THIS WEEK'S BIG TIP: Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana, 1215 Germantown Parkway S., Germantown, TN, http://delimexicana.com/
The last couple of weeks have been a roller-coaster ride for father Jose ("Pepe") and son Jonathan Magallanes.
Two weeks ago, their restaurant failed its Memphis-Shelby County Health Department with a 69, despite a track record of terrific health inspections that look like a straight-A student's report card (click here to link to that Scorecard story: http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=10988953).
Coincidentally, at the same time, I'd been taking viewer nominations for the Best Mexican category.
After that Scorecard aired, Action News 5 viewers who support Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana swarmed my e-mailbox. Each of them criticized the health department's score and subsequent adjustment (14 points to an 83). Each sang the praises of the Magallanes' service and one-of-a-kind approach to fresh ingredients at reasonable prices.
That passion -- and those e-mails -- put the restaurant over the top for Best Mexican on Andy's Restaurant Scorecard.
"The food here is like no other Mexican food in the Memphis area," said Dr. Greg Laurence, a Germantown physician who sneaks in for lunch with colleagues or dinner with the kids several times a month.
"Everything is hot and fresh," said Alyssa Lambert of Bartlett, TN. "I don't know what the deal is with the health department!"
Jonathan Magallanes said his family had an "obsession" with providing Mexican fare and dishes you can't find anywhere else.
"That means partnering with local farms for the meat, hand-selecting our fruits and vegetables and giving you something that is completely fresh," he said.
"I guess it's the seasonings," said Lisa Norris, who carried her little son and daughter over from Collierville, TN, for the seasoned corn-on-the-cob. "It is delicious!"
WHAT ANDY LIKES: King Crab Legs Sandwich, Spicy Pork Tenderloin & Pineapple Tacos, Beef Brisket Tacos, Freshly-Squeezed Fruit Juices & Slushes
Breaking News: Not one Memphis-Shelby County restaurant failed its health inspection this week! For all of the scores, click here.