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Mt. Signal Cafe - "puffy" quesadillas

Oh, that old La Hacienda by the airport. I have such nostalgia for that place. The posters on the wall, the old bar that you had to walk through to get to the cash register (when we were 7 years old, walking into a bar was quite a novelty), the big map of Baja in the waiting area, the tiny bathrooms, and even the spots on the floor that would sink when you walked over them. I loved everything about that place, and was so sad to see it go.

Mrs. Caro still runs the two locations they have, across the street from the courthouse in El Centro and the new location in Imperial. I always thought they should've designed the new Imperial location with a nod to the character of that old airport location, but alas they didn't.

Jun 03, 2010
candez in California

Mt. Signal Cafe - "puffy" quesadillas

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Jun 03, 2010
candez in California

Mt. Signal Cafe - "puffy" quesadillas

Sorry for the REALLY delayed response! I'd rate La Hacienda's and Celia's a tie for the best. Hard to choose between those two. They both have flakey and light crusts, just the right amount of cheese, and are fried perfectly. I didn't care for the one I had from Puerto Nuevo, but I was there at the very end of the day and I don't think they were thrilled to have one more customer that day, so I don't think they were exactly offering me their best.

And like someone below mentioned, asking for chile relleno sauce on top makes it even better.

I'm hungry now for a deep fried cheese filled raw tortilla (;->.

Jun 03, 2010
candez in California

Mt. Signal Cafe - "puffy" quesadillas

I worked for a restaurant company in SD for a while and there were a couple of us there who were Valley natives; we tried desperately to get one of the chefs to put special quesadillas on the menu, but he just couldn't comprehend how a raw tortilla filled with cheese and deep-fried could possibly be good. It's one of those things that you have to experience before you realize how amazing they are.

For now, I guess just thank your lucky stars that you're only a 1-1/2 hour drive from the only place they are made.

I'm snacking on a special quesadilla and refried beans with Hacienda's fabulous salsa right now from La Hacienda in El Centro (corner of Main & 9th Streets across from the courthouse). Mmmmmm!!!

They are also wonderful at Celia's in El Centro (corner of Imperial Ave and Adams Ave, across from Carl's Jr., behind the auto parts store), and Camacho's (out in the country on Wahl Road, south of the freeway, GoogleMap it for exact location), and La Hacienda in Imperial (Highway 86, a few blocks north of the fairgrounds). Most mom 'n' pop Mexican restaurants in the Valley serve them, but these are the best in my experience.

El Zarape's in Imperial are good, but not the best, although their albondigas is fantastic (Imperial Avenue just south of Barioni Blvd). I don't think Las Salsas (Fourth Street & Broadway) serves them anymore. I've never made it out to Mt Signal Cafe, but I have heard that theirs are very good, too.

Jan 22, 2010
candez in California

Rajas Quesadillas

These sound great. Although most of the rajas I've seen use poblano chiles rather than bell peppers. Of course, it all depends on your own taste as to which you'd prefer.

Jan 22, 2010
candez in Recipes