This week in restaurant reviews, Philadelphia magazine critic Trey Popp weighed in on Buena Onda. The Garces taqueria nabbed two stars out of a possible four — not bad at all for a fast casual concept, though hardly an unmitigated rave. In fact, Popp advises, diners should probably "ignore everything but the tacos."
Not surprisingly, the standout favorites at this fish taco specialist were... the fish tacos.
Whether they were grilled or fried (clad in aerated, vodka-charged rice-flour batter that puffs like featherweight tempura), the mahimahi and thumb-size Pacific shrimp were moist, fresh-flavored centerpieces cradled in made-to-order flour tortillas beneath tufts of pickled cabbage and julienned jicama. And a chilled trio of miniature marlin-salad tacos, tucked into taro chips along with a pickled jalapeño, made for a pleasantly creamy summer refreshment.
Beef tacos, nachos, and a tamarind aqua fresca also earned nods of approval, though some of those nods came with qualifications.
· Inquirer critic Craig LaBan took the week off, but we did get a look at the new food at Citizens Bank Park via columnist Chuck Darrow. None of the items particularly impressed — a baked bean-topped New England Dog is noted as an "abomination," while even a relatively high-rated turkey club only "smacked one in the gap but got thrown out trying to make it to third base" — but it was the ballpark's attempt at roast pork that drew the most ire:
This was the most unpleasant item the Phoodster sampled in his gastronomic sojourn around Citizens Bank park. Our NoLibs was a dull, uninspired mess consisting of herb-salted pork, Yards Ale au jus, hot pepper relish and fontina cheese on a boring roll.
The texture was kind of yucky, and the flavors were MIA, except for the mild heat aftertaste from the relish. Avoid this at all costs!
· City Paper's Adam Erace paid a visit to Opa to check out the Greek restaurant's recent revamp under chef Bobby Saritsoglou. Erace was already a fan of the chef thanks to his previous stint at Santucci's, and his first look at Saritsoglou's ability with a fully Greek menu did not disappoint.
The food garnered high marks all around, including "funky, snappy" lacto-fermented pickles, "phenomenal" octopus, standout dolmades, and a meat board described as "a carnivore's playground that shortly will become a new must-have dish in Philadelphia." Despite a couple of small missteps in the kitchen and a drink list that could use an overhaul of its own, it's a review overflowing with positivity.