Thanks for stopping to see which food ethnicity mmm-yoso!!! is writing about today. Our blog posts are a sort of ongoing diary of where and what we eat. Cathy is writing; Kirk is enjoying nice weather and Ed (from Yuma) is busy with other things (in Yuma).
When The Mister and I first moved to San Diego, we lived near this small nondescript strip mall, in the middle of a neighborhood. There was a great little market on the far end, 'Green Grocer', where we regularly shopped. After moving out, we still came back to shop at Green Grocer and noticed Maritza's moved in (around 1987). This was the same time that small taco shop (run by their in-laws) had opened across the street from (presently under reconstruction) K Sandwiches. Maritza and her husband still own and run this wonderful little shop.Nondescript was the word I used. There's a Liquor Store on the other end of this strip and some other shops in between.Walk up, order and pay and have a seat. Marita brings the food out to you.When you walk up to order look at the wall to your right, not just straight ahead. There are specials listed. The above 'Flying Saucer'($6.75) is a good choice when you just aren't sure. The shredded stewed beef, on top of refried beans on top of a crispy fried flour tortilla and topped with the generic lettuce, tomato, cheese, guacamole and sour cream is a good way to eat what you want...with drops of the wonderful multi flavored, spicy/medium heat house made salsa.The enchiladas are a similarly easy to try option...again the unique house made enchilada sauce is really good. I just wanted to take a photo of the sauce. These are cheese enchiladas ($3.25), my Friday standard order.Look at the order counter in the second photo, there's a paper taped to the beverage dispenser, in the center.
Sopes ($2.75)...hand made circles of fried dough (crispy on the exterior and soft and kind of fluffy on the interior) (so tasty of sweet corn) topped with refried beans and, in this case, carne asada. Standard toppings of lettuce, tomato, guacamole and cheese round this out. An order of one is very filling.
The carne asada here is the best of anywhere. Maritza's husband makes it himself, mixing the spices and marinating and it is just perfection.Here's a cross section of a carne asada burrito ($5.55). It is really, really flavorful steak. Scrolling back up to the second photo again, taped on the wall straight behind where you order is a sign: "Wednesdays Special Carnitas".
Again, Maritza's husband makes the carnitas and it's available until sold out. A great carnitas...fried pork, shredded and served with corn tortillas...and everything you see above, including the house made green salsa, seen on the far right in the above photo (and mentioned in my post about sauces and salsas and divorce.) The plate is $9.95 and a burrito is $4.95.
Maritza's is a local little shop and a treasure.
Maritza's Mexican Food 3582 Mount Acadia Boulevard (between Mount Burnham Drive and Mount Abbey Drive) San Diego 92111 (858)279-8866 open 11:30-8:30 Mon-Fri Closed Saturday and Sunday
Thank you for stopping by to read mmm-yoso!!!, a blog. This week has been hectic for Kirk; he's multitasking, with some sort of new surprise popping up hourly. Ed (from Yuma) has had a more or less relaxing sort of week (in Yuma) with routines guiding his day. Cathy's week has been filled with added surprises, necessitating periodic concentration; writing this blog post is a way for her to wind down.
On the West Side of Linda Vista Road, next to the Jack In The Box (at Fulton Street)...Note the signage on the building to your left ...rotisserie chicken, birria, carnitas. There is a menu on both of those open doors. Just walk inside.Sure, there's a whole wall of liquor as well as a refrigerator of cold beer and plenty of non-alcoholic beverages. There's also a small display case of Mexican baked sweets, as well as fruits and vegetables, a meat counter and a few aisles of various sundries. All the way in the back, you'll see-The menus up high.The steam trays in front of you.Condiments, sides and the stove (for warming tortillas) along the side.
Order and watch your meal being prepared. Grab a beverage or two. You'll pay at the cash register at the door. There is *no* seating.Usually, I'll get a quart of birria to go, but on this day, I asked for it as a combination plate ($6.49). I think it's the best birria, stewed until the beef is tender and with spicy, deep and complex flavors. The chef is always proud when I tell him it is my favorite.Here's a carnitas plate ($6.49) with no rice and all the sides that come with it. There is plenty here (you get six corn tortillas and there's always more meat than small tacos I make with the ingredients).The chicharrones guisados (stewed fried pork rinds in green sauce) made here is also one of the best. I asked for it to be made into two tacos. It's not listed on the menu, but I was only charged $3 for these.Here's another plate of carnitas from Krist. Different cooks, different results. All good.
Krist Liquor & Market 7152 Linda Vista Road San Diego 92111 (858)292-7986 Open Mon-Tue-Wed-Th & Sat 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Since there is no seating at Krist, we either have to drive home to eat or head toward Mission Bay, where there is plenty of seating and a view of Fiesta Island.
I believe I first read about Salud on Mary's Food Blog, then some friends told me they really like the place. They described it as sort of hipster tacos put together by the San Diego Taco Company. I had wanted to check out Border X Brewing Company, so decided to make it a two-fer. Unnfortunately, Border X was closed...but at least Salud was open. Man, I hadn't been in this part of Barrio Logan since this location was Porkyland over 9 years ago!
The interior is nice and bright with high ceilings making the dining area seem wide open and airy. The folks here are very friendly. You order at the counter then have a seat with a number....
The menu is simple, with tacos, bowls, quesadillas, and such.
Loved this mural.....
Also enjoyed the salsa bar....nice variety, well made salsas, though in the end I choose the traditional Chile de Arbol Salsa.
I order three tacos, $2.50 each....so $7.50 for three tacos. I gotta say, they were pretty sloppy.
The fried tortilla for the birria (this version is pork) was superb, light, crusty, really nice. This was basically a mes. The birria was pretty bland, really lacking any chile flavor, richness, or anything else notable. It's not even close to say; what Fernandez and even milder than Tacos Revolucion's version. Too bad, that tortilla was excellent.
The obviously hand made tortilla used for the Taco de Al Pastor was also excellent.
The al pastor was nice and crisp, but the flavor was really lacking......there was also a slight bitterness to the meat as well. Not my favorite thing.
I really enjoyed the Taco de Barrio, which didn't look like much, but was quite good.
Loved the combinations of textures, the creamy, almost too salty, but delicious frijoles, the tender stewed beef, the pieces of nopales, the nice smooth crema, and a really good hand made flour tortilla. Very nice topped off with that salsa that added the heat and the acid to harmonize all the flavors. Very nice!
The next weekend, I had to head down to National City for something, so decided to drop by Salud again to try some other tacos. I again got three.
A much nicer presentation this time. As with the previous visit, the tortillas were all excellent.
The carnitas was also pretty mild in flavor, though the texture was good, I'd want something a bit more "pork forward". The avocado crema was quite nice.
I enjoyed everything but the flavor of the fish; which was on the muddy side on the fish taco.
The nice crunchy batter, the cabbage and pico de gallo, and of course the tortilla worked well together, though it won't make me forget about my favorite versions of fish tacos in San Diego.
And of course, another Taco de Barrio, which was just as satisfying as my previous one. Really satisfying, if a tad on the salty side.
To me, not a place to go out of the way for. Though I'd gladly drop in if/when I ever make it to Border X Brewing or if for some reason I'm back in the neighborhood.
You've heard those arguments, right? You stop in a bar for a beer and two knuckleheads gentlemen at the bar are doing the "who is better" thing......Ryan or Koufax, Montana or Elway, Kikaida or Kamen Rider? Kikaida or Kamen Rider??? Believe it or not....two guys at my favorite watering hole "back home" almost came to blows over that one! So there I was, listening to these two guys go at each other over Al Pastor....interesting! It became a lot less interesting after I found out that they were comparing JV's and Lalo's. No offense, but there's a lot better to be had here. Still, it made for some fine entertainment and it had been a while since I'd been to either place, 8 years since JV's and a whopping 9 1/2 years since Lalo's. So why not? I started with.....
JV's Mexican Food:
I'd say this place is timeless. As in the sign has kind of faded and the prices have gone up, but the place looks basically the same as I recalled.
I've always had friendly service here and on this visit it was the same. What was different was that they have "street tacos".
Three Al Pastor Tacos go for a wallet friendly $4.50.
As before, the Al Pastor lacks that trompo crusted texture and is less sweet than I prefer....actually, it's a bit on the bland side. The tortillas are typical, not terrible, but nothing special. The salsas are decent and this all works together adequately. It's not terrible, JV's will never be the first that comes to mind, when it comes to Al Pastor.....but it's decent rather cheap easts.
JV's Mexican Food 1112 Morena Blvd San Diego, CA 92110
I think the guy here was having a bit of a bad day....he couldn't wait to get rid of me....
The same $4.50 got me this - two small Al Pastor tacos.
Liked the guacamole, the tortillas weren't very good. The al pastor lacked color and the texture was on the mushy side and quite bland. The salsas here are pretty good, the picante is truly spicy. Yet I can't help thinking that time hasn't been real friendly to Lalo's.
Lalo’s Tacos Etc 1266 University Ave San Diego, CA 92103
In the end, I really can't recommend either location for Al Pastor; though perhaps JV's might be a ahead.
So what about that Kikaida versus Kamen Rider argument? I guess in this case it would be Rainbowman. So how's that for a nostalgic walk back to "small kid time"?
Thanks for stopping by to read mmm-yoso!!! Kirk is still on vacation, as is Ed (from Yuma). Cathy is busy with people who want to be on vacation while writing a post a day...about another few meals enjoyed.
I really try to cover different foods and parts of the County each day when I keep the blog going while Kirk is on vacation and realize I skipped the South County area entirely this time. Bad me.
Here's a post showing a few visits to one of our favorite places in Chula Vista.Look to the far left..the blue and red signage on the building frontage pushed back a bit. "Manna Restaurant" Pancake House-Chinese Fast Food. THAT's why we pulled into this parking lot.
Manna was very crowded that first time with people waiting to get in the door. Vanessa's Deli and Water Store had two empty tables. That's how it started. We now come to this parking lot and pick either Manna or Vanessa's for a meal. Here is a link to a recent post about Manna from fellow blogger, cc. (My post about Manna is forthcoming.)Asking if we had to order and pay first, we found out there is table service (and a quite large menu with many photos; more items than shown in the menu in above photo).After our orders were taken, I noticed both an ice cream area and a small freezer filled with ice cream Novelties in front of it (to the left in the above photo) and (straight ahead in the photo) at the wall was the Water Store area.Soon, two salsas and a small Vampiro ($4.49) were brought out. Beet, carrot, celery, apple, orange and lime, freshly juiced, filtered and poured into the cup: no ice. That's how it's done right.The #3 Combo ($10.99). This three item plate included a chile relleño, lomo enchilada and chicken sope along with rice, beans and tortillas. This was all very good. The sauces, salsa and guacamole stood out with their brisk fresh flavors. The lomo torta ($5.25) was served on a very freshly toasted, large torta roll, with a layer of beans, beef tenderloin (very flavorful); fresh avocado, along with lettuce and tomato made this a wonderful sandwich.
Vanessa's serves breakfast all day and we've taken advantage of that.Huevos Enmola ($6.99) (eggs in mole sauce). So wonderful and a different breakfast. Two over easy eggs on top of two corn tortillas, covered in a (slightly sweet) fresh and smooth mole, accompanied by beans and potatoes.Vanes Pan France (French toast topped with strawberries and cream)($6.75) Of course, strawberries and cream are a standard item in any fruiteria...but topping French toast- so special!
Oh, that's not burned toast; squaw bread is used here (another idea I can't believe I hadn't thought of). It's heartier and still, there is a good crust formed on the edges and the inside is still light and fluffy. Healthy decadence!Being a fruiteria, you know at least one order here has had to be a small pico de gallo ($6.25). Mango, orange, cucumber, jicama, watermelon, papaya, pineapple, topped with squeezed lime, chili powder and salt (homemade Tajin) brings all the flavors together.
Fresh, quality, satisfying. So glad we accidentally found it. Hope your weekend will be good!
Vanessa's Deli and Water Store 600 F Street (at Broadway), Suites E and F Chula Vista 91910 (619) 585-8102 Mon-Sat 7:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sun 7:30-7:30
Here you are, at mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Kirk is extremely busy with necessary errands. Ed (from Yuma) is busy making plans. Cathy is blogging today, because she is, comparatively, not busy.
Election Day in November had me assigned by the Registrar of Voters to El Cajon, where I drove in circles, putting out fires and waiting for phone calls telling me of impending fires all day. Some of the areas I passed had interesting places to eat. Lupita Mexican Food and Fruiteria caught my eye. It shares the parking lot (around the corner) with the generically named 'Tortilla Salsa Market'. There are quite a few other businesses here also. (The signage you see from the street is 3rd photo from the end).The rather extensive menu offers the usual items. The quality is notable. The shrimp tostada ($4.19) was made with large shrimp, in a fresh salsa and served with a side of avocado. This was excellent.The al pastor burrito ($4.50) was freshly made, pretty average, quite large. I'd order it again; it's more interesting than a carne aside burrito.Ordering to eat in, a basket of thin corn chips is served, along with the house made salsas in squeeze bottles.
Above, a freshly squeezed "Popeye", medium size ($4.50) juice. Made with spinach, carrot, celery, cucumber and apple, it was just right. I like that it is just juice, no ice.
Carne asada tostada ($3.99) was quite large and very good. Tamarind raspado ($3.25)(16 oz) is nicely made here, from the whirring of the shaved ice machine in the back to the tamping of fresh tamarind pieces, each item I've ordered here has been carefully hand made and served with care. The ladies working here are very nice.Almost every visit, I've ordered a small fruit salad ($6.65) with everything (cottage cheese, raisins, granola, coconut and honey)...and have needed to take hime leftovers.Tortas here are made with a great bread which is brought up from Mexico. Above, the Lomo ($6.50) is my usual choice. Lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese avocado and a thin layer of beans surround the beef (and sometimes, pork) tenderloin, which is cured then chopped and heated for this sandwich.This is the signage you'll see from the street. Notice the bottom two lines: 'Sideways Bar'. Now, you may have noticed I've been doing quite a few posts under the "Pubs and Pub Grub" section of the blog. It seems that Sideways doesn't serve food, but the bar patrons walk to Lupita, order and pay. Then, one the order is ready, one of the ladies walks to deliver the food to the bar.
Consistently, one item seems to always be ordered. The double cheeseburger. So, you know, I had to...Behold, the double cheeseburger ($4.50). As you can see, two large patties, lettuce tomato and two different cheeses on a toasted bun. This was filling and quite good. I understand why it's an order for the bar patrons.
Another fruiteria which is locally owned and serves quality food.
Lupita Mexican Food and Fruiteria 1088 Estes (at Chase, one block East of Emerald) El Cajon 92021 (619)593-9500
This past weekend, I found that I had completed most of my "honey-do" list quite early. I decided to head down to CV for some tacos. I dropped by my favorite loncheras, but found that all of them were quite crowded. Driving on Broadway, I noticed a familiar name:
You might recall my post on the Mariscos Tijuana Jr truck last year. I wondered if this was the same folks? This is the old location of Don Rafa, which has since moved. So I parked and walked on in. I was greeted by a very cheerful young man and a young lady. I was asked if I'd be eating in or taking out....they also apologized for not having any English menus. Really nice folks.
I told them not to worry, I'd do fine with the menus. I asked them if this was the same Tijuana Jr that had the lonchera....he smiled and said "yes.......we sold the truck and opened this place because we want more families..." He pointed outside to the Bounce House with kids having a great time. "You see......we like that noise!"
In a moment some chips (routine) and salsas made its way to my table.
I placed my order and the young man asked me if I wanted some "soup". "You mean consommé?" "Yes..." "Of course!" The soup was on the mild side, but super scalding hot.
I'd ordered tres tacos. A Pescado (fish) - the version at the TJ Jr truck was good, so I wanted to see how it was in current state. A "marlin" smoked fish, and a Gobernador.
When the tacos arrived; the first thing I noticed was that the tortillas seemed different since my previous visit. These were much more fragrant and more hardy.
The fish taco was every bit as good as what I had at the truck. Shiny, crisp, lacquer batter....with even more fish than before. It was good with the lighter, almost thousand island dressing like salsa.
The tacos de marlin was interesting. I tasted the fish alone and it was really salty and fishy. Strangely, when I ate the taco, it just fit in nicely. Somehow the sodium had been balanced out and the fishiness had been over ruled by the pic de gallo, cabbage, and salsa.
The gobernador was better than what I had at the truck, though it's still not among my favorites. Though the tortilla held up nicely and the shrimp were cooked well; it just didn't have enough flavor or onions for me. Still, it's not bad at all.
As I got up to pay my check, and older woman came on over to me and asked me, "Please have some dessert....it's free......flan, cheesecake?" She was so sweet. Though I declined saying that I had more than enough to eat. This is a great indication of the folks here....really friendly and helpful. Now I have an option when all my favorite mariscos trucks are too busy.....or even when they're not.
Tijuana JR Tacos y Cockteles 631 Broadway Chula Vista, CA 91910
My visit to Taqueria Revolucion seems to have gotten me back on the taco trail. I'd been derailed for a while, but now that work is normalizing a bit, I'm able to travel a bit further afield. Craving tacos,I decided to check out Tacos el Poblano. I'd never been to this location, just the now defunct first US location on 3rd Avenue in Chula Vista. I once ran into the venerable Masa Asssasin there, who gave me the history of Tacos el Poblano, which was established in Tijuana back in 1974. Man, we miss you "MA".
So, I finally made it here.....like almost five years later. The drill here is interesting, it even confuses the Hispanic customers. You basically walk to the back counter area, which is divided up into three stations, adobada, birria (de res), and asada. You order from one or more folks depending on how many folks are manning the area and what type of protein you want. You pay at the cashier on your way out....also, if you want drinks, the cups and bottled items are located at the cashier so you need to ask for those.
I went with one of each; asada, adobada, and birria ($2 each).
The asada was disappointing, dry, tough, flavorless. Especially since this is what TeP has hung its hat on, the asada traditionally made from three different cuts of meat from a specific butcher.
The adobada was better, a bit more flavor, but still too dry and bland for me. I like my adobada to have a nice salty-savory-sweetness which the Missus says is "like good char siu". The guacamole does real well on this one.
The best of the bunch was the birria de res, which had some nice spice, but was still behind what I had at Fernandez and even Taqueria Revolucion.
The salsas were quite watery, but had a bit of oomph. I did expect a bit more considering the name and pedigree, but perhaps I caught them on an off day.
Tacos El Poblano 885 E H St Chula Vista, CA 91910 Hours: Daily 10am - 10pm
I noticed a "new" Mariscos Truck while driving down Convoy two weeks ago name El Puerto. I felt it was a bit too cold for tacos at that time, but what a difference a week makes. Looks like winter has made its way out of San Diego. Bright and sunny days are perfect for "lonchera lunching".....
So I parked the car.....the truck is located in the small space between Convoy Liquors (4383 Convoy Street) and Wienerschnitzel (4393 Convoy St)....you can't miss it. I walked up and took a look at the menu; much like Mariscos Nine Seas, things looked quite gringo friendly, which sends off alarms bells. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Pretty straight forward stuff. I ordered a Fried Fish Taco ($1.50), A Fried Shrimp Taco ($2.50), and was overjoyed to see a Gobernador ($4.25) on the menu as well. It was a nice day, so I did as I would usually do....I ate on the hood of my car. Based on how things looked, I expected no consommé and got none.
The fish taco wasn't my favorite....a rather small piece of fish; the batter was on the greasy side and it did not hold up well. It was adequately moist, but tasted a bit more fishy than I like. The fried shrimp was the best of the bunch, the batter, while still on the greasy side held up well, the shrimp were mist and plump.
I've got to say, this was the strangest gobenador I've ever had, also the smallest. You can check out other versions on some of our older posts.
At least the tortillas....not great quality as they all fell apart, had a layer of melted cheese. Basically some stir fried shrimp and a few slices of green pepper (no onions, no tomatoes???) and a couple of slices of avocado. And here I thought the version at the Mariscos Tijuana Jr Truck was different.
The salsas were by the book, decent. The folks running the truck were very nice. Because my order was taking a bit long, they offered me my choice of beverage on the house.
Still, I'd rather drive down South for my Mariscos Fix.
Man, when was the last time I had honest to goodness tacos.......work has kept me busy, so trips outside my usual "range" had been put on hold. I'd heard about Taqueria Revolucion a few months back, but was too busy to check them out. I mentioned them to my coworker Karina who went to check them out the next weekend. She came back and told me the place was worth a visit.
Recently, I was craving some tacos....and of course Tacos el Gordo comes to mind, as did Fernandez Catering and a couple of others. But I thought why not take the time to drive a bit further to San Ysidro and check out the revolutionary taqueria?
The place is fairly nondescript, I almost passed it....
The interior is unassuming and quite plain, the menu simple, but solid and the young lady working quite hard to take orders, work the register, then deliver the goods to each table....and man, the burritos looked titanic.
But I'm a taco kind of guy and I ordered three along with some Consomme de Birria ($1.25).
I gotta say, this was my favorite item of the day. It was fairly thick, beefy, mildly spiced, with just enough salt and lime to keep me happy. Quite good.
I also ordered tres tacos.
The Adobada was decent, loved the way they did the tortillas, dipping them in the drippings. I prefer mine a bit sweeter, but he texture was nice, and it was satisfying.
I had originally wanted a Nopal Queso Taco, but they were out. So I quickly replaced it with Carne Asada. Which was better than I thought it would be.
It was stuffed with finely chopped beef, which had a pleasant chew. The flavor was nice....I swear, there's some soy sauce/maggi or something like that in here. Not too salty, light citrus tones; much better than I expected.
The Birria Quesataco was good. Though the birria was on the milder side, which played up to the queso, adding a nice milky component to the whole thing. The birria, though mild needed no salt and just a touch of lime from me.
I enjoyed the tortillas, perhaps a bit harder than preferred, but I believe they are made inhouse.
I enjoyed my meal and will probably be back if I'm in the area, especially for some of that consomme. I'd been craving some decent tacos for a while and this hit the spot. The owner, whose name is Emilio I believe, came out and stopped by to chat with all his customers.......mostly regulars it seems, but a few newbies as well. Very friendly guy.
After waiting for a few months, I finally got my taco fix.....
Taqueria Revolucion 362 E San Ysidro Blvd San Diego, CA 92173