Because I was tired of hearing overeducated food types in Philadelphia talk a ton of smack about Stephen Starr’s always-packed Mexican joint El Vez, I decided to put the restaurant to the test with a demanding Saturday-night birthday party 10-top, including some fussy suburban eaters and one each of the picky-eater and vegetarian species. We ordered beers. We ordered margaritas. We ordered a wide range of food. And we dropped $40-plus in the photo booth, where, yes, my shirt came off. (Pictures available upon request.) Not a bad plate or drink was served. The server didn’t stumble once. And we made it out the door for under $40 per person. You can hate all you want, haters, but the fact is, El Vez may be the most fun restaurant in town.
121 South 13th Street
First appeared in the April 2013 edition of Philadelphia magazine