Friday, September 2, 2011

Alto Cinco's Tacos and Calamari

I do love Alto Cinco, but I tend to get stuck in an ordering habit when I go there, more often than not opting for their California Burrito (yellow rice, black beans, cheese, salsa, sour cream, roasted red peppers, and tons of guacamole). I've been wanting to try their tacos out and I remember someone telling me once that their calamari was amazing, so I gave them both a shot for take-out recently.

Shrimp Soft Tacos: $9
Fried Calamari: $10

The tacos were superb. I essentially inhaled these in several minutes. Lightly grilled flour tortillas came wrapped around shrimp, pickled cabbage, sour cream, fresh lettuce, and mango salsa.

I do like that they semi-grilled the tortillas, which helped them stay together (there's nothing worse than ordering soft tacos and getting a soggy mess in return). A good amount of bright and surprisingly fresh mango salsa along side plump and perfectly grilled shrimp (seriously perfect - and I'm picky about my shrimp) and sprinkled with tangy pickled red cabbage (vinegary, but not overly pungent). It was a great balance of ingredients and textures, a good portion size, and they didn't skimp on the shrimp either. $9 or not, I'd order them again.

Pictured above are the calamari fried in peanut oil and served with chipotle mayo and lime wedges.

There was excellent flavor with the calamari and the sauce was spicy, creamy, and great for dunking, but the calamari suffered from being kept in a hot container for too long which unfortunately made the breading really mushy. A victim of take-out, I suppose. I'd be curious to order these again next time I actually dine-in. The rings were big and tender and the spicy flavor from the mayo was great, but the fried-ness were just lacking that necessary crunch.

All and all, the shrimp tacos and calamari both complimented each other really well. The saltiness of the calamari, spiciness from the chipotle mayo, and light, tropical feel from the tacos were all a great combination of flavors.

Thumbs up.

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