I think I've mentioned before that I spent my formative years (ages 10-15) living in the Southwestern U.S. It's a gorgeous area of the country that has lots going for it--amazing climate, awe-inspiring geography, and (more to today's point) killer cuisine.
Memphis does a lot of things right when it comes to food. Be it romantic Downtown eateries (Flight, Cheesecake Corner), hipster Midtown deliciousness (Local, Restaurant Iris), or even suburban favorites (Café Piazza, Sakura), there's lots of awesome food to be enjoyed. But one thing I'd yet to find in any Memphis neighborhood was some truly ballin' Mexican food. (Las Tortugas was the closest I'd found, but while totally delicious I still sometimes found it slightly lacking in the authenticity department.)
Last Saturday, I took my life into my hands and ventured not far past
Murderville Hickory Ridge Mall (sorry mom!) and pulled up to this unassuming little dive in a run-down strip mall. Welcome, one and all, to Las Delicias.
I walked in and immediately felt a surging sense of promise. Number One, I was the only gringa in the joint, which definitely boded well re: authenticity. I grabbed an empty booth by a sunny window and proceeded to peruse the menu.
Within moments, the fabulous server (completely fluent in both English and Spanish, I might add) took my order (guacamole and the "All in one"), and then plopped some salsa (both roja and verde) and fresh-cut limes onto the table. I'm officially getting excited at this point.
First up: the guacamole.
Jiminy Christmas, y'all.
I've never smoked in my life. However, I've watched enough Chandler-centric "Friends" episodes to have somewhat of an idea as to what it must feel like to take a deep inhale on a cigarette after a long period of abstinence. And guys, that's exactly the feeling I had when I loaded up one of Las Delicias' house-made, thick-yet-irresistibly-flaky tortilla chips with somma that there guacamole and shoved it into my pie-hole. 'Cause guys, I haven't tasted guacamole that fresh, that deliciously authentic since I left Phoenix in the summer of 2000, and that's the dang truth! A deceptively simple preparation of chunky avocado, tomato, onion and jalapeño (plus possibly a smoky additive that I couldn't quite put my finger on), it was a near-religious experience for this former Arizonian.
Next up: the "All in one," a fajita dish consisting of grilled steak, marinated pork, pork chops, bacon, onions and peppers topped with melted cheese.
I can normally take or leave Chili's-variety fajitas, but this...y'all, this was dynamite. The savory beef, the sweet pork in all its incarnations, the meltingly tender onions and peppers, the gorgeous cheese... Plus, can we please talk about these brilliant tortillas one more time?
Add a little guacamole plus a squirt of salsa roja... I truly can't emphasize enough how out-of-this-world this dish was/is.
Y'all can probably already tell that this joint earns an overwhelmingly positively review from me, so I guess before I conclude my rave I'll share a little bit of a romantic memory with you. My husband and I actually honeymooned in Mexico. Our charming, all-inclusive resort right on the beach included a daily poolside cabana cookout, featuring literally the most amazing carnitas I've ever tasted (before or since). Wade and I often talk of revisiting our honeymoon location (perhaps for our tenth anniversary in, wow, just three years!), and how we plan to basically park our booties in the sand and do nothing 'cept eat those carnitas for days on end.
Guys, I'm pretty sure Las Delicias totally make the exact dish we enjoyed on our honeymoon. Take a look...
A couple hints before I officially conclude my review... One, if you're truly averse to taking a trip to Murderville for the sake of some good food, Las Delicias also has locations on Quince and Park. Two, while I can't speak for the service at the other two locations, my server at the South Mendenhall location pretty much "tapped out" once my order was delivered. Feel free to stroll on up to the bar and grab an attendant whenever you're ready to settle your bill :)
Bottom line: Would I eat there again? I'm not even going to dignify that question with a response.
3727 S Mendenhall Rd
Memphis, TN 38115