Back in September, I marked one of the final Taco Tuesdays of the summer – the most taco-appropriate of all the seasons – by eating some of the most bizarre tacos I could find: the crab rangoon tacos from Joe Mama's Bar and Grill. And while the summer may be long gone, these funky fusion tacos have made a comeback.
But first, let's talk about these tacos, as "fusion" couldn't even begin to describe these oddball eats, originally concocted as a one-day-only special at the Colgate restaurant. Called cool crab rangoon dip fried rice tacos – a name almost as much of a mouthful as the tacos themselves – the dish tucked crab rangoon filling inside a fried wonton shell, then wrapped that with a layer of Joe Mama's take on fried rice and another crispy wonton shell. Somewhere, a Taco Bell executive weeps that they didn't come up wih this menu item first. The takeout-inspired tacos additionally came with a sweet heat and sour sauce for dipping as well as a side of chips.
Is it Mexican food? Is it Chinese food? All I know is that it was food, and I was hungry for them – so much so I drove out 30 minutes to Colgate to pick up a pair for myself. (Due to popular demand, the tacos were eventually limited to dine-in customers only on this first run.) But were they the best of both worlds? Or a match made in culinary purgatory? Let's take a throwback bite:
Crab rangoon tacos? More like crab ranGOOD tacos, amirite?! I'll see myself out.
Anyways, these tacos weren't just a culinary stunt; they were really quite crave-ably tasty. The crab rangoon filling was creamy and slightly sweet, the rice mix was the perfect salty soy-flavored chew counterpoint and wrapping them all together were addictively crispy sheets of fried wonton wrappers. Crab rangoon is essentially a delivery device for crunchiness, and these eats did not disappoint in that department – even maintaining their shattering crispiness after a long drive to Colgate and back, a feat of crunch survival that should have Crispix thinking about its life and thinking about its choices.
In the end, the tacos managed to taste just like a beloved Chinese takeout order albeit in a strange, new and yummy one-of-a-kind package – and thankfully a no longer one-day-only package, as according to its Facebook page, the crab rangoon treats will return to Joe Mama's for another Taco Tuesday on Nov. 17. Starting at 11 a.m., the tacos will be back for dine-in and takeout orders – this time complete with homemade lo mein and packaged with a self-assembly focus, the elements coming separate so you can craft your own perfect bite of flavorful fusion freedom in between a crispy wonton home.
And hopefully stay tuned for more hunger-inducing hybrids like this from Joe Mama's in the future. After all, we're always looking for a good excuse to celebrate Taco Tuesday – or any other culinary-themed almost-holidays – and these definitely qualify.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.