Next door to Roux on Canton is another small eatery called INC Street Food. We had heard about this place from some friends, and have walked by many times. Each time we walked by there were plenty of people in there and we would say, “You know, we should try that place sometime.”
Finally we got around to trying it and were very pleased with what we experienced. The atmosphere of the place is very cozy and urban. The kitchen serving area is kind of mocked up like a food truck which we thought was cool.
At the table we were greeted with something a little different than the conventional bread basket. There was a small silver colored bowl of bits of fried hominy. Now what the hell is hominy? According to wikipedia, hominy is kernels of maize that have been through a process of nixtamalization. Still confused? In this process, the kernels are soaked in an alkaline solution like limewater, thereby making the kernels easier to grind and increasing the flavor and aroma. Basically, this processing of hominy made it possible for us to snack on them. When fried and salted, these tiny kernels became super delicious and addictive. It was a great, original start to the meal.
For our entrees Laura and I decided to split an appetizer of chorizo empanadas and shrimp tacos. The empanadas were perfectly fried and set on a bed of corn and black bean salsa. An avocado ranch dressing was drizzled on top. Wow! These were fantastic! They had a perfect amount of spice from the chorizo and salsa that was complimented so well with the sweetness of the corn. Great dish, we highly recommend it!
The shrimp tacos were served in doubled up corn tortillas topped with cole slaw and a chipotle cream. We asked shortly before they came out if we could switch to flour tortillas because we like them a lot better, but the waitress told us they had just been made. However, like a smart employee, she offered to bring us some flour tortillas on the side. Great work on her part, it really went a long way. Now I tried the tacos with the corn and with the flour tortillas, and both iterations were wonderful. The chipotle cream was a bit surprising because it wasn’t as spicy as I thought it would be. It did provide some heat, but the sweetness of the cole slaw the quite prominent. The shrimp was excellently cooked and plentiful. Overall, these tacos were tough to put down, and even harder not to order more!
Everything about INC Street Food says originality. What might be taken as a typical mexican food place is actually much more. The restaurant makes you feel like it would be a great place to meet up after work or on a summer afternoon to have a drink and finger-foods with friends. Creatively they have made a lot of good decisions and not just strayed from the norm blindly. Next time I go, I will definitely try their margaritas which seemed to be flying of the bar when we were there. Also, the ceviche appetizer and guacamole tostadas looked amazing!
So if you plan on going….
“give me a call, I’ll fly with you” — Top Gun 1986