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What's your favorite Mexican dish to make at home?

Fideos. Recipe is in Diana Kennedy's old Tortilla book

Chilequilas, recipe is rather ubiquitous. Day old or stale corn tortilla fried and drained. Return to skillet, toss in a generous serving of well seasoned salsa verde, heat through so the tortilla strips begin to soften but retain some crunch. Garnish with diced white onion, queso chihuahua or oaxaqueno (or other melting cheese), chopped cilantro and a generous drizzle of crema. Sometimes I add shredded leftover chicken, or sometimes I fry an egg and put it on top. You can do it with salsa rojo as well.

Aug 02, 2006
Sonrisa in Home Cooking

San Diego dinner for 20 people over 50 who are food fans

Peohe's, C Level/Island Prime and Qwigg's all have better views, but I certainly would not recommend any of them (kind of hard with Qwigg's since it's closed and gutted) for an event like the original poster was described.

Jul 27, 2006
Sonrisa in California

Is it worth driving to Baja for the food? [Moved from L.A. board]

The best time to go to Ensenada is mid-week when there are no cruise liners in port. The cruise industry has pumped dollars and dollars into the economy, but it's kind of killed any ambiance. When the tourists are on shore, look out.

First, do a search on this board and the CA board for posts by Gypsy Jan. She lives in Baja and has posted some real, non-touristy, recommedations.

Second, what exactly are you looking for because you can find everything from the open air stand where you are sure to get a killer case of food poisioning to extremely upscale food at upscale prices. You'll find the usual tourist fare, Americanize Mexican food, American food, and alta cocina/contemporary Mexican.

In La Mision, about 10 miles or so south of Rosarito is La Fonda. This has been a must-stop watering hole/restaurant since moses parted the Red Sea. It was recently sold and reports are that it's still good. Have breakfast on the way down, it's very good. La Fonda sits on the cliffs above the beach and has spectacular views of the fog burning off and the sunsets. Food is good to very good - try the quail - as are the drinks. Prices are fair.

The restauranat at Punta Moro just north of Ensenada is very good, tremendous views. There used to be a web page on line for them somewhere.

Puerto Nuevo is pretty much a tourist trap, but the original Ortega's - brown restaurant on the corner of the 2nd block in - is actually not too bad. Potent margaritas

Barkissimo on the malecon in Ensenada is owned and operated by an American married to a Mexican. Food is pretty good, somewhat inconsistent. Try the steamed clams. This is an old recommendation, hopefully it's still there.

Manzana is an upscale place run by a couple of kids from the interior of the Mexico (D.F & Cuernavaca). Both professionally trained in the U.S. and/or Europe.

El Rey Sol is one of the oldest restaurants in Ensenada. They do have a web site that you can Google for. I've had good meals there and not so good meals. Pricey and the value doesn't always match the price. Depends upon who is in the kitchen cooking.

Hussong's has morphed into multiple locations to take advantage of the tourist dollar. Tourist is the operative word here...........

The marisco vendors around the fish market are all pretty safe and you'll find fresh seafood and fish tacos galore from which to choose.

Casamar is another old time Ensenada restaurant. Probably not spectacular, and it's probably not going to set the world on fire, but it shouldn't be awful either.

This is prime tourist season. Food is probably taking a back seat to fishing as many dollars out of tourist pockets. If you want to go to Ensenada wait until after Labor Day when prices drop and the thundering herds of tourist depart.

Jul 27, 2006
Sonrisa in Mexico

Is it worth driving to Baja for the food? [Moved from L.A. board]

Carnitas Uruapan rocks. Mrs. Fang is right on. However, if you don't want to cross the border, the family also runs a sister Carnitas Uruapan in Lemon Grove, which is in the San Diego east county. Also, El Por Venir in National City does exceptional carnitas. Absoulute hole-in-the-wall, absolutely fabo carnitas.

Jul 27, 2006
Sonrisa in Mexico

Is it worth driving to Baja for the food? [Moved from L.A. board]

Absolutely, GO to Laja. They grow (organicly where possible) their own produce, they treat it with great respect. The cooking is contemporary Mexican, alta cocina, don't expect typical or traditional Mexican food. There food would be quite similar to what you would find in D.F. (Mexico City). If you "get" Chez Panisse, you'll understand the concept at Laja.

Also, you'll be in the Valle de Guadalupe, which is the prime wine growing region. If you're into it, you can do wine tastings at several different wineries. To get to the V de G and Laja, take Mex 3 east from the main highway. The cut off is not too far past the 3rd toll booth and north of Ensenada, it's well marked.

Jul 27, 2006
Sonrisa in Mexico

cooking schools in mexico

I, too, have heard good things about Los Dos in Merida. It's run by American ex-pats (no slam intended here) one of whom was a chef in the States. The do have a web page. It is pricey, though.

Jul 27, 2006
Sonrisa in Not About Food

Rebecca's Coffee House (San Diego)

Like Mama's lebanese. LOVE Caffe Calabria :-)

Jul 27, 2006
Sonrisa in California

Looking For A True Midwestern Italian Beef Sandwich...Sweet , Or Hot????

Well, turns out it's Buster's Windy City in Sorrento Valley. You probably already read the comment below. His wife is now running the joint and he's selling flounder (to the trade, not at the resto) because he got bored selling beef sandwiches and dogs.

Interesting little tidbit, one of the best selling items at Buster's is actually a tamal smoother in chili and cheese for about $5. I can't speak to his Italian Beef Sandwich, but I can guarantee you that his hot dogs are the real deal, honest to god Vienna Hot Dogs and that the rest of what he puts on it is either flown in from Chicago or brought in especially for him by his vendors. He was a chef, he has connections ;-)

Jul 26, 2006
Sonrisa in San Diego

Looking For A True Midwestern Italian Beef Sandwich...Sweet , Or Hot????

An acquaintance of mine has a place doing authentic Chicago dogs up in Mira Mesa. He grew up in Chicago and was a chef for many, many years before moving out here. Let me ask him if he does an Italian Beef Sandwich or not, and if not if he knows anyone locally who does. Give me a couple of days to get hold of him.

Jul 25, 2006
Sonrisa in San Diego

East San Diego County rec's?

Alice, somewhere in Casa de Oro is Rana.com for Mexican. Phoo D - the poster formerly known as e.d. - discovered it a few years ago and posted about it. Jim Strain, another denizen of the dreaded East County, confirmed that it was well worth a visit. Having dined frequently with both of them, I'd trust their recommendations with few reservations. I believe it's in one of the strip shopping centers on Campo Rd.

Perservere at the Brigantine, the La Mesa branch is probably their best location. The La Mesa Anthony's is also worth the wait, but maybe not on weekends. Chain is not necessarily a dirty word with regard to these 2 local eateries.

Go early to Casa de Pico, like around happy hour, and sit on the patio. It's not about the food here, it's about family, meeting friends and connecting with people. The food and faux margaritas are just background for the greater social context. If I didn't know I was in the Grossmont Center parking lot, I could almost imagine being in a hacienda garden in Mexico, and I've been in enough of them to know. Casa de Pico lacked the patina of age and that lived in feeling, but it clearly understands it's filling that Mexican-Sunday-family gathering-at-a-restaurant niche.

Jul 25, 2006
Sonrisa in San Diego

500 - Application Error

What does this error message indicate? Is it a thread that was deleted? Or something else? Thanks.

Jul 24, 2006
Sonrisa in Site Talk