The Late-Night Food Spot:
Taqueria La Fonda Prima
1104 S. 9th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Heady moments backstage follow after the show.
“Oh my God, I’m getting high with The Meat Puppets!”
“No, you’re getting fucked up with The Meat Puppets,” I’m quickly corrected, my head still swimming from their rendition of The Beach Boys cover of “Sloop John B” that took the song back to its folk origins. That and I was drinking their beer, while eating hummus and what not from their compted spread.
And then with equipment hitched to their touring van, I’m off with Enemy Planes toward South Philly for some of the city’s best tacos at a place that’s a constant late-night haunt for many in the local restaurant industry. With many kitchens in the city shutting down at either 10 or 11p.m., service industry people can clock out and leisurely enjoy a few shift beers at their place of work without any worry about where to get their grub on since Prima La Fonda stays open beyond 3a.m. most nights, while pushing on well past 5a.m. on weekends.
While spillover from 9th street neighbors brings congregants from Connie’s Ric Rac and charming dive bar Terry’s (both infrequently host music nights), in addition to your server or bartender, there’s also the evincing of a different cultural norm by Mexican immigrants who don’t bat at an eye at coming together as a community to get food and hang out late into the night. While it can happen any night of the week, it’s this fresh immigrant congregation that creates an especially convivial buzz on weekends that’s added to with each flavor rich bite, each pop of a bottle of takeout beer from Terry’s that drops another cap into the whicker basket by the cash register.