I have lived in San Diego for most of the past 20 years.
It is a spicy town on many levels.
I have never moved into the world of mariscos taco trucks, as fresh fish and permanently parked trucks just don’t seem to match up very well.
We went to Mariscos Alex to see why they had reached number one in yelp for mariscos.
If you don’t know, Mariscos is spanish, and in this case more appropriately Mexican, for sea food.
You are not going to get flounder on parchment, or sauteed Sand Dabs.
What you get are a small variety of items in that particular restaurants local flavor.
fish tacos – no explanation needed
Cocktail – The mexican version of the shrimp cocktail
Ceviche – chopped fish with possibly some cilantro or tomatoe marinated in citrus
and that is about it.
I will point out the parts about Mariscos Alex that make it unique.
First off, it is in a neighborhood of San Diego that unless you live there, you would probably not go out of your way to visit. Not dangerous, as nowhere in San Diego really is, but still the kind of place you would have second thoughts about leaving your fancy car over night on the street while you traveled out of town.
It is in the parking lot of a gas station and is a taco truck.
Some of their tacos have cooked celery in them. I have had a lot of authentic mexican food, but had never tried this before. I am not a cooked celery fan, so did not like it very much. It was however extraordinarily unique. The bitterness of the celery, cooked fish which was excellent, and cheese. It is such a strong unique taste, that is loved by so many there.
I got their Clamatos Preparados. This I also got because it looked so unique. It is basically Clamato juice, with lots of stuff added, which turned it into a spicey, refreshing, tomato and chile drink, with shrimp and oysters. It
The amazing and funny part was the ceviche. The ceviche was served on a flatish place, handed through the window of the taco truck.
I looked on the counter and they had a variety of sauces. This always intrigues me. I am a huge lover of sauces.
I took a little of each sauce. One of the sauces really caught my eye, which was the mango sauce. I put a ton of this on, as I love, love, love mangos. Half of my ceviche was no swimming in mango sauce.
I started to eat it, and it was quite spicy. The more I ate, the more my mouth burned. The flavor was extraordinary. When I looked in the ceviche, there was no apparent chile. The burning caused me to eat more and more faster and faster thinking it would cool the burn. At some point my mouth was literally exploding on fire.
I still had not quite recognized what had just happened.
There was a gas station next door. I went inside and got the only milk they had, Nestle’s Chocolate Milk, and drank it in the gas station to try to stop the burning pain. I never, ever would normally get Nestle’s chocolate milk.
When I went back to the taco truck, in my broken spanish I tried to ask the woman in the truck where the spice was coming from.
It turned out that mango sauce I had used was not mango sauce at all. It is as far as my Spanish could figure out, nothing more complicated than fresh, raw, habenero chiles run through a blender. I had eaten roughly two or three entire habenero chiles on my ceviche without realizing what it was.
Would I go back?
Absolutely. This place was amazing. I can see how their menu is so different from what I am used to that it is going to take a dozen trips to figure it out.