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I have a restaurant recommendation for my Memphis readers

I know all of y'all don't live out in the 'burbs like I do

(note to my out-of-town readers: Yes, I live about 10 miles from where Dooce grew up. It's my claim to blogging fame.)

but if you're ever out this way

(note to Midtowners: No, you don't have to get your passport stamped when you travel outside the 240 loop.)

there is this awesome Mexican deli called Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana on Germantown Road in a little strip mall just south of the Wolf River by the Waffle House. Across from the Chick-Fil-A.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "A Mexican deli in a strip mall? Ri-hiiight." But seriously. Y. U. M.

Let me tell you the story.

Pepe grew up on the west coast of Mexico. When he moved to the states, the one thing he really missed from home were the roadside delis that served fresh tacos and sandwiches. When he traveled home to visit, he returned to Memphis missing those delis terribly. So he finally decided to open one of his own. Right here. In Memphis. Authentic, fresh, Mexican tacos and sandwiches.

And they are To Die For.

Pepe doesn't order food and supplies for his deli. He goes out to the fresh markets every day and buys what is freshest that day - so the menu changes slightly. For instance, the fish may be red snapper or it might be tilapia, whichever is fresh that day.

The sandwiches are called tortugas which means "turtles" in Spanish, because the bread is shaped like the shell of a turtle. The menu consists of a list of items that can be ordered as sandwiches (tortugas) or tacos (4 small soft tacos).

The first time I ate there I was with a group of people from work. I had the fish tacos. Fresh fish grilled with onions, topped with cilantro and fresh avocado slices. It was orgasmic. Seriously. One of the girls with us had the fish in the sandwich. When she finished she said, "That may have been the best sandwich I've ever eaten in my life."

I'm so happy with the fish tacos (shut up. Don't be 12.) that I order the same thing every time I go. But I have also had, and can recommend, the chicken flautas appetizer and the aguas frescas, which are kind of like smoothies, but they're 100% fresh fruit - like mango and watermelon. I understand they also make authentic mole sauce from an ancient Aztec recipe (with chocolate) but I haven't tried it yet. The tortugas and tacos come with these thick, salty homemade tortilla chips and salsa de aguacate tayde (avocado-based spicy green sauce).

Pepe is there every day, manning the grill, and his son - whose name I do not know, but listen girls: he is HOT - runs the register. He can tell you all about the food and answer any questions you might have.

It's open for lunch and dinner, but I've only just had lunch there and it is packed every time I go in. It's one of those few places in town (along with Automatic Slim's and McEwen's, which are both all the way the hell downtown) where you can pretend like you're not in Memphis. In this case, just close your eyes and smell the smells and you can totally convince yourself that you're actually in....San Diego!

So I've done a pretty good job of emulating Melati in how she's always eating great food in fun places and talking about it on her blog, no? Well, try it out and let me know how much you love it!

I've eaten there! I live in Midtown, but my dentist is right across the street. You're right -- it's the best place! And his son is not hard on the eyes at all!

I look forward to my six-month checkup now -- I have another one in April. I can't wait!

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