Surfside

Surfside is one of those great neighborhood restaurants that’s quick, easy, fun, and also makes some pretty tasty food. Jay first visited without me one night, and it wasn’t too long until he was back with me in tow.

The atmosphere is casual and come-as-you-are. Rather than ordering from a waiter, you circle your meal choices on a paper menu and hand it to the cashier. Within minutes (literally), your order is ready. When Jay brought me here for the first time, he went to the back to order some beers from the bar, and I went and grabbed us a table. Only seconds after I sat down, seemingly, our order was ready, freshly grilled and still warm.

I am on a quest to try the guacamole at every just about every restaurant that serves it in the city, and lucky for me, Surfside has some fantastic guac. After trying it the first time, I was ready to declare it the best in town. The halved cherry tomatoes really give the guac a nice pop of sweetness, and the flavor throughout is very nice as well, with huge chunks of avocado lingering in the mix. When we got Surfide to go a few nights ago, however, I thought the flavor was a little lacking, so I’m not quite sure if I would rank it as #1, but it is still very good. Maybe tied for number 1? The flavor is fresh and refreshing, and pretty killer. If you’re a Monday night football fan, the guac is free (free!) during the games.

I ordered the fish tacos, which were light and perfectly seasoned and wrapped in a great grill flavor. The toppings were fresh and also grilled to perfection, and the tortillas were warm and soft. The side dishes were generous portions of rice and beans, and were greatly appreciated after an extended time at the gym. One of my favorite things about the tacos is that they came served with half of a lime that had itself been grilled, lending more smoky and sweet/sour flavor to the tacos. A very nice touch. Jay got the beef tacos, which were juicy and succulent.

Surfside aint no fancy pants dining experience, but I think that’s where the charm comes from. I mean, where else can you walk in wearing whatever (I saw everything from sun dresses to athletic shorts, with many pairs of jeans and shorts in between), receive your order fresh and hot from the grill within minutes, and lounge around with a cold beer wherever you want? The place is so casual and unpretentious that I worry a little bit about how it will do in the winter when the foot traffic outside has decreased and the Carribean interior might seem a little fake and distant, but I think that the quality food and fresh ingredients that Surfside prepares will establish a loyal following that will return despite what the weather may bring. Considering it’s within a 5 minute walk from my apartment, I have a feeling we’ll be back again and again.

The menu ranges from tacos and wraps to salads and entrees. Each “category” is labelled differently, like “monsoon” or some other kind of watery name, without much description under the category itself, but each menu item is described sufficiently so you can figure it out. Try the guacamole and salsa, the latter of which has a great mesquite undertone. When Jay and I ate there last, they were waiting on an outdoor liquor license, so we couldn’t sit on the roof with our beers, but it’s still a great place to eat outdoors.

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