Tucked away among the eclectic historic homes of Lincolnville sits a small white building with big windows and a serious local following. It would be wildly inaccurate to say that it’s an undiscovered gem (walk in there on any given day, at any given time and you’ll join a throng of people waiting for a table), but it does require a sharp turn off the beaten downtown path. That sharp turn, however, will reward you with the mouthwatering culinary offerings of the Blue Hen Cafe. This bright and cheery little spot beckons patrons forward with decor that celebrates Florida southern charm in a beach town atmosphere. And their food gives off the same vibe.
And though we will always be loyal to their breakfast burritos and biscuits with peach butter, on this particular trip, we were on the lookout for a delectable dish that vegetarians could devour. And we came across the Fried Green Tomato Tacos. Now, having lived my whole life in the South, I was very familiar with fried green tomatoes and had eaten them on numerous occasions, but the addition of the word “taco” in the title of this dish had me skeptical. My skepticism was quickly abandoned.
The Fried Green Tomato Tacos start, quite simply, with crispy, fresh fried green tomatoes on two tortillas. The chefs add a portion of cabbage to each along with a cilantro white sauce, cilantro, and a black-eyed pea salsa. As always with their fare, each ingredient is fresh and that freshness comes through in a gust of rich flavors. The elements of the tacos have been chosen to curate a perfect marriage of Southern tradition and Latin favorites. The herbs and spice that come out in the cilantro white sauce give the dish that unmistakable classic taco flavor, and the ingredients of the black-eyed pea salsa (with the exception of the black-eyed peas) stick to classic salsa recipes. But the chefs have added their own distinct Blue Hen flair by substituting Southern components in the appropriate places.
These tacos are fusion food at its best. The textures and flavors keep the palate interested and demonstrate culinary skills more than you’d expect necessary for a taco dish. The Fried Green Tomato tacos are Blue Hen’s fantastically funky energy defined – part kitchen talent, part flavor experimentation, all tastiness.