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Erin Sullivan

Pop Tacos

Address:1065 S. Charles St.
Cross Street Market
Baltimore, MD 

More on Pop Tacos.

By Erin Sullivan | Posted 2/4/2009

The sign promising chicken escabeche is what drew me in. Escabeche is a spicy vinegar-based marinade popular in Central and South American food, and a plate of tangy, spicy chicken served over steamed rice with a side of fresh veggies ($5.99) sounded like the perfect fix for a slushy, miserable afternoon. I ordered the dish, then on a whim asked for a cup of homemade cilantro noodle soup, made with jalapenos, tofu, and mushrooms ($3.89). The escabeche, unfortunately, was not what I'd expected--the marinade tasted sweet rather than spicy, more like a teriyaki sauce than anything else. Disappointing. The soup however, exceeded my expectation. A simple broth full of thick doughy noodles was the base, and into that the woman behind the counter tossed a handful of fresh, raw mushrooms, jalapenos, and cilantro. She added big cubes of fried tofu, sealed the to-go container, and on the trip to the car, the broth absorbed the spiciness of the jalapeno and the fresh, pungent flavor of the cilantro. The mushrooms, tofu, and noodles made it deceptively satisfying. Definitely worth stopping in again, though next time I'll probably skip the escabeche.

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