Full disclosure here . . . I was so excited when local legendary Chef Malin Parker opened Screaming Goat Taqueria back in February this year, that I was literally the first customer scratching at the door to get in. And that enthusiasm resulted in my buying the first two tacos from Screaming Goat Taqueria!
Fast forward to this past week, and I’m thrilled to write that Chef Malin has not only survived but thrived, further cementing his reputation as a culinary innovator in all things healthy and delicious. Here’s a little background on Malin . . .he’s not Hispanic. In fact, Malin’s heritage is Danish and he describes Danish food as the polar opposite of Mexican food . . . according to Malin, he grew up eating slightly ‘bland’ food that was light on flavor. So when Malin had the opportunity to open his own restaurant he was attracted to, maybe even drawn to all the spices and variety of flavors that go into a taco – be it one from Acapulco, Mexico or from Seoul, South Korea. The tortilla is a blank canvas that Chef Malin paints with colorful, vibrant sauces, layers with various chunky and fresh ingredients and presents to each and every in-house diner on a silver platter. (Ok . . . it’s an aluminum tray, but it “feels” like you’re being spoiled!)
At Screaming Goat Taqueria, the traditional humble street food of Latin America rises to new heights. Being a professional chef for decades, Chef Malin takes control of the kitchen, making sure each and every sauce is made in-house, each garnish is fresh and all vegetables and meats are delivered daily. The guy doesn’t have a can opener or a freezer in his kitchen, and he plans to keep it that way. All his recipes are 100% ethnic, and most go back 100’s of years . . . but feature a Screaming Goat twist!
This is fresh, creative stuff that you won’t find many other places. (Did I say many, I meant any!)
Take the simple Guacamole, for example. We ordered a scoop to enjoy along with some chips and various salsas, and Jill found herself eating using the chip as a utensil! Bite-sized chunks of fresh avocado melt against your tongue, with just the right amount of sea salt and the zing of fresh lime juice. Brilliant!
I mentioned that we ordered a number of salsas to
play with enjoy with our chips. . . I highly suggest you try this. Starting with the bottom right, and going clockwise, we enjoyed the Smoked Red Pepper salsa, an Avocado-Tomatillo salsa with jalapenos and lime juice, the Fire-Charred Tomatillo- Chipotle (the brown salsa) that Chef explained how charring the tomatillo mellows the acid against the chipotle. We both enjoyed the Cilantro Chimichurri with red pepper flakes, garlic, onion, vinegar, and olive oil, but the real surprise was the Scotch Bonnet- Roasted Pineapple. Chef Milan asked Jill to taste it first before telling her the name. She picked up on the sweet pineapple flavor and only a few seconds later did the heat from the Scotch Bonnet pepper kick in. That being said, she really liked the surpri”zing” flavor. Me? I can’t have hot pepper anytime after 12 noon, or I’ll pay for it later!
The same attention to detail goes into Chef Malin’s Signature Craft Tacos. NOT that you can’t build your own taco! There are 7 different protein options, and 13 fresh vegetable and herbs available. Just pick and choose and if you come up with something unexpected and wonderful, let Screaming Goat know about it!
Knowing what an innovative culinarian that Chef Malin Parker is, I encouraged him to pick his five favorite craft tacos and we’d trust him from there. Photographed above, are from left to right, the Beef Barbacoa, Korean Braised Beef, the Pork Cochinita Pibil (I didn’t share this with Jill – it was gone in a flash, whoopsies), then two vegetarian options: The Roasted Sweet Potato, Quinoa & Lentil taco and the Vegan Latin Falafel taco with that yummy cilantro chimichurri, arugula and pico de gallo. Looking at the ingredients in Chef Malin’s signature tacos, there is no better argument that Screaming Goat isn’t actually a “Mexican” restaurant. Sure, there are plenty of Latin flavors to enjoy, but Korean beef? Falafel? (Falafels are Egyptian, by the way.) You won’t find these flavors at a Mexican Cantina, as each ingredient speaks its own language showcasing its own unique flavor profile. The Beef Barbacoa is truly Latin, seasoned with cactus paddle and queso fresco, the Korean taco flavored with a Curtido slaw, cilantro, and fresh lime. There are 8 different Signature Craft Tacos on the menu, which are easily paired with any one of the 14+ craft beers available, all from Florida except a gluten-free beer that he outsourced because it was better tasting than what he found in the state.
In sports, there’s an ongoing discussion of who is the G.O.A.T. ( Greatest Of All Time.) It comes as no argument to me that Screaming Goat Taqueria meets the new acronym – Greatest Of All Tacos! Don’t believe me? Just read all the comments guest leave on the walls! I’ve attached a few of my personal favorites below!
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