There’s an icy cold deli case at the entrance to Tampico stocked with Gulf red snapper, shrimp, scallops and more, all freshly harvested from the ocean. Why? The best way to enjoy Tampico is by ordering the house special huachinango a la plancha, which is the Gulf red snapper grilled up fajita-style with onions and green peppers. Diners can choose their own fish from the display case, and choose other seafood specialties to add to the platter. The camarones al ajillo (shrimp sautéed in massive amounts of garlic and butter) are particularly succulent. Sop up the extra sauce with griddle-fried bread.
Setting-wise, this is purely no-frills fish: Tampico is in a Mexican-American neighborhood with a basic decor of neon signs and Formica tables and a lively crowd that is mostly Spanish-speaking, as are the staff.