Archive for the ‘Mexican Food (& Spanish)’ Category

Another Prize For A Division Win: A Meal At Wahoo’s Fish Taco.

August 8th, 2012 No comments

Thanks OC Fair and Wahoo’s Fish Taco — It’s an appreciated compliment to my Division Win.

I opted for a Mushroom Enchilada with Green Sauce, White Rice and Cajun White Beans. 

I’ve liked Wahoo’s Fish Taco for years, especially their Green Sauce and Maui Onion Rings believe it or not — They’re the Best Onion Rings I’ve found.  Regarding the rest of their MENU, I need to venture out, and plan to soon since a co-worker says… Wahoo’s Black Beans are better than all others.  After that statement, I have to try them again, as it’s been a while.

Stickers and photos are generally plastered on the walls along a winding entrance to Wahoo’s Fish Taco.  Photos posted here were taken at the Irvine Spectrum Center.  I particularly like the bench made out of skateboard boards (above), but I’m never fond of the commonly seen lines there.  It’s best to go early or late, unless everyone else has the same idea that day.

Mexican Food Con Amigas Near The Playa: Life Esta Bien.

June 7th, 2012 No comments

Mexican Food with friends is one of the best things in life.

Avila’s El Ranchito in Huntington Beach is where we were today — It’s an open indoor/outdoor space, perfect for Main Street and a few blocks from the pier.  Stop in for lunch after surfing.

My camera often freaks out at night, which bestows a vintage haze in photos, to put it nicely.

Apologies for substandard photos of their Grande Taco Salad, Chingolingas and Mama Avila’s Famous Chicken Soup, an El Ranchito favorite.  All looked and tasted better than viewed here.

And a pitcher of Margaritas for the Senoritas.

Gracias dearest amigas for another birthday dinner for me — We’re all blessed and lucky.

Showering Babies On Cinco De Mayo: Cadillac Milk On The Rocks?

May 5th, 2012 No comments

A bib for the baby?  Here you go — Happy Cinco De Mayo!  It’s now on to La Espiga De Oro.

And we might want a big, fat, wet Burrito don’t you know.

Or we’ll make Nibbles of Tidbits’ Chipotle Barbacoa Beef Copycat Recipe?!

Or opt for Chinese take-out to avoid crowds and labor — TBD after the Cadillac.

Much to possibly do — Salud to a new Superman too!  Milk is good food.

Almost Every Day In Rio For A Week: It Must Be Love, Love Love.

April 17th, 2012 No comments

It’s Cafe Rio that I can’t get enough of lately — Upon realization, I photographed the latest, a Shredded Chicken Enchilada with Green Sauce, Green Chili Rice and Black Beans.  Good stuff!

Do You Remember Pup ‘N’ Taco? Hopefully They Never Served This.

April 9th, 2012 No comments

Bite the one you love said their advertisement — It’s not this Pup ‘N’ Taco.  I want to kiss its face, not eat it.  The real Pup ‘N’ Taco sold Hot Dogs, Tacos, Pastrami Sandwiches and more, and no longer exists.  Ninety-nine stores were bought by Taco Bell ending the chain in 1984.

04/16/12 Update:  Just so you know, the pictured is not served by Taco Dawg either. 😉

Feliz Navidad With A Mexican Shrimp Cocktail: The Winner.

December 3rd, 2011 2 comments

Voted the Best Appetizer at our Christmas Par-Tay was this Mexican Shrimp Cocktail.  Recipe coming soon to this blog you see now — We be kickin’ it at this moment on a sunny Saturday.

Congrats Arlene (second from right) and thanks to Cost Plus for making it extra special.

Traveling Taquiza: An Instant Taco Party Where Ever You Want It.

October 24th, 2011 No comments

Taquiza — Do you know what it is?  We’re calling it an Instant Taco Party.

Where do you want it?  In your backyard, at a park, or how about your office parking lot?

Went to a party last weekend and saw a small truck with an attached trailer park nearby.  Didn’t think much about it until it seamlessly turned into a full Taqueria in my friend’s backyard.

It was there Gallegos Taquiza cooked (and served) Chicken, Carne Asada and Carnitas for all.

That little truck and trailer brought all the meat and fixins’ for an Instant Taco Party.  If local, you may want to contact Gallegos Taquiza for your next party — Not sure of the cost, but they did a great job.  Or search Taquiza catering near you for good, fun party food.

What Up Panama Joe’s – Hoochified By The Shark From Baja?!

October 16th, 2011 No comments

It’s Panama Joe’s in face only, but truly a Shark behind the awning, Baja Sharkeez that is.

It’s really not Panama Joe’s anymore, the local bar I liked most when living in Belmont Shore a lifetime ago.  We loved dancing to their live bands — Let’s go crash that party down in Normaltown tonight and we’ll go skinny dippin’ in the moonlight, the Deadbeat Club in PJ days.

PJ’s was a kick-back, fun neighborhood bar and restaurant where we had some times, and it’s now marketed as a party-down place with distracting TV overload.  BS is trying to be cool when PJ’s already was.  Everyone at BS seemed nice but… RIP the real Panama Joe’s.

Smile It’s As Good As It Looks: La Espiga De Oro Panaderia.

October 12th, 2011 1 comment

Check it out — La Espiga De Oro Panaderia.  Remember what we said about it?  And the verdict is… It’s as great as it looks and relatively inexpensive for the quality and splendor.

All that’s pictured totaled $8.55 — Why not take a box of this to the office instead of Donuts?

There’s a lot more to choose from than what you see here.

This fine Panateria is off 19th and Placentia in Costa Mesa.  Have a nice day!

La Espiga De Oro Bakery Panaderia: Bienvenidos 19th Street Amigos.

October 11th, 2011 No comments

I’m gettin’ some asap, Mexican Sweet Bread (and Cookies) from La Espiga De Oro Bakery Panaderia and do believe I’m about to get hooked — I should’ve bought a few pieces when stumbling upon them the other day, but all seemed too busy to acknowledge the gringa.

Hhmmm, it’s okay — I studied the baked goods (in amazement) for a fair amount of time and can now be purposeful and confident when gettin’ my Panaderia on.  It all looked so faultless.

Unfortunately no pictures were taken inside La Espiga De Oro and the photos outside do it no justice.  The pictured Mexican Sweet Breads are borrowed from Texas Cooking.  Our soon to be obtained and photographed Panaderia will convey what I say one fine day.

How To Make (Or Not To Make) Chorizo: Unknown Cookbook Review.

June 30th, 2011 No comments

I get asked to review a lot of cookbooks, which is pretty cool.  Some I love and have used over and over, and others I’m not so sure about.  Just because a recipe makes it into a cookbook doesn’t mean it’s going to be good.  I’ve learned that the hard way many times.

I was recently reminded that all are not created equal, after a review of The Unknown Cookbook.  I appreciate the opportunity to try it, but the Chorizo (Mexican Sausage) recipe within tasted nothing like it.  Aside from that, it just wasn’t good.  Though the book will never be a favorite, I learned from the process.  In other words, it’s nice to know that I can make Chorizo without Salivary Glands, though this isn’t the recipe to do it.

All is posted to show that the method is easy with the right ingredients.

The pre-rolled Catfood-ish looking “Chorizo” (below) was a bit of a turn off.

Chorizo is better wrapped in plastic than intestines. 😉

We were excited about it, before we tasted it — Blah.

After being refrigerated for two days, we sliced it into patties and cooked it, then took a couple bites and tossed it in the trash.  I’m calling this the review of The Unknown Cookbook, so not to make the author feel bad.  We prefer to emphasize the positive and not hurt the sales of others with a bad review.  I’m sure there is something worth making in the book.  With respect to this recipe, we’re sticking with Soy Chorizo for now — We know it’s good.

Official Commencement Of Tostada Thursday: You Think It’ll Catch On?

May 26th, 2011 1 comment

Another excuse for Mexican — Why not celebrate Tostada Thursday?  Is Taco Tuesday played?  Is there room for both in one week?  The pictured Tostada is from Café Rose Express.

Happy Cinco De Saint Patso: It’s A Bit Like Festivus.

May 5th, 2011 No comments

Enjoyed this Wet Burrito previously at Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant, but plan to see an Irish Pub on Cinco De Mayo — Went out for Mexican on St. Patrick’s Day this year.  It could be a good plan, as it helps to avoid a wait, but I almost always prefer Mexican food.  Cinco De Saint Patso is like Festivus only in that it’s a made up holiday.  Have a great one!

Improvised Mini Tongs: Another Use For Clothes Pins, Not Just A Chip Clip.

April 2nd, 2011 No comments


Somehow I ended up with several wooden clothes pins that come in handy as Chip Clips and various bag sealers.  And I’ve recently discovered a new use — They work well as Improvised Mini Tongs, while cooking Tortillas in the toaster oven.  Can you think of another kitchen use?

Homemade Flour Tortillas: Conquered With A Bad Recipe.

March 24th, 2011 No comments

I made Flour Tortillas for the first time, but chose the wrong recipe, which seems to have a bad Flour to Vegetable Shortening/Lard ratio.  Not enough Flour (2 1/2 Cups) for the (10 Tbsps) of Shortening noted.  After comparison to other Flour Tortilla recipes, it’s obvious they would turn out too greasy.  I’m not sure how/why the recipe worked so well for the esteemed blogger, because it didn’t work for me, aside from how it may look posted here. 

It was recommended that I use Lard instead of Vegetable Shortening, but after visiting three stores that didn’t carry it, I opted for Crisco.  I don’t think the use of Lard would have improved this recipe, but next time I’ll give it a fair try using less tablespoons.  Although the noted measurements didn’t work well, the ingredients and steps to create future Flour Tortillas are generally the same as posted.

Start with Flour.

Add Baking Powder and Salt.

Add Vegetable Shortening or Lard.

Cut Shortening/Lard into Flour, Baking Powder and Salt combination.

Cut mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Gettin’ there.

Add Hot Water to mixture.

Stir mixture together, then knead Dough until it becomes a cohesive ball that’s less sticky.

Let Dough rest for about an hour, then divide into ping pong size balls and let rest again.

Roll out each between two sheets of plastic to form Flour Tortillas.

Cook each in a dry skillet for about 50 seconds per side.  The recipe notes to cook the Tortillas for 20 – 30 seconds each side, but it wasn’t long enough to obtain the desired brown specks.

Doesn’t the above Tortilla look like a fish?

They look good, but didn’t taste that great.

Our homemade Corn Tortillas turned out better, but we’ll try to make the Flour Tortillas again.

Hooray For Cheese And Sauce: How To Hide Enchilada Imperfections.

March 22nd, 2011 1 comment

Looks good, right?  They do now.  And they tasted good too.  Often times there’s a transitional period when things look a mess, before coming together.  This occurrence is true for many types of creations.  In this instance, it was the Cheese and Sauce that straightened out the look of these imperfect Chicken Enchiladas.  All happened brilliantly in the end.

How to make them — Cut or shred breast meat from a Rotisserie Chicken.

Add Green Onions.

Add Cheese — For ease, I cheated by using pre-grated Jack and Cheddar.

Mix ingredients together and set aside until Tortillas are ready to be filled.

Dip Tortillas in warm Sauce before filling them.  It makes them a little more pliable to roll.  The Sauce used for these Chicken Enchiladas was from El Matador Restaurant.  Got some to go — It’s almost the same price as a canned Sauce, but better tasting.  We recommend buying Enchilada Sauce from a good Mexican restaurant in lieu of canned, if you don’t make your own.

My Mom says I need to fry the Tortillas in Oil for a minute or so to make them even more malleable, but I always try to avoid that step and too often get the same bad result… cracking Tortillas.  She’s right, again.  And since the Tortillas were homemade and thicker than most, the breakage was worse, as shown below.

Cheese and Sauce to the rescue — Hide the Enchilada imperfections.

Now you can’t tell the Tortillas cracked and went off the deep end.

Aside from how they appear underneath, everyone liked how they looked coming to the table.  Their flavor and facade was dialed in with Cheese and Sauce.  Whew, they saved this meal.

Homemade Corn Tortillas: Easier To Make Than You Might Think.

March 21st, 2011 No comments

‘Make Homemade Tortillas’ has been on my To Do List for years.  After tackling Homemade Pasta, it was finally time.  I started with Corn Tortillas, posted here, and then moved on to Flour Tortillas (a little more complicated), which shall be posted soon.  This is the Corn report…

After reviewing several recipes online, I opted to make the one posted on the back of the Maseca Masa bag, which was easy to follow and the Corn Tortillas turned out well.

Only three ingredients went into their creation — Masa, Salt and Water.

Start by combining the Salt and Masa.

Then add Water to the Masa/Salt combination and mix to form a fairly stiff Dough.

Once the Dough is satisfactorily formed, divide into targeted amount of Tortilla balls.

We formed 18 balls to ultimately create 18 Corn Tortillas.

Roll out each Tortilla ball in between plastic sheets — We used the inside of a baggie, which worked well.  The Tortillas are easy to separate from the plastic before hitting the skillet.

Once the Tortillas are formed, each is heated in a dry, medium-hot skillet for approximately 50 seconds per side, then set aside under a towel and/or bowl to keep them warm and soft.

As you can see, the hardest thing was to roll ’em out into perfect circles, which we didn’t do.  We could have used a large Cookie cutter, but opted for the rustic look this first time.

As noted, before opting to make the simple Maseca Masa Corn Tortilla recipe, I collected several others from around the web — And for future reference/use, they are all linked here:  Gourmet Sleuth, All Recipes, In Jennie’s Kitchen, Cooking Mexican Recipes, Simply Recipes, Eating Cleveland and What’s Cooking America.  All their Tortillas look better than ours.  You’ll find everything you need to make good Homemade Corn Tortillas.  Good luck to you!

Veracruz Mexican Restaurant & Related Family History In Denmark.

February 13th, 2011 No comments

Before opening up the first Mexican food restaurant in Denmark, my Uncle Bobby learned how to cook in the small kitchen of this restaurant, Veracruz Mexican Restaurant in Downey, California.  He was taught there by a guy named Rafael about 50 years back and now has several franchise Mexican food restaurants throughout Denmark.  They’re named Tortilla Flats, if you get over there.  After so many years there’s obviously a whole new crew and owners at Veracruz Mexican Restaurant, but the place still serves good food.  We’ve visited occasionally over the years and all is generally satisfying — Here’s what we ate this time…

From top to bottom, a Bean & Cheese Burrito, always with Enchilada Sauce, a Chicken Taco with Beans and Rice, a Chili Rellano with Beans and Rice, and a large Bean Tostada.

We also like the prices and portion sizes at Veracruz Mexican Restaurant. 

When my Uncle Bobby is in town, he’ll pop in for old time’s sake, but his recipes are different.

I love a hole in the wall with the aroma of good Mexican food.

The entrance is in the back, off the street, and don’t hit any cars in the tight parking lot.

In The Studio With Smoky Paprika Chipotle Seasoning: It’s A Star.

January 26th, 2011 3 comments

A friend gave me a jar of Victoria Taylor’s Smoky Paprika Chipotle Seasoning — I fell in love with it at her house and she surprised me with it for Christmas.  It’s a flawless blend of flavors that lacks nothing.  Lately it has been livening up almost everything savory.  It’s incredibly great tasting.  I hope Victoria never stops making it, as I’m about to go through it fast. 

Testing out the Photo Studio — Do you see a difference between the two photos?

Still learning, but think the top photo looks much better than the has been above.

The Asylum Is Now Open: Taco Asylum At The CAMP.

January 13th, 2011 No comments

Taco Asylum opened today at The CAMP.

Taco Asylum is technically presented in lowercase as taco asylum, but I just can’t get myself to write it that way at the beginning of a sentence — Moving on, taco asylum offers unique, totally gourmet Tacos in an industrial styled setting at The CAMP in Costa Mesa.

And Nibbles of Tidbits (we) luckily got to try most Tacos at a preview event.  Love that!  A few Tacos are pictured here, but you can see more and read about ’em on

Our favorite was the Short Rib Taco with pickled Red Onions, Salsa Verde, Cotija Cheese and Cilantro, pictured top-most here.  The Corazon Taco with Confit Beef Heart is directly above.

Peek inside the asylum.

The CAMP is a cool place too, especially if you valet, as parking really sucks there at times.

Lucky Taco: A New Way To Recognize Taco Tuesday.

January 11th, 2011 No comments

It’s Taco Tuesday again and time for a Lucky Taco.

It’s a Mexican Fortune Cookie and today my fortune reads — Get your sunglasses on, your world is about to get a lot brighter.  Sounds good to me!  And I also learned the Spanish word for shark: tiburon.  Important stuff, but where are the lottery numbers?

Lucky Taco’s taste good too — Red is Strawberry flavor.  Check out their website to learn more about the different shapes and flavors they offer. 🙂

Skatin’ The LBC Beach Path For A Patio Lunch In Shoreline Village.

July 11th, 2010 No comments

Chips and Tableside Guacamole Fresco at Tequila Jack’s Beach House Cantina in Shoreline Village, Long Beach (the LBC) — After skating from the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool (near Belmont Veteran’s Memorial Pier) on the beach path to Shoreline Village, we relaxed with drinks, appetizers and Tacos at TJ’s.

We’ve skated, biked and walked the beach path in Long Beach hundreds of times before — It’s a particularly good path for skaters, since it’s extra wide and smooth compared to other local beach paths.  It’s generally less crowded and offers great views too.

Wanting more, we limited ourselves to one Hand Shaken Cadillac Margarita each, since we were already contemplating a ride on the Passport as an easier trip back to our starting point (haha), but we skated back — And no SUI or SWI for us!  Pictured is the Grilled Vegetable Taco and not pictured is the rest of the day, since the camera battery died after a long night.  We need a back-up for all the action.

It was a good day for a patio lunch — Tequila Jack’s always seems willing to accommodate.

Kogi BBQ: Mexican/Korean Cuisine Is/Was In Irvine Today.

June 24th, 2010 No comments

Today my food and legal worlds happily collided — I happen to make a livin’ as a Litigation Paralegal and Freelance Writer majoring in food. 🙂 Our law office was invited to a Summer Splash Party that was hosted by Sarnoff Court Reporters and catered by Kogi BBQ trucks.

By now most have heard about the elusive Kogi BBQ trucks drivin’ and parkin’ around Orange County and Los Angeles, offering Mexican/Korean cuisine to eagerly awaiting Kogi lovers — And today they came to me with ease.

Since Sarnoff sponsored the party, we had the Kogi trucks all to our legal selves.  We only had to wait in line a couple minutes, unlike many others at popular destinations.

We each received a Kogi Beef Slider, Kogi Pork Taco and Kogi Chicken Taco.  All were very good as reported by countless others, but we weren’t knocked off our chairs.  We wouldn’t wait hours as some have, but maybe 15 minutes or so for another Beef Slider and their Short Rib Taco (a specialty not offered today).

Thanks Sarnoff — You always have the best food at your parties!  And thanks Kogi BBQ for the fast tasty food.