Pelon's Baja Grill | Virginia Beach, VA
It was like hot summer on that April afternoon at Virginia Beach. Buildings stretched up stories upon story and the boardwalk seemed to blaze on for as many miles horizontally. Along the beach were bright splashes of color and kids bobbing in and out of the water.
What the birds see in it.
The boardwalk at Virginia Beach is a place for couples to stroll, groups of friends to saunter, and off to one side a place for bikers to hang out. Restaurants line the walk and umbrellas provide shady places and ambiance. There are hotels everywhere.
We casually sauntered for an hour or two until, lovely as the walk was, food sounded better. Our first natural choice was Pelon's Baja Grill, recommended by a friend as worth the stop for fish tacos.
PELON'S BAJA GRILL
There's an element of the good ole USA that I enjoy, and that is enthusiasm. Standing in a line in Paris I would probably try to stay under-the-radar and reserved, but in a food line at a noisy taco joint in America the rules change and one feels more... free. I grew up in an exuberant family, especially when we had meals with extended family on mom's side, so to be back in an atmosphere like this makes me feel at home.
Their service was between fast and sit-down, which is what I expected from a place where you ordered your food and then sat down and waited to have it brought out. We ordered tacos, duh, (this talk of old family reunions is rubbing off) and accompanying glass bottle sodas. Nothing, and I mean nothing will ever beat a cold, frosty Mexican coke with tacos or pizza.
Now for the tacos. My first bite of these fish tacos felt like a revelation. Flavors danced chassé with the spicy breaded fish, cilantro, cabbage, and creamy sauce all chasing each other. Amazingly, they were almost this good, bite after bite. The kick of the spice didn't diminish by much, and the cream continued to balance it out. In my opinion this makes for a memorable experience because you continue to enjoy each mouthful almost as a new sensation. Add a sip of Coca-Cola now and then and at the end of three tacos I wanted that many more.
All in all, if you enjoy a kitschy atmosphere, a maximalist decor, and tacos, do, do, DO come to Pelon's Baja Grill. We enjoyed ourselves greatly and it was fun to hang out in a place where a Marvel superheroes sleeveless top, cut offs and ball cap fit in swimmingly.
Price range: $6-$12
Most recommended menu item: fish tacos
Dress code: casual beach town
Viva la vida!