I really have no idea what Cathy and Kirk are doing today, but they are not posting at mmm-yoso, because Ed (from Yuma) has a post here instead. But before the actual post begins, Ed wants to give a shout out to the fabulous Tamale Festival in Somerton (just a few miles S of Yuma on Hwy 95) which this year will take place on Saturday, Dec 20, 2014. Over 40 different tamale vendors - real artisan tamales, some of the very best I have ever eaten. Come Go!
This is the prime season for dining out – out-of-doors, actually – in Yuma. Here are two places well worth a visit.
El Buen Taquito
Some things change – some things stay the same. El Buen Taquito has been part of the Yuma dining scene for a long time, well before my first post about it. Now EBT has relocated to 8th Street almost across from Food City, and it is only partially a taco truck these days:
As you can see, there is now a semi-enclosed space as well as restrooms; the cooking is done in the separate truck.
Currently, there is no identifier on the building because the signage for the new location is a small billboard facing west at the edge of the lot:
On the other hand, the menu is basically the same:
You go up to the window, place your order, get a number, and sit at one of the tables inside or out. Your food will arrive shortly.
Tina and I started with the consommé:
As previously, this was really good. Both of us appreciated that this broth was more complex than we anticipated – with herbal and citrusy notes that enhanced its beefiness.
Tina ordered two flautas, a taco dorado, and a tostada:
I received two sopes:
and five flautas:
EBT is the king of crunch. The simple potato rolled tacos were magnificent, perfectly deep-fried (who knows in what?). The mild shredded beef flavored the crispy folded taco and the tostada. My sopes lacked the crackle of the other items, but the corn cakes had a nice chew. I found the whole meal to be filling and satisfying. EBT doesn't do a lot, but what it does, it does well.
El Buen Taquiyo seems open from before lunch into the later evening every day, and it always seems to have customers.
Mariscos El Delfin
This is the second year for this small restaurant that occupies the space that previously contained the El Navegante truck (1019 Ave B):
Seafood is not just the specialty here, it is just about the only thing served. The truck seems to be a one-woman operation, and her English is not fluent, but this modest seafood stand with two plastic tables is doing a good job.
Recently I stopped in for her combination coctele – containing pulpo and Camaron (octopus and shrimp) ($10):
The sundae glass nearly overflowing with seafood. The octopus was perfectly prepared, not gooey nor leathery, just fresh and chewy tasting:
The shrimp fresh and perfectly cooked:
As well as sauces sitting on the table, Delfin has a first-rate HOT house salsa that can perk up anything: While the seafood was perfectly prepared, the cocktail liquid was dominated by lime flavors and a bit one-dimensional. I also prefer a wider range of ingredients such as the campechanas at Juanita's or Mariscos Mar Azul.
On the other hand, right now Mariscos El Delfin is making my favorite fish tacos in town:
The fish filets are fresh and hot and flavorful. While the breading could be crunchier, the taco is otherwise wonderful and perfectly balanced.
The shrimp tacos likewise:
Tina and I were also amazed by the ceviche:
While not containing a lot of pescado, the freshness of all of the ingredients impressed. The balance between the citric tang and the crisp sweetness of the veggies was the perfect backdrop for the fish. No way overpowering, but just about right in every way.
Mariscos El Delfin is open 10 AM to 5 PM every day of the week except Monday.
Recently, readers of mmm-yoso have been in Japan with Kirk and in Pasadena with Cathy, but today you get to come over to Yuma with Ed for tacos and more.
It is the fall, the time trees turn color and lose leaves, birds (including snowbirds) head for warmer climes, traffic thickens in town, and Yuma's taco trucks flourish.
Way back around November 2005, Kirk came to Yuma and sampled our taco truck cuisine and dubbed a cluster of trucks in an empty lot "a food court." In the fall of 2013, the newest taco court opened on a large concrete pad in a previously empty lot on the west side of Pacific Avenue just about a block south of 16th St. – not really very far from Yuma Palms shopping center:
There are a lot of parking places and tables and chairs:
And currently at least four different taco purveyors:
Let me apologize here for the limitations of this post. Some of the photos are lousy, and they are the best I had because of bad lighting and unskilled photographer. On top ot that, Tina and I have visited these trucks several times when I had no camera with me. So this post is more of a shout out than a report.
On our most recent visit, we tried Blancurri’s, one of the smaller vendors:
The special that evening was $1 pollo asado tacos:
Pretty good, but a little dry. Our favorite taco that night was what's called the mix chilada taco, a flavorful and spicy combination of carne asada and red chile chicharrones (sorry for the lousy picture):
The adobada torta was good as well, the tender pork chunks slightly spicy and the bolillo roll nicely grilled.
Arianna’s, which has been here since the marketplace area first opened, anchors the north side of the lot:
Tina and I have enjoyed the wide range of tacos here – including pastor and chicharones:
Or tripas and asada:
Tina especially enjoyed the nutty earthy flavor of the tripas and we both liked the chicharrones with red chile.
The hot dogs are another specialty, bacon wrapped, nicely grilled, and served in a hot bun with the full range of condiments:
The Monster truck is located at the other end of the food court:
It features a somewhat different menu including some unusual choices:
For most of Monster's dishes, you get to choose between asada, pollo, or pastor, but the pellizcadas includes all three meats, whole beans, cabbage, and onion on a large soft thick corn tortilla:
Tina and I both enjoy the vampires here, the toasted corn tortillas adding crunch to the meats and condiments. Here is one with asada:
The pastor is also excellent:
The monster taco has a soft tortilla, abundant roasted green chili, and your choice of protein and condiments:
The tortas (in this case with chicken) are extra-large here:
But the true monster on the menu is the hotdog:
The extra-large bacon wrapped wiener is slathered with condiments and coupled with a grilled guero pepper and abundant grilled onions. Truly outstanding dog.
In any case, this is a convenient cluster of interesting mobile eateries, which allows folks to wander around and try different dishes. They all have excellent aguasfrescas. Most of the trucks seem open every evening (if not sooner), and we've enjoyed every visit. Take advantage of our nice weather, try some things here, and let us know what you liked.
Guzmán Marketplace (this seems to be the official name of the foodcourt), 1628 S. Pacific Ave., Yuma, Arizona.
It seems like more than a bit over two years ago that the Missus and I had a meal at Oscar's Mexican Seafood. While the meal was decent, we didn't find it especially great, at least in comparison with other Mariscos restaurants and trucks we eat at. I think the major draw was the location; there was nothing quite like it in the area. Since then, Oscar's has expanded. To PB and Hillcrest. I'd always been meaning to return and revisit, but having a location in Hillcrest is pretty easy since I'm in the area quite often for work.
One really great thing is that they open at 8am. I often have meetings at odd hours and the early opening was a big plus for getting me here....also, the parking here can be a nightmare during prime time.
Like the decor, though the regular seating is nd of uncomfortable. The menu is very gringo friendly...everything fully explained.
I decided on the Smoked Fish Taco (Taco de Marlyn - $4.25) and the Fresh Fish of the Day ($4.50) which was Yellowtail....actually I ordered a Battered Fish Taco ($1.99), but they just rang up the grilled fish....which I probably should have ordered anyway.
There was much to like about the Smoked Fish Taco, loved the way the queso was melted onto the tortilla (very routine mass-produced) to prevent breakage and add a mild milky edge. The fish was a bit too mild in terms of smokey flavor and even salt....I consider this "bacon of the sea". On the good side; it was less fishy than some versions I've had recently. I do think the portion was pretty small.....
I also thought these tacos were a bit under-dressed, though I do understand wanting to make the rather mild yellowtail the star of the show. The fish was a bit overcooked for me.....yellowtail can dry out pretty quickly. I also thought it needed to be seasoned a bit more. This was on the bland side and really needed more....also, there wasn't enough onion or anything else to give it some textural contrast.
A quick word about the salsas...the Chipotle is nice and mild....I thought that white salsa was crema...but whoa, I believe it's habanero based, which I really thought added a nice kick.
In total, not bad, perhaps priced on the high side....but of course, there's the location.
I had an odd hour meeting and another scheduled over lunch so I headed back to Oscar's before traveling back to the office. This time I did order the Battered Fish Taco ($1.99).
The batter was light, but could have been a bit more crisp it got soggy fairly quickly. The fish was moist, though the whole thing lacked flavor. Still, definitely worth a buck ninety-nine.
Curious about both the shrimp and non-seafood items, I ordered the Surf and Turf Taco ($4.50). This was a nice two-fisted taco.
The shrimp was well seasoned, cooked to the edge of being overcooked, but didn't go over that line. The skirt steak was too tough and chewy, which I don't mind if there some nice assertive flavors to obscure the texture, but that wasn't the case here. Overall, a decent taco.
I'll probably return to Oscar's because of the location and hours. I think I'll go with some shrimp tacos and maybe the Cucarachas which we enjoyed last time, but is now like $11.
Oscar’s Mexican Seafood 646 University Ave San Diego, CA 92103 Hours: Sun - Thurs 8am - 9pm Fri - Sat 8am - 10pm
A couple of weeks back, occasional commenter "Buddha" who I've known since the "Chowhound Days" shot me an email telling me that he believes the best fish tacos are now being served from a truck on the corner of J and Broadway in Chula Vista named Tijuana Jr. This past weekend, I finally had some time to drive down there are check them out.
When I arrived at 10am, they were already doing some serious business. The truck is located in the parking lot of a tire shop with very limited parking. I was lucky enough to snare a spot.
There's one guy manning the order window and another manning the window for payment making things easy.
Of course I went with a Taco de Pescado - the fish taco $1.25.
Good god, this thing was huge for a typical fish taco. Two large pieces of fish, moist, the batter is almost a laquer-tempura style, very crisp. Not to much flavor, the crema is watery, you'll need to add some sauce to this one, a squeeze of lime, and maybe the habenero onions. Still, this is a super deal for a $1.25 and I think it may be the best......I need to get back to Mariscos el Pescador and El Prieto for a comparison.
I also ordered a Gobernador, which had a ton of perfectly cooked shrimp.
This really didn't seem like the typical gobernador to me....though I loved the way the cheese had been melted and griddled in some spots. This thing literally fell to pieces in ten seconds. If this was indeed a gobernador, I really missed the onions, peppers, and seasonings. Still no complaints about pertion size, though this too was very mild in flavor.
I was more than satisfied as I left. I'll be back!
Thanks for the recommendation Jeff!
Mariscos Tijuana Jr 706 W J St Chula Vista, CA 91910
On site daily from 9am - 7pm
Since I was down in the South Bay, I thought I'd check on El Charco, which looks exactly the same as 5 months ago. I think the place is a goner.
Mariscos Godoy is now Maricos la Perla Negra:
As I headed to the I-5 down Palomar I took a quick glance to my right and was surprised. Mariscos Godoy was now Mariscos la Perla Negra:
Anyone know what happened?
A funny thing happened as I was waiting at the light to get back on Palomar; CC sent me a text telling me that Mariscos Godoy had closed! Man, that was kind of weird....I squinted my eyes looking out at Palomar Street....looking to see if I could spot her.....
So what happens after you attend an epic wedding in Ciudad Obregon which ends with shot of tequila watching the bride and Q-nito do Gagnam style in the middle of the street at 4am?
Well. you wake at 8am and have Akira and his now wife take you to get birria! Well at least Q-nito and I.......Samuelo was incommunicado, must have been tough challenging the band's singers to a dance-off, huh?
"D" drove us down a couple of streets to the just the perfect place for me. A streetside stand by the name of Taquería Jiménez. The specialty, birria de chivo. By now, "D" had concluded that we weren't after "gringo food", we wanted the real deal and this place was, without a doubt, just the perfect remedy after an epic evening.
You know, whether it's Sapa, Hanoi, Luang Prabang, Cusco, or heck, even Chula Vista, I've found some of the most soulful, hearty, and honest food at places like this. Taquería Jiménez was no exception.
Rich, belly coating, hearty food, with the right amount of carbs somehow revitalizes you....or at least just makes you right mentally.
I don't think I need to add much more.
Though I'll leave you with this little tidbit. I did a search looking for an address. I finally found it on one of the those "food sites"....well actually let's give it up for foursquare.
For some reason, I was interested in the comments on this place. I went and did a translation of the first one which said, ""Tacos to revive after a long night of partying"......how true!
Taquería Jiménez California 720 (e/ Jesús García Corona y 6 de Abril) Ciudad Obregón, Sonora
mmm-yoso!!! is a food blog. Today's post is written by Cathy; Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) are a bit under the weather.
The Mister has also been under the weather for the past week or so...and I'm not, so I've been making Him go on errands with me and then we stop and He has some sort of soup or stew as a lunch. The other day, we were in National City and I just started driving and looking for a place to stop. This signage looked promising.Here's that sign from inside-Estilio Jalisco- Jalisco Style Mexican food preparation. Turns out it's been here since 1978. Family owned and operated. It was never on my radar.
I ordered from the White Board you can see to the right in this photo. The interior is fairly large for a Taco Shop and was quite busy, with a large group carrying musical instruments outside as we were walking in around noon on a Saturday. The Menu Board looks very interesting.
I ordered a fish fillet with Ranchera sauce (Diablo sauce was another choice) ($8). This was a thick, large, fresh fillet (definitely not tilapia) covered with a very nice, very fresh chili/tomato/onion sauce that was unexpected. Served with a good rice, great beans, the two (also fresh and homemade) hot sauces shown and fresh, handmade corn tortillas.
The Mister's Birria de Chivo ($8) was really, really good. Given the choice of ranch beans or refried, I wasn't sure, but the refried went well with this large portion of goat stew. The onions and cilantro complimented the stew, as did the (again, fresh made) corn tortillas. There were a few small bones in the meat, but nothing bothersome. The broth was so rich and really multi leveled in flavor points.
Here's a better photo of one and a half of the tortillas (we each got four)- you can see they are not perfectly symmetric, by any means...thick, thin and wonderful. So very fresh. This was a great place to stop.
Mi Tierra Super Taco 1835 Highland Avenue National City 92950 (619)477-1927 website
Kirk and Cathy are eating today. They eat everyday. But they don't post everyday. So today, Ed (from Yuma) wants to tell you about Yuma's Flagship Mexican eateries. Come back tomorrow for different meals, in a different place, and with a different poster. But it'll be mmm-yoso delicioso.
I was thinking the other day about the restaurants I eat at regularly that I have never blogged about. At the top of the list would be Tacos Mi Rancho, this little converted fast food spot:
And its larger newer cousin, Mi Rancho:
While the menus for the restaurants are the same, and they both have a good selection of Mexican beers, some old-school locals prefer the funky ambience of TMR with its two small rooms, brightly colored walls, and visible A/C ducts. Mi Rancho is significantly larger and less gaudy, but certainly not fine-dining fancy. It also prepares decent margaritas.
Around 20 years ago I remember stumbling onto TMR and having one of the best Mexican lunches in my entire life (up to that time). When I later moved to Yuma, these restaurants became part of my regular rotation.
Part of the reason for that is the excellent homemade salsa, thick and full of chile, onion, and tomato flavors, nicely balanced and usually very picante:
The complimentary salsa and thin fresh corn chips (chips served only with lunch or dinner) are so good that I've taken a lot of pictures like this one over the years:
Or this one:
Both places are my favorites for Mexican-style breakfast in town (Fri – Sun, served until 11 AM)
Their kitchens prepare a range of standard breakfasts plates and omelettes, such as this Spanish omelette (sausage and cheese)($6.99):
Those potatoes, moist country fries cooked with onions and peppers, are a highlight of the breakfasts – standard with the breakfast plates until the kitchen runs out and substitutes rice:
Still, the quality chorizo makes huevos con chorizo($6.99) a good and spicy breakfast plate. Likewise, the huevos rancheros($5.99) are usually the best in town whether they come with rice or potatoes:
The crispy tortilla, the perfectly cooked, over-easy eggs, and the flavorful ranchero sauce are always enjoyable. I also love the chilequiles (corn tortilla chips covered with sauce and eggs)($5.99) but for some reason have no picture for this post.
Lunches are popular at both restaurants. The menu has numerous burrito and torta choices, such as this chicken torta($5.99):
At lunchtime, the senior menu also becomes the lunch special menu(all $6.99). Here's a chicken enchilada lunch special:
Two al pastor soft tacos – another lunch special:
Their green chili, tender chunks of pork in a nicely balanced mild green chile/tomatillo/cilantro sauce, is also available in the lunch special size:
The restaurant also has a large selection of "Mexican dinners" – rice, beans, tortillas, and an entrée – including such favorites as chiles rellenos($10.99):
Or folded tacos (here chicken)($10.99):
The menu also offers more entrée choices than any other Mexican restaurant in town, including liver and onions($10.99), chicherones rancheros($10.99), barbacoa($11.49), carne en su jugo($11.49) etc. For example, birria de chivo (goat meat in chile broth)($11.49) is always available – and always very tasty and authentically goaty:
In addition to their usual good menudo($7.99) and a classic caldo de res($10.99), TMR and Mi Rancho also occasionally have pozole:
Their soups come with chopped onions, cilantro, lemon/lime wedges, and other appropriate condiments so each customer can flavor and decorate her own soup:
The wide menu includes seafood choices as well, like this first-rate camarones rancheros($13.99):
Or this fresh tasting whole tilapia($11.99):
And here is an order of fish fillets in garlic butter($10.99) in a to-go carton:
In fact, I regularly grab dinners from Mi Rancho when I have to work late since few other good independent restaurants in town welcome customers or prepare a to go plate at 8:30 or 9 PM – which is late by Yuma standards. For example, here’s lengua (in ranchero sauce) ($11.99)I got for take out:
As you can see, I don't always make it home with the most attractive looking styrofoam. Nonetheless, this is tasty and spicy al pastor($11.49):
As I look over this post, I realized that I have mostly just provided pictures and brief descriptions. I guess that’s because these restaurants are like old comfortable friends, not exciting new finds. The food is usually good, but not wildly spectacular. It tastes pretty much how it looks. Mi Rancho has been voted the best Mexican restaurant in town by the readers of the local newspaper on several occasions. To me, that seems a pretty fair judgment. The menu offers a lot of choices, almost every dish will be well prepared, and the prices are very reasonable. The restaurants offer breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. The service is usually professional and generally good by Yuma standards. And the salsa is almost always great.
Tacos Mi Rancho, 188 S. 4th Ave., Yuma AZ 85364, (928) 783-2116; Mi Rancho, 2701 S. 4th Ave., Yuma AZ 85364, (928) 344-6903.
I don't always have the best timing.....more than few times I've sat on photos of meals, only to have places close, burn down, change owners before I even have a chance to do a post. Heck, I even did a post on one of these places. The Missus and I had gone to El Charco, the shop that opened in the place of Birrieria's la Guadalajara twice right after they opened. I decided to wait on doing a post until I went a few more times.....you know me, I often will wait until a few visits before doing a post. Anyway, guess what I saw on my last attempted visit.
Which I found kind of strange since they've been open less than a year....I hope they truly are closed for a remodel......though peeking through the glass revealed that everything looks the same.
Anyway, here's a very abbreviated post.
The place created some nice buzz, since Paco Perez, the owner of the very successful and popular Aqui es Texcoco was a partner in this venture with the owners of a small chain of taco shops in Mexico City.
Many of the items we tried were on the salty side. Our favorite item by far was the Al Pastor, which hit all the right salty-sweet-porky notes for us. It was right up our alley.
The other tacos we tried ranged from good...the Missus loved the chorizo....and the huitlacoche quesadilla was not bad.
The Villemelon was a salty mess...the chiccharon brought nothing to the taco. The chuleta ahumada; smoked pork chops was also way too salty, being almost bitter.
The Missus really did like the tortilla soup, though.....
The Chicharron de Queso looks quite dramatic and we enjoyed it at first. After a while, it became too much of a good thing.
The Alambres is also quite a bit....the Missus hardly put a dent in the one She ordered with Chorizo and Pastor.
We do hope they renovate and reopen as the place displayed some promise to us.......
El Charco Mexico City Style Tacos 1310 Third Ave Chula Vista, CA 91911
This past weekend, I did a world-wind weekend in Ciudad Obregon. I wouldn't blame you if you've never heard of C. Obregon, I hadn't. But I'll tell you this much, if you asked me to return tomorrow, I'd be on a plane in the blink of an eye. Two of my good buddies...we'll call them Samuelo and Q-nito came with me to attend the wedding of our good friend Akira, who I've mentioned in previous posts.... How a young man from Sendai ended up marrying a wonderful young lady from Ciudad Obregon, well that's a story for another day. In fact, I'll leave it up to you to tell me if you'd be interested in posts about this trip; which included flying out of Tijuana Airport....getting to the airport was an adventure in itself. Oh, and if you've never heard of Aereo Calafia before; neither had I, and we travel all the time!
They really know how to do it up here.... It was quite amazing to go from the formality of the wedding.....
To the reception....which went on until 2 in the morning! The band was amazing......
Then there was Q-nito, who just couldn't stop dancing....though it was Samuelo who challenged the various musicians to a "dance off".....
Which is how we three earned our reputations....Samuelo talks to anybody, Q-nito dances with everybody....and me? Well, I was pretty much sidelined with a little injury.....
So of course....I drank everything!
Then there was the after-party.......the highlite of which was watching the bride and Q-nito do Gangnam style in the middle of the street at 4am.
Two hours of sleep later found us having Birria de Chivo for breakfast at a roadside stand.
Then it was off to buy gifts, followed by a road trip to the sea side village of Paredoncito in the municipality of Benito Juarez, Sonora.
the horse drawn carts ferried people and products back and forth from the boats....it is shrimp season here.....I had some of the best shrimp ever.
After sunset we headed back to Ciudad Obregon....to the bride's house, for what else, well dinner of course! While the local carne asada (it's cattle country) was grilling over the mesquite.....
The bride's father waved us to the front of the house...where we were greeted with a Mariachi Band!
Q-nito and I ended our meals in Ciudad Obregon with adobado from a stand in the back of the hotel for breakfast. I went with the dorados.
And a double helping of what the owner of the place calls "power".....
We loved our time in Ciudad Obregon; the bride, her warm and generous parents, and friends were wonderful hosts. We can't wait to return the favor....or even, return to Ciudad Obregon! The only thing hotter than the triple digit weather was the warmth we felt as guests...three Asians in Obregon!
So there you go.......I'll let you decide if I should write more detailed posts about our trip. I've got a ton of stories....and heck, there's even an appearance by this guy......
I was down in Bonita recently with my stomach growling...it was time for lunch. Sadly, the place I had wanted to grab a bite had wasn't open, so I decided to head back up the 805. right before hitting the freeway I noticed this shop......Memelas & Thai Bistro...hmmmm......Mexican and Thai, huh?
I thought why not?
The interior has a rock music theme...which is interesting...Mexican-Thai-Rock n Roll... It does look like one of those modern fast-casual shops. The music is a bit on the loud side, but not intolerable.
The menu is basically Mexican or Thai, half a page of Mexican items the other half Thai. There were very few items that I'd call "fusion" other than throwing some sate chicken on a tortilla and such.
I was tempted to order a memela, basically a pizza like masa "cake", much like a huarache, originally from Oaxaca, topped with mole negro, black beans, guacamole, and queso fresco. But I wanted to get a feel for the various protein options so I went with some tacos......especially since I was told that the tortillas were hand made.
They were out of one of my choices, so I asked the friendly young lady for a recommendation. She told me the Shrimp taco was excellent, so that's what I added to the Satay Chicken and "New York Steak" (carne asada) tacos I ordered.
The batter of the Shrimp Taco ($2.75) was pretty gummy and soggy, mostly batter, without very much flavor. The crema seemed heavy on the mayo. The tortillas were kind of disappointing being very gummy and doughy, lacking in a good masa flavor. Didn't care much for the iceberg lettuce either.
The Satay Chicken ($2.50) combined with some nice crisp items seems like a natural for a taco.
But I didn't think this was particularly good. A sparse amount of tasteless chicken with a runny, overly sweet "satay like" sauce. This needed some "umph" to really get going and perhaps a crisp bed of cabbage as well.
The best of the three was the New York Steak taco ($2.25), the house version of carne asada.
The beef had a mild chew but was tender enough for tacos, this was nicely seasoned as well. It went well with the cilantro and onions, though I wish the place would just give you a condiment tray and let you dress the tacos yourself. This was nicely done.
Nice service, prices are decent, but there wasn't anything that really stood out about the food. In fact, I thought the shrimp and the chicken satay tacos were below par in terms of flavor, portion, and presentation. This one is pretty much a "one and done" for me.