I have a confession to make. I know that being a food blogger, I should be adventurous and be willing to try new places sight unseen….but that’s not my style. I don’t usually try new eateries until someone I know has recommended them. Example: Kioto. My assistant ate there before me (Thanks Melissa!) and recommended it….so I knew it was safe. Another example: we recently tried to “have an adventure” and try a brand-spanking-new local place without hearing anything (positive or negative) about it….and it was a complete disaster.
That being said, when I saw Delia’s Taqueria while driving through Soddy-Daisy a month or so ago, I knew I had to give it a try, the sooner, the better. There’s just something about hole-in-the-wall Mexican joints; they are always, ALWAYS the best. Not that you could really call Delia’s a “hole-in-the-wall”, since it’s free-standing. Really, it’s more like a stationary taco truck. There’s not really any seating to speak of…a couple of picnic tables out front is all. So, get it and go….and that’s okay with me, because food this good….well, you really don’t want just anybody seeing you eat it. Oh, and another plus for me: I love being the person to tell Urbanspoon about a new restaurant! That’s just plain fun. But, I digress.
Delia’s is a little red food truck, cart, trailer, whatever. I guess you just have to see it to get the visual. It’s connected to a trailer that used to be the office of a used car lot, which I am assuming has been transformed into a storage facility or office of sorts. They have a little covered porch where you walk up to the window to order, and their menu is a huge board of pictures and descriptions of dishes (think of the menus in Mom & Pop Chinese joints). We took a few minutes to peruse before ordering. The man who took our order was very friendly. Philip asked him if they had been doing good business and he told him that they had been. He also told us that they make all of their food fresh, right down to the tortillas and the chips. Okay, I’m sold. We ordered and were on our way within 10 minutes, and that is with the guy in front of us ordering for himself and his 5 children. I’m not kidding! That’s what I call speedy service. The worst part of this was having to smell the intoxicating bouquet (ha!) of the food while we made the 10-minute drive home….but somehow I made it and even managed to photograph the food before ripping into it.
Of course, I have a gene that does not allow me to eat food from a Mexican restaurant without having chips and salsa. I cannot physically do it. These (fresh and homemade) chips and salsa did not disappoint. Oh, do you need me to repeat that for you? THEY MAKE THEIR OWN TORTILLAS. The chips were fantastic, and the salsa was very fresh-tasting and tomato-ey, just slightly spicy but safe for lightweights like myself. They did include tiny cups of “hot sauce”, one red (just a little spicy) and one green (medium to hot…I only took one bite) that each had fantastic flavor.
There were many items on the menu that were extremely tempting for me, but I decided that I would go simple on this first trip since I feel like you can really judge a restaurant based on their most simple, basic items. I chose the taco platter, which included two chicken or beef tacos (I chose beef), rice, and beans. You can choose the type of tortilla that you want (corn or flour), and of course I chose flour. The tacos also had lettuce, tomato, and white cheese (queso blanco? I’m not sure what kind of cheese it was!). The menu states that they are made with pico de gallo but there wasn’t any on my taco, and honestly I was happy with that. I prefer my tacos without salsa or pico. The tortillas were not fried, which I love. You don’t find a lot of Mexican restaurants that offer tacos in corn tortillas that are not fried (although I’m sure most of them would do it if asked). It’s more authentic this way. The tacos are served in two tortillas each, which helps with the “breakage issue”. The meat was incredible. It was perfectly spiced but not greasy at all and was not in a thick sauce as you typically find in more Americanized Mexican eateries. The produce was fresh and tasty. The beans were perfect-not too thick, not too thin….and there was NO SKIN on them, which is so important! I really loved the rice, too. It was not overly flavored and didn’t have a lot of weird chunks like Mexican rice sometimes does. I ate every bite of my meal. And I didn’t regret it.
Philip decided on the Fiesta Burrito, which is available in ground beef, steak, chicken, a mix of steak and chicken, shrimp, pork, a combo of steak, chicken, and pork, barbacoa (the best description I could find for barbacoa was “Mexican barbecue.” Traditionally sheep meat is used for barbacoa, but this is Soddy-Daisy, so I am assuming they used beef…), al pastor (which to me sounds like it would be lamb but apparently is pork with a chili sauce), Mexican sausage (chorizo, I presume-are there other varieties of Mexican sausage? I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know!), or vegetables. The Fiesta Burrito is prepared with rice, beans, pico de gallo, and sour cream. Philip chose Mexcian sausage. When he took a bite, his eyes rolled back in his head and he proclaimed the meat “incredible”. He insisted that I needed to try it, so I did. I typically don’t like sausage because I don’t care for the spice combinations, but this stuff truly was incredible. Of course, Philip finished his burrito as well, and then stated that, “Now there’s no need to ever go to Q’doba.” I won’t argue with that!
All of this incredible food, my friends, was had for around $13. They also serve fountain beverages and the traditional bottled drinks that you see in the “international foods” aisle at the grocery store, which always look so tempting and yummy, and Mexican Coke, which is made with cane sugar, not high fructose corn syrup. They also served flavored fresh waters in flavors like mango and tamarind. I must try these at some point. Also, I recommended Delia’s to my mom, who went and got take-out that same night….and then again the next night-so clearly it made an impression on my parents, too.
I love promoting truly local businesses, especially these tiny operations that don’t generate a lot of publicity in the traditional ways. This place is amazing. Please eat there, all of you, so they will stay in business and we can eat there whenever we want! You will not regret it!
Delia’s is located at 105 Porter Street, Soddy-Daisy, TN 37379 (near Wal-Mart). You can reach them at 423-521-7145. They are open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. At this time, they do not have a website or Facebook page. I have sent the menu to Urbanspoon to be uploaded onto their Urbanspoon page, but here it is for you!