One of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Philadelphia is Los Camaradas over in South Philly right at the corner of 22nd and Carpenter. Its no wonder they were named the Best of Philly Nachos last year! Find whatever excuse necessary whether its happy hour, Taco Tuesday, or just to escape the brunch crowds of Center City- this restaurant is not to be missed.
Chef Joe Schull and his wife Theresa have both been working in the restaurant industry for over 20 years. They fell in love with Spanish and Mexican food long before their honeymoon in Mexico. When Los Camaradas found its home at 22nd and Carpenter the customers were literally knocking on the door waiting for it to open. Theresa and Joe didn’t want to keep them waiting so they opened on February 21, 2015 right in the middle of a snow storm. On that day many hungry bellies were filled with delicious cuisine and so it continues to this day.
The restaurant offers lots of indoor and outdoor seating with reservations for parties of 6 or more. The moment you sit, order yourself a Margarita (we won’t judge if its on a Tuesday). The tequila selection here is nothing short of outstanding featuring 100% blue agave, fresh lime, and fruit puree. There are a variety of flavors, but Classic and Guava are the most popular. Your drinks will arrive with some homemade tortilla chips and salsa, what better way is there to start a meal?
Cheese. The only other great way to start a meal is with cheese. I’m somewhat of an addict so you know I couldn’t resist the Queso Fundido with queso mixto, homemade chorizo, and poblano rajas. Its great that this dish is served both with homemade chips and soft tortillas. This cheesy gooey wonder was served in a portion easily for 2-4 people (although I ate most of it).
Don’t forget their recent claim to fame- the 2015 Best of Philly Nachos! These babies are piled high (half portions available at happy hour) with Queso mixto (gouda, smokey queso fresco, Oaxaca), black bean, tomato, crema, pickled jalapeno, and pickled red onion. Add Short Rib, homemade Chorizo, or Chicken if you’d like. This plate is a generous portion and could easily suffice as the entire meal for a party of 2. Not to mention these might be the prettiest nachos we’ve every seen with a rainbow of colors appearing on the plate you just can’t look at these and not smile.
If you make it past the first course then why not peruse the vast selection of tacos offered and if your wallet is a little tight- stop by on Taco Tuesdays for a selection of 2 tacos for $6! I mixed plate of BBQ Shortrib Tacos with braised shortrib, house BBQ sauce, jalapeno slaw, Tacos de Pescado with Mahi Mahi Tacos with avocado, mango pico, plantain crisp, and Tacos de Vegetales with brussel sprouts, maitaki mushrooms, chayote, and lemon crema. The Mahi tacos may have been my top pick and you can’t beat fish tacos in the summer. Other options include:
- Pork Belly Tacos- crispy confit pork belly, cucumber carrot slaw, ginger arbol chile glaze
- Tacos de Bistec- fire roasted rajas, pico de gallo, salsa verde, queso fresco
- Tacos de Carnitas- roasted pork, salsa verde, onion, cilantro, lime
Baja Fish Tacos- tempura tilapia, chipotle crema, pickled cabbage, cilantro, lime
Tacos de Pollo- achiote lime, crema, cilantro, red onion
And even vegan taco specials like roasted garlic and rosemary hummus with roasted cauliflower with sundried tomato pesto!
I couldn’t believe it when I heard, the ENTIRE menu here (except for the mole sauce) is gluten free! If you can indulge, however, try the Short Rib Enchiladas with mole poblano, crema, and toasted sesame seeds. The mole poblano sauce made at Los Camaradas has 27 ingredients in it! Whats distinctive in this dark brown sauce is hints of chocolate.
Other options on the menu include Enchiladas de Pollo with poblano, crema, choice of salsa roja or salsa verde and Vegetarian Enchiladas with butternut squash, onion, poblano, mole coloradito, cilantro. For sides we recommend the Esquites (a popular Mexican street food made with grilled corn) and the Sweet Plantains with chipotle butter.
Stop by Los Camaradas for brunch too! They’ve got a great menu featuring:
- Huevos Benedict- biscuit, serrano ham, poached egg, chili lime hollandaise sauce
- Huevos Rancheros- crispy tortilla, pan seared pork, fried egg, ranchero sauce
- Pork Belly Avocado BLT- crispy pork belly, avocado, sour dough, hash browns
- Sopes Rancheros- fried egg, salsa roja and choice of fresh fruit or hashbrowns
- Tres Leches French Toast-strawberries, crema batida
- Cangrejo Benedict- biscuit, lump crab, poached egg, ancho hollandaise
- Chilaquiles-house tortilla, chicken, salsa roja, fried egg, queso fresco
Once you visit, Los Camaradas is sure to be your new favorite Mexican restaurant. Having a manic Monday? Head over for $6 Margarita Monday. Happy Hour is offered Monday-Friday 5-7pm, as well as Saturday and Sunday 3-5pm. Can’t make it here? Order delivery through Caviar, Grubhub, and Postmates!
We would like to thank Theresa and Joe for allowing us to stop by Los Camaradas and sample their wonderful cuisine