The Other Critics

LaBan Gets ‘Addicted’ to Loco Pez’s Crispy Tacos; ‘Sauce Is Boss’ at Birra

• Craig LaBan bellys up with the “nearly middle-age hipsters” at the bar at Fishtown’s “depot of kitschy cool ‘70s decor” Loco Pez, name-checks a Misfits song and grazes through the place’s “inspired by the taco trucks of L.A. with a gringo wink” menu. The LaFrieda-laden Gabacho, a house-fried crunchy taco, topped with “a classic lettuce shred and pico de gallo” has him “addicted.” But the bacon-wrapped Street Dog may have fared better if assembled on a “bun didn’t dissolve beneath a flow of creamy pintos and pickled jalapeños.” A “spot-on blend of molten Oaxaca, jack, and cheddar” makes the nachos “a worthy retro indulgence,” and when goosed up to “de Kenzo style,” amounts to a “meaty Machu Picchu of Fishtown nachos.” [Inquirer]

• At Firecreek in Voorhees’s Town Center, Adam Erace is enamored by the restaurant’s “table-side presentations.” So much so that he “didn’t even mind” that his saganaki for two stuck to the pan, “giving the breaded triangles of gooey kesseri a severe waxing.” A Creekside salad’s “unusual mix of flavors (smoky, sweet, tangy) mingled nicely amidst leaves of arugula and romaine tossed in pesto-buttermilk dressing.” Grilled pork medallions arrived “perfectly done” with a “twangy Calvados-kissed green apple chutney,” and “properly gooey scalloped potatoes layered with cheddar.” [Courier-Post]

• Two Eat Philly gets off to rough start at East Passyunk Ave.’s Birra, with an “inexcusable” 75 minute wait for a table. Once seated, a margherita pizza helps them decide that “the sauce is boss.” However a pizza laden with pancetta, capicola and porchetta tasted only of “grease and salt.” The much talked about meatballs were “a promising dish that fell a little flat,” and Nonni’s brisket sandwich, “slow-cooked meat and bread without much of a buffer made the sandwich a little dry.” [Two Eat Philly]

• West Philly Mama rolls up on Honest Tom’s “cozy and clean” bricks and mortar digs, and is delighted to discover a “delicious” sweet potato taco that was “a big hit with [her] toddler,” Mexican Cokes, and complimentary pico de gallo and guac. [West Philly Mama]

LaBan Gets ‘Addicted’ to Loco Pez’s Crispy Tacos; ‘Sauce