Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Alaskan TACOs? What's next, Fresh Nebraska Fried Shrimp?
Ybor City has its share of places to eat ranging from the family-owned Columbia Restaurant, with over a century of history and tradition, down to by-the-slice pizzerias that feed the hungry masses at late hours and offer huge quantities of cold brew. They each have their place and cater to diners and partygoers at different hours and days of the week (Ybor really comes alive when many of us are tuning in to the late TV news.) I imagine I could find practically any cuisine if I looked or asked around. As many times as I've walked or driven by Mema's Alaskan Tacos, I've never tried their food, but always questioned the name. Alaskan Tacos?? I've eaten tacos in Mexico, California and practically every state of the USA, but haven't visited Alaska, yet, so I haven't had the pleasure of ordering their tacos. So, looking at their name, you may wonder as I have what it is exactly. If you look online most everything is there along with an explanation for even the strangest place, event and food. So, in looking at food review sites, I found a ton on Mema's Alaskan Tacos. And I found my answer, sought of, in a 2004 post at Roadfood.com, from the owners. "Hello! My name is Sean and I am the proprietor of Mema's Alaskan Tacos. This unique Southwestern style of cooking tacos was taught to my grandmother and perfected in Alaska. As I have been cooking and enjoying these tacos all my life, I decided that it would be the perfect food to share with Tampa. We offer five wonderful tacos, each made with top grade ingredients. The beef is made with 85% lean ground chuck. We use boneless chicken breast for our chicken tacos. We buy our grouper fillets and fresh gulf shrimp from local suppliers for use in our seafood tacos. For you vegans out there, we have a veggie taco that satisfies as well as any meat taco. ... See you soon! Sean Godin - President, Mema's Alaskan Tacos"
Then this post followed right after: "I can 100% say that these tacos are THE BEST! I, too, have been eating them all my life. You have to stop by Mema's if you're in Tampa/Ybor City and try an original Alaskan taco. They're not like any taco you've had before - Mema's secret recipe, originating in Alaska and passed down through generations. Enjoy! Shellie Harnetty, Sister of Sean Godin"
It's the definitive explanation I was looking for and straight from the horse's mouth (and his sister to back him up.) No bias there. Blame it all on their sweet grandma. (I know my grandmother didn't perfect her recipes in Juno or Anchorage.)
So, if I wanted my taco filled with shrimp, and not from Nebraska but from more local waters, this is the place. If you want native Alaskan food, I think you'll have to go there and ask around. Happy eating blubber fans!!