Papi’s Taco Joint in Fell’s Point is a fun new Mexican Restaurant located in a former Boston themed sports bar; I watched the Bruins crush the Canucks in the NHL Finals there all the way back in 2011. The cultural shift from the Atlantic North East to South America is a welcome and delicious change. The food is light, authentic, well seasoned, and easy on the wallet. The menu is two sides with one being dedicated to a festive array of adult cocktails, while the reverse side charts the taco joint’s Mexican street food themed edibles. Tacos come in pairs, burritos come wrapped in foil, the hearty Table Side Guacamole is muddled during presentation, and the braised short ribs are sautéed with love. I had an opportunity to interview Executive Chef, Faith Paulick, along with Sous Chef, Fernando. Below Faith discusses her favorite comedian, dishes, and dreams.
Can you tell me how you got your start in the culinary arts?
I wanted to be an English teacher, and found myself cooking my way through college to pay for my tuition. Through all this I decided to change my career to embrace my true desire.
Who is your favorite comedian?
I love(Baltimore native) Monique- she embraces being a minority to so many extents and brings out the humor in being a voluptuous, black woman. She wrote my favorite cook book, and I have since used her cook book, “Never trust a skinny cook” as a model for my own humorous cook books.
If you could make Monique a meal what would you prepare?
I’d fry some chicken in my grandmother’s cast iron pan that’s been seasoned for decades.
Have you ever conceived a dish that made you giddy with joy?
Yes,Tamales and Mole. They’re both incredibly challenging and were both devoured by my incredible Mexican kitchen staff.
If Jiro Dreams of Sushi, do you dream of salsa?
I dream of creating a world where Americans and other cultures will one day break bread (or tortillas) together, uniting our world through food, our sustenance for living.
Do you have a muse; who or what?
My grandmother, actually both. My maternal grandmother managed to cook for dozens of people on a paupers wages, and to this day they’re inspired by her flavors. My maternal grandmother instilled organization, precise measuring, and cooking techniques that have over time become invaluable tools.
What’s the best drink/dish pairing at Papi’s?
My sous chef and I agree, the margarita marinated Baja Mahi tacos- naturally served authentic style on a double layer of fresh corn tortillas speckled with salsa piña- pair beautifully with our house margarita, featuring locally squeezed fresh citrus juices, and organic agave nectar- shaken to perfection with or without a salt rim; diner’s choice of rocks or frozen from our one-of-a kind state of the art frozen machine!!!
Papi’s features a daily happy hour ranging from: dollar tacos, $3 margaritas, $3 draught beers, $3 sangrias and $3 tequila shots. Fridays feature “Dos Manos”margaritas. Mon-Fri 4-7. Photo Courtesy of: Baltimore Sun Newspaper