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Baja Wines in San Diego

Whoa, hello. So Ireland is it? Well, 'tis right it 'tis that I should say to ye up thar, have a Guinness on me. Breakfast of the monks, y'know. [Midnight snack too, but no one talks about that.]

about 9 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Baja Wines in San Diego

And I know that as court jester, you're as sober as the judge. Is.

And I know you're always very ponderous, very serious, yes.

Still don't get it though.

[Pours another glass of wine]

about 10 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Baja Wines in San Diego

Thanks, FN. All I can say is...wow.

about 10 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Baja Wines in San Diego

Have to check it out!

What do you mean by "a lot of", though? One featured vineyard's wine at the end cap at a given time, but changing frequently? Or a lot of wines from different vineyards at any given time?

Either way would be good.

about 11 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Baja Wines in San Diego

Not weird at all. I've also been told at more than one winery there that they have to work to overcome saltiness. Yes, the soil. Perhaps some wineries are more successful than others at dealing with it, and maybe the local terroir of some is better than others in that respect. I personally haven't tasted objectionable saltiness in the wines I've had in/from the Valle, and for most of them it hasn't even been noticeable (to me).

about 15 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Baja Wines in San Diego

San Diego Wine Co. on Miramar sometimes has L.A.Cetto wines, but call.

There's a SD company just this side of the border that sells Baja wines online. I don't know if you can go to their location and buy directly (to save shipping), but maybe:

http://www.lmawines.com/

about 16 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Table No. 10 (East Village)

What? That's a bit of a shocker.

about 21 hours ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

Looking forward to your impressions & comments.

1 day ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

I've only been once, and it was upstairs. You've seen more than I. I suppose downstairs might be still more casual, like Fish Market vs. Top of the Market, or George's Bar vs. George's Modern.

2 days ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

Comfortable. Classy casual, business casual, jeans, no shorts. I didn't see any men wearing jackets, but also no one was wearing flip-flops.

2 days ago
DoctorChow in San Diego

Galaxy Taco

The main problem I have with tacos at Puesto and some other places is that there's too much filling for the size of the tortilla. The tortillas aren't big enough to wrap around it, and they're not sturdy/pliable enough to hold up. Result: A mess.

Sooo...what I do there (and other places) is ask for extra tortillas, then divide the fillings so as to make two tacos from each of them. Voila, at Puesto, six tiny tacos instead of three, and they hold up much better. Six tiny tacos for $13 = two bucks each.

Not necessary to do that at Galaxy though. The fillings are just the right amount for the size of the tortillas and the tortillas themselves are sufficiently pliable and sturdy.

Aug 01, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego
1

Zagat picks 8 "overhyped" dishes

No doubt. And after that:

Underhyped

Ooops: That's already a word.

Jul 31, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Zagat picks 8 "overhyped" dishes

I agree with some of these, but like all lists of this kind, well, not all. And "overhyped" means -- exactly what? That it gets disproportionate attention in the media vis-à-vis the quality of its food? It's like the word "underrated" vs. say, "underappreciated", which implies the opposite. But I won't go there -- we've just been.

I am glad they liked City Tacos, Bencotto, Blue Water Seafood, and Sushi Oto, but hey -- have the Zagateers not been to Sushi Tadokoro?

Jul 31, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

Also the octopus dish if it's available. Get a full order for yourself. Don't share this one!

Jul 30, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

Maybe this one: Guiseppis in TJ, 45 years or so ago:

http://grupoplascencia.com/giuseppis

In Mexico, this was "groundbreaking", at least in the same sense as when Ralph Rubio opened the first "Baja Fish Taco" restaurant in the US.

I thought the photos on this website of food served at other Grupo Placencia restaurants were great, and illustrate the very special "Alta Gastronomia Baja" cuisine that is finally making its way north of the border.

Romesco was a "prequel", if you will. There was a lot of patience, perseverance, and restraint shown there.

For reference, Guiseppis is also discussed here:

http://agringoinmexico.com/2013/12/15...

Jul 30, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

This is good news:

http://sandiego.eater.com/2015/7/30/9...

The left side of the menu is prepared in the ground floor kitchen, so this makes sense. (The right side is prepared in the other kitchen, upstairs.) This will make it a lot easier to check out those "left side" menu items.

Jul 30, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

Maybe we should find another word than "groundbreaking".

Actually, it's all your fault, DD. You were the first to use that term on this thread (howbeit promptly adding "probably not"). Then the rest of us picked up on it. ;-)

Bracero and the genre it represents is anything but mainstream, I'd say, but yes, the polar opposite of what that article describes.

Jul 30, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

CH is a *discussion* board, Campy. You know that. We don't just do reviews and assign stars. And many of the people who post here have considerable background and depth in SD's culinary makeup.

Well before I started posting on this board, I always went to CH first when looking for a particular kind of restaurant or for comments that I could trust about a specific restaurant. Often I had to filter through sidebar discussions, like on this thread, but that was just fine with me. Some of those sidebars were as interesting as the comments I was looking for.

To each his own, but the sidebars on this thread represent commentary that's related in a non-trivial way to Bracero.

Stay classy, Campy.

Jul 30, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Galaxy Taco

Actually, I rather like your "rants", DD. You always have something meaningful to say.

I had no idea pico was so expensive for a restaurant to make or buy.

Just a comment in reply, though. Before tip but after tax, my lunch came to $31. The extra buck didn't exactly break the bank for me. I didn't feel ripped off, just surprised.

At a place like Galaxy, I would have thought that giving customers who ask for it a little extra pico (and not everyone would ask for it) could be absorbed in the menu price of the tacos themselves. I'd rather they do it that way.

As I said in an earlier post on this thread, I don't mind paying multi-dollars for a really good taco. But the amount of extra pico I got was closer to 1 oz than 2. If that works out to be 50 cents worth of pico, and the menu cost of each taco had been 10-15 cents more, I wouldn't have made any mention.

Jul 29, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Galaxy Taco

Lunched here today and enjoyed it. I had three tacos and a classic margarita.

I ate inside but really liked the open-air ambience (at least with the roll-up doors open) as well as the general look of the place. It felt very Mexican to me.

The margarita was nothing special. I ordered it “en las rocas”, as I always do. (The way it should be, IMO.) I didn’t see any margaritas in stemmed swimming pools on other tables, so maybe that’s the default. In fact, though, it was mostly rocas. A bit expensive, I thought, for what it was. Maybe it was made from fresh limes, but it didn’t taste like that to me.

I had the birria de res, lamb barbacoa, and grilled fish (yellowtail). All three were flavorful enough by themselves that none wanted or needed any added hot sauce. Actually, the grilled fish came with a snappy habanero sauce, which was very good. The other two were not spicy. I did ask for extra pico de gallo, though, and all three benefited from that. (I was charged a buck for it, though. Kinda cheap of them to charge, I thought.)

Of the three, I liked the grilled fish the best, and the lamb second best. The birria was good but rather plain. These are small tacos, but not really *that* small, and the blue corn tortillas were not only very good, but also very sturdy -- enough so that when folded over the fillings they easily held up from first to last bite.

I left comfortably full and pleased. These are $5 and $6 tacos, but I felt they were worth it. The ingredients were fresh, well-prepared, and flavorful.

Parking could be a problem here. I got a space in their lot, which says “for Kellog Bldg. only”, but that includes Galaxy Taco, so it’s ok. I didn’t see a whole lot of open spaces on the streets nearby, so you might have to walk a bit.

Jul 29, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

Yes, and I also saw umami subtly implied in this quote:

"Our objective is to take you in a gastronomic journey where your five senses will awake for a great experience."

Jul 28, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

Just for the record, what I thought was a "horse-drawn hoeing machine" hanging from the ceiling is actually a sculpture. Found that out just now.

My companion and I went to LI for HH at Ironside, by way of the trolley. We took the long way from the station (up Beech) so I could show her Bracero.

Fortuitously, Javier Placencia was just outside the open doors (this was about 4 pm while they were just starting to set up), and he said it was ok for us to go inside and look around.

Upstairs, a woman explained that the sculpture has a lot of symbolic significance (which I won't attempt to repeat), but no, it wasn't any kind of actual farm equipment.

Even if you dine downstairs, the sculpture is something worth taking a look at, and any of the people working there will explain its significance and relevance to you.

Jul 28, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

Interesting. It seems to be fairly commonly used, though. Maybe just by writers/reviewers/media, and the general public?

P.S. Perhaps Sr. Guerrero will open a "Baja Med" restaurant in SD someday.

Jul 28, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

Very nicely said, RISD, and I think Sr. Placencia would agree. Here's how he characterizes it in his own words (under "My Cuisine Is"):

http://mision19.com/en/

It would be nice to come up with a simple, single term that encapsulates all of these adjectives, but note the absence of the specific term "Baja Med" in his list.

And note the use of both "classic" and "contemporary" in his list of descriptors. As you said, while not everything he serves up is special or unique, the combination is, and its foundation is definitely Mexican, done with flair.

Jul 28, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

Where else is it available in the US? Do you disagree with RISD? His remarks were the basis for that statement.

If you think I included Mexico in my comment, then I apologize for not being more specific.

And I don't mind being out on a limb. Fire away.

Did you miss my post about having just been down to Finca Altozano on Saturday, to compare notes?

Do you not see any parallels at all with Ralph Rubio's first restaurant here?

Jul 28, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

What are you recalling RBH? We've talked about uniqueness within an existing category, and we've talked about authenticity within an existing category. But I don't think this is deja vu "all over again".

In the case of this type of cuisine, the question is whether or not we're in the middle of what will some day be considered a milestone in the evolution of our local culinary identity.

Karl Strauss was equally groundbreaking in the case of our local beers. The establishment of the microbrewery bearing his name was precipitous here, breaking the ground that has led to our current status as a city with great beer.

But even that wasn't as groundbreaking as this new Mexican cuisine, as represented by Bracero. Beer was brewed in small batches by specialty microbreweries in other parts of the country long before Karl Strauss. The cuisine represented by Bracero is currently only available here, per RISD's comment. It's something very new and very special, and links directly to our local area. There will be copycats elsewhere in the country, sure, but this cuisine in San Diego will one day be considered the original, The Real Thing.

Unless my crystal ball is really in need of repair, what's going to follow will be other restaurants of the same genre. Not clones or copycats, as Honk is worried about. Just variations on the same theme, restaurants in the same genre, with the same general concept and with easy access to essential ingredients.

Jul 28, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

A couple of New Yorkers visiting San Diego for the first time. Where to eat?!

Another good choice in Little Italy would be Bencotto, for Italian. And just west of Balboa Park, there's Cucina Urbana.

If you'd like to visit our East Village area downtown, which has some very good restaurants now, I'd suggest Café Chloe (French). And in Coronado, I think you'd enjoy Chez Loma (also French).

San Diego has a great many places where you can try a fish taco with our local flavor (so to speak), but I'll suggest a food truck called (Mariscos) El Pescador. It's permanently situated in the parking lot of the Toys-R-Us store at 1008 Industrial Blvd in Chula Vista. Worth the drive to sample both a great fish taco and our version of the food truck experience.

http://www.mariscoselpescadorsd.com/

Jul 27, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

I hear you, Honk. Well, OK, maybe. But yes I do think that Bracero and its genre do in fact represent a "game changer" here. Yes. And in turn an enhanced local culinary identity.

That's my opinion, over-optimistic or not.

Jul 27, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

Yes, we can. And we will of course, in the case of Bracero itself.

But this is a style of Mexican cuisine that I think does well in our climate and soil, especially given the advantage of our geographic location.

So even if Bracero falters -- and I certainly hope it won't -- I think this cuisine, like the humble fish taco, is a style that, assisted by the introduction of this remarkable restaurant, will have lasting power here.

Jul 27, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego

Bracero

The gift of Bracero to San Diego is a wonderful thing. I believe that one day its establishment here will be recalled as a precipitous event in our local cuisine

And thanks for the dessert recommendation. Looking forward to trying the grapefruit panna cotta sometime.

Jul 27, 2015
DoctorChow in San Diego