Kirk and Cathy are traveling, eating, doing important stuff, or maybe just resting today. So Ed (from Yuma) is posting about 3 meals (from San Diego).
I had to have some sushi. Just had to. Tina had memories of a good chirashi at Kokoro and its website said it would be open at lunchtime on Friday. And it was:
In addition to tables, Kokoro has an L shaped sushi bar that surrounds an elevated workstation and ingredient storage area, which I think helps executive chef Akio Ishito work more comfortably:
Although I don't remember it from before, the chirashi meal started off with a little lettuce and tomato salad:
The lettuces were very fresh, the tomato very ordinary, and the dressing seem to be based around rice wine vinegar, miso, and soy. Refreshing. Palate cleansing.
For soup, we were given the alternatives of miso or udon. So udon it was:
The noodles were perfectly cooked, toothsome and tender, but the soup overall was bland.
The chirashi looked beautiful:
Underneath the fish and friends, the sushi rice was faultless. The toppings presented a nice selection of sushi bar favorites, all good quality and offered good value at $19. We both liked the sizable slice of mackerel and the halibut (hirami), which was especially firm and fresh – in fact, much like the halibut crudo we would eat the next evening at the Wine Vault. We also liked the uni and shiso leaf pairing, and the surprisingly first-rate ebi, unusually meaty and flavorful. The hamachi also stood out. There were no bad tastes, though the slices of octopus and squid were exceeding thin. Overall, we enjoyed.
It had been a long time since Tina and I had been to any Korean restaurant. We weren’t looking for a smoke filled room or for cooking our own food, so we decided on Halmouny, where we’d always enjoyed our visits in the past:
We noticed they'd remodeled the interior, and we liked the changes – the place seemed cleaner, more modern, and more open:
A flagon of chilled water was brought to the table along with my beer:
A mysterious box on the table, when opened, contained stainless steel soup spoons and chopsticks – nice touch:
A funny thing happened. Tina and I started looking over the large menu, discussing things, and trying to figure out what we wanted. There were so many choices, and almost every one of them seemed inviting. Twice the friendly server came over and asked if we were ready, and we had to say no because we weren't. Then, when she came over the third time, we ordered two of the most standard dishes on the menu.
Soft tofu soup with vegetables:
And dolsit bibimbop:
I'm sure our server must have been laughing with her coworkers about the clueless gaijin taking so long to order such a simple basic meal.
But it was good. While the soup lacked a certain depth of flavor, it was certainly tasty, and the interplay between creamy tofu, spicy broth, and veggies and ‘shrooms was pleasant. The bibimbop was great comfort food. The simple meal was really what we wanted.
Though the ban chan was totally standard and uninspired, we enjoyed them. Here’s some items:
The dried radish was our favorite of those four. There was some baby bok choy and some other veggie that I can't remember, but our favorites were the regular kimchi:
and the wonderful dried tofu
For us, this dinner was, paradoxically, exotic comfort food.
For lunch on Saturday, we were looking Eastern Mediterranean, but La Miche Kabobgee is closed for lunch on Saturdays. We remembered seeing a large restaurant, Sufi, on Balboa not too far from Convoy that promised Mediterranean food. So that's where we went:
It is large, and at lunch, it serves a popular buffet:
Photographing the entire buffet was pretty much impossible as other customers were coming and going. Plus I was getting hungry, so this fuzzy shot shows just a small part of the available choices:
Tina's first plate looked like this:
She really liked the chicken and the fire roasted veggies (the big zucchini slice and the charred tomato half). She also enjoyed the garden salad with the feta dressing, and we both liked the Shirazi salad with chopped onion, cucumber, tomato, and parsley.
Here's my first plate:
For some reason, I chose three slices of sausages, which were okay, but not really unique or outstanding. The baba ghannouj was decent, and the hummus was creamy, but far from the best I've had in San Diego. The chicken wing was OK, the pickled beet excellent, and the beef kebab just okay. Tina and I both enjoyed the stewed zucchini.
At first, the breads were not ready, but soon we were able to get pita bread and Persian naan:
For me, the breads said a lot about Sufi. The pita bread was pitiful – cool, store-bought, and boring. The Persian bread, on the other hand, was warm, tasty, and probably homemade. But in some ways that is the essence of the restaurant. While it calls itself "Mediterranean," Sufi is really a Persian restaurant that serves some generic Lebanese food to broaden its customer base.
In fact, most of our favorites from the lunch were Persian, like this interesting pomegranate soup, a lentil soup with a distinct sour tang:
And the stews on my second plate:
I believe the one on the left is called fesenjoom, a chicken and pomegranate stew. On the right is ghormeh sabzi with a big chunk of tender beef covered in greens along with large dark red beans. The closest item is, I think, gheimeh, beef and yellow split peas. I have no idea about the green bean stew furthest away. In any case, these Persian stews were the most interesting items on the buffet, and I wished that I had focused on them right from the beginning.
Nonetheless, the buffet was interesting and we certainly got to eat all kinds of things we can't get out in the desert.
This little place is the "and more" in the title of the post. It's located right next to Sufi and looked promising, so Tina insisted we visit:
There was a bewildering array of Persian pastries:
So our late-night snack that evening consisted of these walnut or pistachio treats: We were expecting something like baklava, but these were different. The pastry was not fila and they were a little more savory and less sweet than baklava. Four years ago Cathy visited the same bakery and hinted that a post might be forthcoming. Hint hint.
Anyway, we enjoyed all three of these meals. None was spectacular, but each scratched an itch, and that's a good thing: too long in Yuma and I get awfully itchy.
I shouldn't have worried about how business was.....the place was pretty busy even at 1030 in the morning!
I went with two old favorites of mine; the Gobernador and a Tacos de Marlyn.
Which came with the free cup of consommé. My experience with the broth is a mixed bag. On days when it's on, it's tangy, rich, full of shrimp-seafood flavor. It truly has the "aaah" factor. On other days, it's weak, with flavors not balancing out. On this day, it was spot on. Just plain delicious with a squeeze of lime to cut the brininess.
The Gobernador was a bit of a disappointment.
It had a nice amount of plump shrimp, but was missing the right complement of griddled onions and peppers which add flavor and balance to the taco. There also wasn't enough cheese melted on the tortilla, an important touch which keeps it from breaking apart. It wasn't bad, just not at the level I'd expect from El Pescador. Overall, I still prefer the versions with tomato in it as it adds a nice touch of acid.
The Taco de Marlyn on the other hand was almost a work of art.
The smoked fish was moist, just tender enough, with a ton of flavor. Adding cilantro and a squeeze of lime brings all the saltiness into line. This was a much larger portion than I recalled and not fishy like other versions I've had.
A few more revisits as I completed my weekend morning "honey do" lists.
Hoai Hue Vietnamese Restaurant:
It was just after 9am when I decided to see what was up with Hoai Hue. I think it's been about a year and a half since I last visited. And like my last visit, the place was doing bang-up business at 915 on a weekend morning.
I ordered my usual, the Bun Tam Hoai Hue, basically Bun Bo Hue but with the crab cakes that are usually in Bun Rieu added. As usual, the broth, while steaming hot was on the sweeter side, with the presence of lemongrass or real pungency missing. In this morning the pungency was easily remedied with that huge squirt bottle of Mam Ruoc, fermented shrimp paste.
Don't get me wrong; the BBH is not terrible, it's just a little lighter in flavor and spice than what I really like in a bowl of Bun Bo Hue. I did enjoy the thick slices of Cha Lua. The pork hock was also quite large and fun to gnaw on. The tendon was much too hard to enjoy on this visit. Those slippery, spaghetti like noodles were done well and the sprouts, greens, and herbs were sparkling fresh.
It was a very filling, generous portion.
Hoai Hue Vietnamese Restaurant 4660 El Cajon Blvd San Diego, CA 92115
Man, has it already been almost 9 years since PK opened? I hadn't visited in over a year, so I thought I'd head back. This little strip mall has gotten kind of odd over the last couple of years. On one of my visits back in 2014, some guy kept asking me for money as I entered and left. I even saw him looking into my car windows while I was eating. I notice that there are now a couple of homeless folks living in the corner of the strip mall.
PK is slowly starting to look its age and the menus are showing some wear and tear.
But my favorite dish at Pho King, the Hu Tieu Mi Kho is still a solid choice. From the Chinese Celery, which adds that intense celery flavor and a nice crunch, to the pork studded mildly sweet soy-sauce mixture, to the broth on the side, it's a nice combination of flavors and textures for me.
For some reason, I also like the combination of having the stretchy Hu Tieu to go along with the more crunchy egg noodles, but that's just me.
Pho King Restaurant 4658 El Cajon Blvd San Diego, CA 92115
I'd like to finish up the post by thanking "Hien" for the very nice email. He mentioned that he was born and raised in City Heights, but moved away for college and now work. He says that he enjoys reading our little blog because we often post about places he went to when he lived here and have a special spot in his memory. Hien, I'm glad you enjoy our posts and that they bring back nice memories. Thanks for reading!
*** Not much food in this one. I wouldn't be the least bit offended if you just came back tomorrow.....
We didn't have to check out of the apartment until noon and our train didn't leave until 1300, so we decided to make the most of the rest of our time in Ronda. To be perfectly honest, we were a bit sad to leave as the charm of this amazing locale really made an impression on us.
As soon as the morning rains had passed, we decided to take a walk around and possibly grab a cup of coffee. It was hard getting the past the views.....
It seems that no matter how many times you stared off into the beautiful valley below; you'd notice something new, something you hadn't seen before.
We headed into the Mercadillo Quarter and found a location of the chain Granier on the main pedestrian shopping street of Carretera Espinal.
While having our morning coffee, the Missus and I discussed what we should do before check out time. I suggested finding the trail on the other side of Puente Nueva that led down to the area where all those classic photos of Puente Nueva and El Tajo are taken. Bolstered by our morning caffeine we headed off.
It really wasn't hard to find. We just basically took a right, where we took a left the day before and headed down the street. From Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora, to the right of the statue of San Juan Bosco, there's a set of steps that leads to the trail down into the valley.
The views from Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora ain't shabby either, very dramatic in its own way. Check the out view of the cliffs or Alameda del Tajo where we'd taken most of our photos of the valley the previous day!
The stairs give way to a cobblestone path.....it was just a tad slippery on this morning, which gave way to a dirt path.
And you get a photo, you'll never forget. We headed back up after taking a few more photos and took a round about way back to the apartment. Passing through the square with the Church of Santa Maria la Mayor, which we had walked through the night before.
We took our time getting back to the apartment, where we freshened up, sadly packed, and checked out. Picking up some jamon and bread for our travel days had become sort of a tradition in Spain, so we found a shop right across the street from the Apartmentos Rondacentro and got some Jamon Belotta.
Our train left on time and we had to change trains......
There wasn't much going on here........
Which made it a perfect time for a jamon bocadillo break.....
Even though we'd spent only a night in Ronda, we must have really taken to the place. Arriving in Seville was a jolt to us. The crowds, the narrow streets....the metropolitan area of Seville has a population of 1.5 million people. Making it the fourth largest city in Spain. Our AirBnB apartment was located down a tiny street in Barrio Santa Cruz, a maze of streets and alleyways. We got joyfully lost several times during our first day in the city.
The first thing we needed was a map so we headed down the street and found ourselves at the Giralda (the Bell Tower) and Plaza del Triunfo and the TI was right there.
The Cathedral is quite impressive; the third largest church in Europe.
We took our time and wandered around Barrio Santa Cruz ad ended up at this pleasant square; appropriately named Plaza de Santa Cruz.
As I mentioned earlier, Santa Cruz was once the Jewish Quarter, and a Synagogue once stood at this spot. A distinctive cross rests in the center of the plaza, known as "Cruz Cerrajería" (the Locksmith’s Cross) which dates back to the 17th Century.
Close is another square; Plaza de Refinadores, with one of Seville's most famous, though fictional, personas, Don Juan. So ladies....meet the original Don Juan!
It was starting to get dark and we needed a break, so we headed back to our apartment....
Which meant winding our way thru a maze of streets.....since wifi reception in the alleyways were sometimes problematic, even pocket wifi didn't help. We did eventually find our way back; the apartment was located in an 18th century "casa de palacio", a palace house, it was quite an interesting place to stay. Dinner was coming up. We would soon find the best food of this trip to Spain in Seville.
We were really enjoying our time in Ronda. From the beautiful scenery, to the friendly people, to the, well, I'm not sure I can put it any other way, atmosphere, we were loving it.
At night, with all the day trippers gone and in low season, there just seems to be a rather romantic mystery to the place. Quiet takes over and you almost feel like your an extra in some exotic romantic thriller from another time.
It was sad that we had only one night to spend in Ronda, with one dinner.
The walk to our dinner destination took us down through the Old Town. Past the Church of Santa Maria la Mayor. Like many churches built during the Reconquista, this was constructed on the remains of a mosque. A quick look at the bell tower belies the Moorish roots of the structure.
Across the way, the light on top of Santuario Maria Auxilium shone brightly in the night.
Our destination was a little shop just inside the Almocabar Gate, once the main entrance to this side of the city. The name of the place? De Locos Tapas.
This place gets a ton of love, so I went ahead and made reservations a month before our trip. It's a good thing too; the place has but 5 tables. When I mentioned we'd be having dinner here to the lovely lady at Apartmentos Rondacentro, Hilde, she went, "aaaah, you've made a good choice, it is my favorite place in the city."
The place is run by a Husband and Wife team. It is Guillermo who is the front man, originally from Basque Country, he is very friendly, quite chatty, warm, with a great sense of humor. He speaks perfect English and is one heck of a storyteller. We were the first customers to arrive, so he took his time with us, telling us about working in a Japanese restaurant. When he found out we live in San Diego, he mentioned he lived in San Gabriel for a time. When I mentioned being from Hawaii, he regaled us with a story about his cousin (if I recall) who came back from Maui with some board shorts for Guillermo. The main pattern on those shorts was, ahem; the "cash crop", if you know what I mean. His dad pointed to the pattern on the shorts and inquired what it was. So quick thinking Guillermo, who remembered the "local" name for said herb said "pakalolo". His dad, thinking it was some kind of exotic tropical plant was satisfied. And so Guillermo got to keep his "special" board shorts.
The menu at De Locos is a combination of various traditional and some very non-traditional tapas. Many with an Asian twist from the time Guillermo worked in the Japanese restaurant. There was also a menu written in Korean. According to Guillermo, there are many Korean visitors during January and February. The Korean menu is an abbreviated version of the hand written menu, consisting of items that their Korean clientele often order.
We had a blast figuring out what to order and decided (quite rightfully so) to stray from the norm except for a few dishes.
We started with the "Quail's Nest". Quail eggs lying in a "nest" made of "Kataifi", shredded filo dough. As you can tell from this dish, the presentation of some of the dishes are composed in a lovely, flashy-whimsical way. The quail eggs were nice but nothing special, the filo a bit too dry and crumbly. Not bad.
The Artichokes and Jamon, a more mainstream dish was downright delish.
The artichokes were nicely seasoned, the texture excellent, a bit of crunch, but not tough. The jamon added that nice savory touch that paired nicely with everything. The mustard based sauce was a nice slightly pungent touch. The Missus (of course) loved the fried egg.
The Truffle Egg presentation was very nice.
Lovely flavors, just enough truffle oil, the jamon again adding a nice touch of savory. The only complaint was that the egg was overcooked for my taste.
My favorite dish, hands down was the Pork Tataki....yes, basically seared, ultra rare pork.
Man, the textures and the flavors, touches of ginger....good lord, this was so good. I've learned that sometimes I just need to go with my instincts....and while the Missus still sometimes has doubts (see torisashi), she's learned that there are times when you need to throw caution to the wind. Many times, the payoff is a memorable dish like this one. I've heard that Japanese is the "in" cuisine in places like Barcelona now.....so I'm looking forward to returning and getting some "Tataki de presa ibérica".
Meanwhile, Guillermo is from Basque Country, so I had to order the Txangurro (Spider Crab), a Basque regional specialty.
For some reason, this didn't do it for us......not enough crab flavor, a bit too mushy, and in need of some additional seasoning.
And while the Octopus was decent, perhaps a bit too chewy, but nicely flavored....those potatoes, the truffle oil.....was delish.
The Sea Bass Ceviche was nicely seasoned, refreshing, though I prefer mine with a bit more citrus.
Since there was Foie Gras on the menu, you know we had to order it, right? This came with a very nice tangy, passion fruit sorbet which acted like a nice intermezzo. The foie was decently seared, the texture wonderful. I did find it a bit too much on the sweet side. Of course, perhaps I've become a bit jaded having had so much foie gras over the last couple of years.
The Ox Cheeks were nicely done, I've yet to meet a version of carrillada that I didn't enjoy in Spain.
We also ordered the Deer Tenderloin which we affectionately called "Bambi".
Tasting like a more gamey version of the Ox Cheeks this was very tender and quite tasty.
For dessert the Missus chose the Gin and Tonic Sorbet which has a wonderful combination of tart, sweet, citrus tones, and black pepper (!). It was the perfect end to this meal.
While not every dish was a hit....and with this many, it's hard to do...remember, this isn't Azurmendi or even Disfrutar, the meal topped out at 60 Euros! That's right, with a couple of glasses of wine...all of this, a shade over sixty bucks! Plus, we had a blast chatting with Guillermo. And while, perhaps, this wasn't the best meal of our recent trip, it was by far, the most fun we'd had during a meal in a while! And that really does matter.
If you're planning to visit De Locos Tapas; make reservations, have an open mind....and relax....you'll have a good time!
De Locos Tapas Arquitecto Pons Sorolla 7 Ronda, Spain
We took our time walking back to our apartment. The Missus climbed up one of the stairways on the city wall and took the photo of the Old Town above. We stopped at the same spot where we took a photo of Puente Nuevo earlier in the day. It's just as beautiful, if not more so, at night.
As we got back to the apartment......
We decided to take a detour and walk around the building overlooking the valleys, where we came across this......
mmm-yoso!!! is a food blog and Kirk, Ed(from Yuma) and Cathy usually post about memorable meals here. Today, Kirk is exhausted, Ed(from Yuma) is recharging and Cathy has the energy to write a post. Here it is.
Narumi is the new name of Shizuoka, which underwent new ownership about a year ago, after being a three decade mainstay in La Mesa. The front windows are now unadorned, bringing more natural light into the small dining area.
A small (three seat) sushi bar area has been added. The lacy plastic tablecloths are gone. There are boards advertising special items and prices; many are rolls.
The standard bowl of miso soup begins each meal.Mixed tempura appetizer ($5.95) is still a favorite, properly fried/crispy and not greasy. It can be a meal.Chicken Karrage ($4.95) is made with a light batter, is properly fried and the chicken is moist and flavorful.
Being a creature of habit, I've had multiple orders the same 'Daily Special' ($7.95) of teriyaki chicken..you can choose a tempura shrimp or spicy tuna roll as well as edamame or fries. The teriyaki is very good (not sweet) and the char grilled chicken is always moist and has that good charred taste. Another fallback order I have here is the Seafood Salad ($9.95). The salad mix, topped with crispy burdock has cucumber and avocado added in. Shrimp, salmon, tuna and at least one other fish are part of the seafood toppings. The sesame based dressing is just right. The chicken yakisoba special lunch ($7.95) is served with soup, salad and potstickers and always is satisfying' the noodles have that 'wok hay' flavor.The chicken curry ($7.95) is very good and comforting, especially on cold days.
The new owners honored the previous owners by keeping many of the same things: hours, lunch specials (and even the Shizuoka name for about nine months). Some menu items are gone (I loved the mackerel bento lunch here) and the addition of many pages of rolls and sushi items to the menu seems to have brought in new customers, many picking up to go items. Change happens and in this case, it is subtle and remains tasty.
Thanks for dropping by to read mmm-yoso!!! Kirk and Ed (from Yuma) have been posting a lot lately and even though Cathy hasn't posted, she has been eating. Today's post is one of her eating adventures.
This year is slipping by; more than 1/3 is over and I'm still referring to '2015' on some documents. Work has been busy and visiting with friends and family has occurred. The other morning, after a quick stop at San Diego International Airport, The Mister and I stuck around the Balboa Park area and stopped at a place we each had passed many times. It was a time for us to enjoy some well deserved rest.
Extraordinary Desserts has been open at this location in the Bankers Hill area of San Diego (a block West of Balboa Park) since 2005 about 1994 and has had a storefront in Little Italy since 2006. Karen Krasne, a San Diego native and Cordon Bleu trained pastry chef, was honored with multiple awards for her skills long before her storefronts were in existence (1988).
Walking into the store, though the outdoor seating area, begins the visual stimulation. There are some condiments available for purchase, as well as whole cakes. Walking toward the cashier, there are three main areas to choose individual servings of pastries available that day. (The third area is on a shelf behind the open counter). There is also a small menu of coffee and other hot beverages to choose from.
You order, pay and have a seat and the preparation of beverages and plating occurs. Then your order is brought out.This wonderful slice of blood orange ricotta cake ($9.50) was quite filling and the plating included gold flecked orange slices, a mango-raspberry puree and edible rose petals. The ricotta cake is soaked in blood orange juice so is very moist and flavorful on its own. The whipped cream frosting is also made with blood orange juice. Cranberries and raspberries are part of the frosting that is between layers. This is so good.
This Blackberry and blueberry scone ($3.95) was warmed before the simple decorations of rose petals and powdered sugar topped it. It was a flaky layered, buttery rich pastry, not too sweet and complimented by the fresh berries. Quite large and an excellent scone.
Open late as well as early, this is great, locally owned place.
Extraordinary Desserts 2929 Fifth Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 Website Open Mon-Thurs 8:30 a.m.-11:00p.m. Fri 8:30 a.m.-midnight Sat 10 a.m.-midnight Sun 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
mmm-yoso!!! is a foodblog focusing on San Diego and the world. Kirk posts most, Cathy posts often, and today Ed (from Yuma) posts this.
Every year the Yuman food truck culture spawns more spots. Here's a couple:
Angie, Tina's manager at work, was raving about a fantastic seafood molcajete at a place on Ave B, just a little south of 8th Street. So a couple of weeks later Tina and I found the place, Mariscos Güero, tucked behind another truck on the east side of B:
There are a few tables and folding chairs sheltered under canvas with windbreaks on all sides. On the truck there’s a menu with no prices (though prices are fair):
On our first visit, in the evening, there were few customers (and the nice folks at the truck said they would be closing evenings once the main season was over). At weekday lunch, the place can be quite busy:
On our first visit, Tina and I had a molcajete:
It was packed with cooked shrimp, octopus, and surimi. The seafood was mixed with large slices of red onion and cucumber pieces, all topped with generous wedges of avocado. The sauce was exceptional –flavors of seafood, lime, chili spice, and even a touch of soy sauce. Overall very good.
We also ordered a ceviche tostada:
Also very good. The sweetness of the fresh raw and cooked shrimp came through the lime. The fresh chopped onions and cucumbers and crunchy tortilla gave textural balance.
On my next visit, I ordered two fish and one shrimp taco:
Here's a close-up of a fish taco:
The tortilla, cabbage, and tomato were fresh and fine, but the crema was awfully thin and lacking in flavor. While the breading on the seafoods was not crunchy, neither the fish nor shrimp were overcooked so they tasted fresh and moist.
On my last visit, it was time for a campechana:
That's huge. And it is filled with a lot of good stuff:
When I ordered the mixed seafood cocktail, I was asked if I wanted it with "blood clam." "Sure," I answered, "con todo." I hadn't run across a campechana with blood clam (also known as concha negra, black clam) since Tio Juan’s disappeared from 8th Street. Here is one of them:
In any case, I am still alive and feeling good, so I guess I dodged another bullet (picture smiley face of your choice here). I also had the joy of consuming a really wonderful campechana. The octopus and shrimp were not overcooked. The surimi had a pleasant sweetness that I liked. But the mollusks were the stars: the abundant octopus had a perfect chewiness and octopus flavor; the clams had a different chew and were distinctly clammy; and the few fresh bay scallops were tender and lightly flavored. The cocktail juice tasted of cooking water, tomato sauce, (Clamoto?), lime juice, and a hint of soy. With a little bit of salsa it was perfect for my palate.
Taqueria San Pedro
This taco stand on 8th Street has long been a favorite of Tina and me. Though they quit serving hotdogs, their carne asada and other tacos, as well as the attractive ramada area, made it a good place for a quick dinner.
We had noticed, however, that the place seemed to be deteriorating slowly – the leather seats becoming ragged and torn. Then one evening San Pedro was not open. No sign and no sign of life. Oh well, we shrugged, that's the world of taco trucks.
A couple of months ago, we were cruising 8th Street and saw billows of fragrant looking smoke rising from the back of a lot. "Oh My God," Tina exclaimed, "it's San Pedro!" And so it was:
Pedro himself was still there being grillmaster. But the interior had been renovated – now more closed off and refurnished:
Wow. Fancy tables and chairs, a tiled floor, even a heater. The menu, still very small, is on every napkin dispenser:
After we ordered, the first thing brought over was a cup of frijoles:
Good, simple pinto beans in a light broth. Good by themselves, but made even better by adding some of the condiments:
Notice the spicy and the roasted salsa. The guacamole sauce was thinner than eight years ago, and many of the other items were nothing special. However, we really enjoyed the mild and fresh pico de gallo:
and loved the roasted jalapenos, mellowed and sweetened by the grill:
Then came volcanes:
Basically, a volcan is just a vampira except that the cheese goes atop the carne asada rather than between the meat and the desiccated corn tortilla. This was excellent, crunchy and toothsome with meaty asada.
The taco San Pedro is another Sonoran specialty, matching cheese, roasted green chile pepper, and quality asada:
This night, the cabeza was decent but nothing special:
What was our favorite? The tripa:
Tripa is difficult to get right. Sometimes too musty, often too rubbery, and usually too flavorless. This one, however, was perfect. Crunchy in places with a little char, and what was not crunchy was tender chewy. Porky good. Yum.