extra toothy bite. It's not for everyone. But I love it, especially with one of their chicharrone-studded mojo-roasted pork sandwiches. (Another chatter reminds that Koo Zee Doo uses blood sausage in their rustic Portuguese fare-though I do not believe it's homemade.