Notice anything out of the ordinary here? Well if you ate here, you would know that a few hundred people eating some of the greatest soul food around are missing. Over the last few weeks, the vendors at the street food oasis have been getting raided by the police. Normally, they would disappear for a while only to come back in full force as if nothing ever happened, but something did happen. Things got out of control and the oasis got burned, big time. First it was the L.A. Times a few years ago, as Chimatli tells me, and fellow bloggers putting it on blast and telling everyone to go check it out. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but because this was an under the table operation, there was a need for a level of discretion that helped the vendors make a living and kept the cops at bay. That harmony is now gone and so are the vendors.
In the spirit of not giving away all our cool restaurants, spaces and bars in the Eastside I’m challenging you in Blogotitlan to tell me what is the name of this place. The first one to get it right will get a lil something I brought back from Guanajuato.
Ok, here we go.
– It has been around for over 35 years
– It has an eclectic menu that includes: pizza, fish tacos, cheesecake, and lentil soup
– the serve beer too!
– one of their specials is called “The Chicano Special”
– their slogan includes “worth driving for”
No. How can someone think of putting pancakes into a BURRITO!?!?!? Puras locuras. I could not belive my sleepy eyes when I went to Denny’s with the GF this morning. Her choice to go there. I wanted a torta after reading Chavo’s post. So you can believe my shock when I saw this on the menu. And the price !?!? Pfft tan locos. I was THIS CLOSE to actually giving it a try and not being close minded and judgmental about it. But after I saw the syrup trying to be salsa, I took a stand and said NO. Denny’s, I’ve enjoyed the 3 a.m. breakfast and pumpkin pie in the winter, but this atrocity against burritos has gone far enough. All I have to say is NO.
FREE PANCAKES AT IHOP! TODAY TUESDAY FEBRUARY. 24th UNTIL 10PM!
Today I pulled into this Gas Station I go to near ELA College on Atlantic Ave. & Chavez. (on the intersection where I can find some fave food joints I’ve frequented in the past, The Old Van De Kamps Cafe, The Hat, Hawaii Island BBQ, there’s even a Boston Market down the street that I like sometimes.) Normally, I just pay at the pump at this gas station and drive away, but today was different. The card swipe machine wasn’t working and I was obliged to see the cashier inside. So I walk in and…..Holy Egg Rolls!!! Continue reading
I have loved Japanese culture ever since my mind was warped by The G-Force, Astro Boy, Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon and of course The Power Rangers..… Laugh it up all you want….Ok so that childhood love kept growing and I love Japanese food, except sushi. Don’t know why, just don’t ok. Anyway, Japanese is delicious and I love that it’s so close to home. I use to go to Little Tokyo, but then me puse las pilas and I remembered about Otomi.
There’s a plastic baby in my rosca !!!!
One of my favorite things about having a rich cultural Mexican heritage is celebrating traditions and eating some of the best food in the world, like the rosca de reyes. I’m my house my mom tried to instill the history and tradition that came along with the rosca, but I never really paid attention because I was too busy trying to find the plastic baby before anyone else. I always knew as the bread with the baby inside and if you get the baby that means that you have to host the rosca party next year. When someone did get it, everyone would start laughing and poking fun at the person, but more than anything, I remembered that the rosca was one of the few times my family came together like a “real” family. Great food always brought us together. Course you can’t have rosca without champurado(mexican hot chocolate). Mmm….
The sign says it all, “Specializing in Burritos.” Al & Bea’s here been here in Boyle Heights for more than 40 years and just like anything else in life, it gets better with time. My first time going to Al & Bea’s was a few years ago when a friend asked me if I’ve ever been there. “No I haven’t” I said and we were on our way there in no time. Coming from the taco truck lifestyle I was expecting the more traditional burrito de carne asada and the cliche menu that accompanies it. I get to the window and don’t even bother to look at the menu because I’m used to ordering the same thing give or take. I ask for carne asada and the guy taking my order says they don’t have carne asada. In my bewilderment, my friend stepped in and ordered for me, an Al & Bea’s special. I dove in and thought to myself, “this burrito is good, but I wouldn’t call it Mexican food,” even though the guys preparing the food are Mexican or look it. Since that faithful day, I have been going back and fourth to Al & Bea’s trying out the menu and learning to appreciate it for the great food it has, Mexican or not.
Enter the burrito de Chile Relleno(bell pepper stuffed with cheese and fried). I’ve had most of the menu already so when I decided to go for the Chile Relleno, I was kinda hesitant. The last time I went out on a limb like that I tried their potato burrito, which turned out to be a burrito full of french fries. I threw caution to the wind and went for it. For those of you who hadn’t had the pleasure of spoiling your taste buds with the burrito, it consist of a Chile Relleno wrapped in a tortilla and smothered in beans. It was good !!!!! So good that’s the only thing I’ve ordered the last few times I’ve been there, aside of taquitos with guacamole goes well with it too. Chingado now I’m hungry.
Some of the greatest ideas in life are the simplest ones, take for example the Tamale Casserole. Being the son of a Tamalera, I know tamales and when I laid my eyes on that concoction in the aluminum pan, I questioned it and it’s taste. Low and behold I was surprised by it great taste and ingenuity. Curious about the casserole, I asked the chef about it and she told me that it was a recipe her grandmother created back in the day. Chimatli dates it back to the ’50s, but this is the first time I laid eyes on something so clever and tasty.
This particular casserole was of rajas and it had monterey jack and goat cheese making for a unique combination to say the least. The japalenos gave it a nice kick too and some extra flavor. Again letting my curiosity got the best of me and I asked how she prepared the casserole. In a nutshell, you take masa and put it on the bottom of the pan, add your toppings of choice and lay another layer of masa on top of that. Pop it in the oven for about 90 minutes and bingo bango, a tamale casserole. Over the holidays I’ve been exposed to a variety of tamale variations including vegetarian tamales. For years I thought that rajas, chicken red/green sauce, pork red/green sauce and pineapple and strawberry were the only ones available. My pallet is forever changed and I’m grateful to have been exposed to such culinary delights.
Walking down Cesar Chavez yesterday to go see my friend at work I was thinking, “Man I could sure go for a churro right about now. That sweet,greasy stick always hits the spot anytime, anywhere.” Just as I think my hunger for churros will go unfulfilled, I see a man and his cart standing in front of the Big Buy full of churros. Four for a dollar he yelled and like Batman to the bat-signal, I grab a dollar from my pocket and with a smile on my face I asked him to help me fulfill my sugary craving. The vendor was an older looking man, late ’40s early ’50s, he had a light beer smell to him, possibly budweiser and looked as if he just crawled from under a pickup truck. Despite his rugged appearance I didn’t hesitate as I took a bite of my churro, still warm and soft as it was recently made. The man told me that his suegra had rushed him out the door to go and sell after she finished making them. He asked her if he could have one more beer before he left the house, but no dice. Across the street from him other people were selling other various foods and random items. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday it gets packed on that side walk with people buying food and just enjoying themselves. However I digress from my point, which is that no matter what your craving there will be someone in a cart or stand selling what ever your craving for a reasonable price and extremely delicious. I <3 Boyle Heights.