As a childhood native of Southern California I had plenty of chances to experience what I call “real” Mexican food in all it’s many variations and wonderful flavors. As I have gradually migrated north over the course of my life I have left many of those flavors behind. Now that I live near Seattle I find that mostly I have to settle for the more “Americanized” variations to the theme - tostadas, burritos, tacos, enchiladas and salads with beef, pork or chicken.
Just down the street from my office is a place that does a very good job on those basics and even has a few of my favorite more traditional dishes. Blue Water Taco Grill specializes in coastal Mexican food which means you can get fish, calamari, shrimp or prawns in addition to the standard meat selection above.
Walk in to Blue Water and you will find a bright, clean, well lit place with tables leading to a glass counter behind which stand three smiling folks who have an obvious preference for Spanish over English. It’s a great sign, and not a problem as they all speak English just fine and with my stomach speaking the universal language of food it’s all good.
You’ll find the usual selections lined up behind the glass counter - tortillas, beans, meats, cheese, lettuce, shredded cabbage, sour cream and guacamole. Also behind that counter are a great selection of freshly made salsas, from mild to chipotle to scorchingly hot, each is very fresh and quite tasty. They warm and or cook the meat to order as needed on their grill behind the counter which makes for a fresh and hot meal in just minutes.
For my most recent trip I ordered tostadas, one ground beef the other chicken. They layer them with lettuce first, then whole beans (black or pinto), cheese, meat or fish, salsa and finally the hot sauce of your choice. I opt out of guacamole, yes I’m from avocado land and no, I have never liked them. Deal. I picked the chipotle hot sauce which was smokey, spicy and hot without it being lighting my tongue on fire.
My beef tostada was perfect. The ground beef was tasty, well seasoned and complemented the other ingredients perfectly. It was not overly wet which helped keep the tortilla crisp - it held firm all the way to my last bite.
Alas, the same cannot be said for my chicken tostada. I’ve been to Blue Water dozens of times in the years I’ve worked in lower queen anne and on two occasions I’ve found a dish to be just a bit too salty. The first time it was with the enchalada sauce. This time it was the chicken, which was cooked perfectly, tender and not dry, but had a sauce that had too much salt.
Tostadas can be a bit tricky because you don’t want to to allow any runny juices to get to the tortilla and make it soggy. I checked both as soon as I sat down but it was too late for my poor chicken tostada - yup, soggy. After dozens of meals I guess you’re bound to get a few less than perfect ones every now and then.
I’ve had many of the dishes on the menu including the fish tacos (served in soft corn tortillas), the enchiladas (made fresh), and prawn burritos, all have been quite good. Blue Water also has a liquor license and serves a decent selection of beers, margaritas and can you believe it tequila shots! Of course since I always find myself there during work hours I’ve not yet had a chance to try the margaritas or shots yet.
Most places near me charge about the same prices for lunch, so expect to walk out having spent about $11 with a regular or Mexican soda. I’m sure I’ll be back soon, that calamari sounds great in a taco salad!
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- midlifecrazyman posted this