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Looking for Vancouver resto with top of the line Tiramisu

I like the one at Cin Cin's.
Cheers.

Sep 14, 2012
Alberto in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

LA and Anaheim report: El Parian, Jagerhaus and Orleans Cafe

Better (really) late than never but as I was cleaning my home office's paperwork I found the charge note for the Birria in Escondido. It was at Tortilleria Santa Cruz at 485 N Rose St, Escondido, CA. And by the way, I was back at El Parian this summer and I thought it was even better than the last time. And I have to add that the Pan dulce at the Panaderia about a block and a half away on Pico is also the best I've had outside of Michoacan.
Cheers...

Nov 22, 2009
Alberto in Los Angeles Area

Sushi in Puerto Vallarta

I don't remember seeing any posts about sushi in PV on the board so I'm just creating this quick post to recommend 2 great sushi spots in PV:
Tsunami Sushi at the Villas Vallarta / Plaza Las Glorias strip mall and
Kensao at Plaza Peninsula.

They are probably related in some way and they both offer some of the best sushi (if not the best) I have ever tried in Mexico or anywhere else for that matter - and I have some very good places to draw a comparison here in Vancouver.

Don't go for some of the more "traditional" rolls here but rather try one of their great Mexican influenced flavors like the Papantla roll (with plantain) or any of their spicier specialties.

I will hopefully be eating at one of these places next week and I will update this post then.

Anyone else has any spots to try?

Cheers.

Apr 03, 2009
Alberto in Mexico

Looking for the best traditional and reasonable mexican food in Puerto Vallarta

There are lots of good recs on the board (the "Puerto Vallarta Report" thread is my favourite). I'm off to PV myself on Sunday and one place on the creative side I will be going to again for sure is "El Arrayan".

Good luck.

Apr 03, 2009
Alberto in Mexico

Ajijic, Mexico (Very Long)

Since you're talking about Birria, there's one that I like just as much, or maybe even a little bit more, than Chololo's called Birrieria San Miguel.
It's at the entrance of a town called San Miguel Cuyutlan which is between Tlajomulco de Zuniga and Cajititlan. It must be about 10Km past Cajititlan if you're driving from the Guadalajara-Chapala highway or about the same distance past Tlajomulco if you are coming from Lopez Mateos Ave. (i.e. GDL- Manzanillo Highway ).
It's a very small place on the north side of the road at the west entrance of the town (left hand side coming from Tlajomulco) but the Birria there is a bit softer tasting than Chololo's, juicer and generally fresher and better tasting IMO. In any case it serves for a good day trip adventure. I haven't been there in about 4 years but I will definitely go if I have a chance in a couple of weeks when I'll be in town.

Nov 23, 2007
Alberto in Mexico

Vancouver and Whistler with a baby

I have a 7 month old myself and agree that most restaurants are fine with a baby this age, being the space for the car seat the main constraint in some places. One particular place that my wife and I like going to that is children friendly is the Tomato Cafe on Cambie. They are moving to Kitsilano at the end of the month so check where will they be when you're in town http://www.tomatofreshfoodcafe.com
Other good places I've been to with our baby include Feenie's on Broadway, East is East (more casual on Brodway as well), Rangolis (Vij's casual cafeteria style place on 11th and Granville) and and they have all been fine. I only make sure I don't go at the time my baby is more fuzzy (most parents know exactly what time this is for their children) and I have always had a good time. Enjoy your trip.

Can someone tell me about Omakase at Tojo's Vancouver

I second Sam's rec on Octopus Garden. Their blue fin tuna is the best sashimi of any kind I have tried to date.

May 23, 2007
Alberto in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Favorite places in Guadalajara. First (and long) report.

Hi Kurt,
Hope my reply on Ahogadas below still helps you. I don't have any recs for Mercado Libertad, but nearby in the Plaza Tapatia, the tortas de Amparito are worth the wait...

May 14, 2007
Alberto in Mexico

Favorite places in Guadalajara. First (and long) report.

Hi,
Talking about Tortas Ahogadas and Mariscos El Negro, they had some excellent shrimp filled ones. I didn’t mentioned them in my original post because someone had already mentioned them before (and my report was already long as it was), but this place has great food as well. The original location is on calle Ignacio Ramirez #646, 3 blocks away from Enrique Diaz de Leon (towards Americas).
Regular Pork Tortas Ahogadas that I have tried and liked lately include “Waldos” on Lopez Mateos near “Las Fuentes” in the south end of the avenue, and I friend of mine (whose taste I trust) says he really likes ones called “El Arabe” in the corner of Av Arboledas & calle Nebulosa (that’s close to the Holiday Inn Express on Lopez Mateos and Niños Heroes) but I haven’t tried those ones myself.

Enjoy.

May 14, 2007
Alberto in Mexico

So what is "alambre" with regard to Mexican cuisine?

As implied in all the previous replies, there is a dichotomy on the usage of the term. In my experience, most southern regions (from Michoacan to Yucatan -including Mexico City-) use the term for a stir-fry medley type plate to use as taco filling. Northern states (from Jalisco to Chihuahua) refer to alambre mostly as the skewer type of preparation. Some places just cook it in the skewer and then remove it before serving on the plate. As usual though, the Mexico city (and southern) definition is increasingly popular in tourist destinations.

Apr 20, 2007
Alberto in General Topics

LA and Anaheim report: El Parian, Jagerhaus and Orleans Cafe

I'm scratching my head trying to remember. It was last May, we were looking for El Tigre and stopped in another market where they said they only had it on weekends but one of the girls sent us to another market going east down Washington Av., but I can't remember it's name. Once there, the guy told us the same thing (only on weekends) but told us we could go around the corner to a tortilleria and ask. There was a gas station in the corner then the tortilleria, and right next to it a small convenience store where they had 4 or 5 containers and in one of them a very juicy and tasty Birria. A bit thicker than the one at El Parian but a bit less flavor though.
I'll keep thinking and will let you know if the name comes back.
BTW: I'll try to post a quick report on SD later this week. Loved Super Cocina. Thanks!

Apr 20, 2007
Alberto in Los Angeles Area

LA and Anaheim report: El Parian, Jagerhaus and Orleans Cafe

Hi,
I just wanted to report on these places I found through the board and that I went to during a visit to the area last week.

1. First, El Parian at 1528 W Pico Blvd near downtown LA. It was a bit tricky to get there from the highway since I had to take a few turns before actually getting to the correct street. However, once there I could see that it is a very commercial avenue so I am sure people can give out directions to it quite easily. The place is right on the avenue and has some parking space in the back alley.
About the food: this place is a Birrieria so obviously the goat Birria is the main event. Being born and raised in Guadalajara I have eaten this plate since I was a kid and El Parian’s is the best one I have tried in the US (second place is a spot I tried in Vegas last year –in the same strip mall as LOS btw-, and third a market in Escondido) and both my wife and I agreed that this would be one place where we would eat if it was in Guadalajara. The stew was well balanced and the meat tender and flavorful. We did have to ask for green limes (which are the kind you should use for this plate) instead of the yellow ones they brought us with our plates, but that was easily fixed. Unpretentious and inexpensive.

2. Jagerhaus in Anaheim at 2525 E Ball Rd just west of 57th is a German style home cooking place that made me feel like I was eating at my grandmother’s house (if she'd been German =). Nice and quiet on a Wednesday night, the owner (I’m guessing) came to our table to greet us and chat a bit with us and also gave us some tips and recommendations on our request.
We had a very good appetizer of shrimp stuffed mushrooms and then we ordered the Butterschnitzel with a side of German potato salad and the Jagerschnitzel with a side of mashed potatoes. I thought the veal tenderness and flavor of the Butterschnitzel were outstanding but my wife said she enjoyed the gravy on top of her potatoes and Jagerschnitzel even more. We had a nice german wheat beer with our meal and a very decent chocolate cake for dessert. All in all, this is a much better alternative to Disneyland dining in the area. Thanks to Das Ubergeek for this recommendation. Well worth it.

3. Having commented on Disney, we did eat lunch at the park that day. We went to the Orleans Café for lunch as we couldn’t get a reservation for the Blue Bayou (both in the New Orleans Square section by the Pirates of the Caribbean) and did enjoy their famous Montecristo sandwich very much (we had the all cheese version with a nice and not too strong Brie). We also had the onion soup and the chicken gumbo which were well done but nothing to write home about. Nice patio seating area and decent service. You also need to make a reservation if you don’t want to wait in line for lunch as well.

Again thanks to all that contributed to the board and recomended these places.

Apr 19, 2007
Alberto in Los Angeles Area

Favorite places in Guadalajara. First (and long) report.

Hi,
I’ve followed the board for a few years now and have enjoyed many of the recommendations I’ve taken from it. So I thought it was time to contribute some of my own opinions that will hopefully help others.

For my first post I decided to do a report of some of my favorite places in the city where I was born and where I lived for almost 30 years of my life. I live in Vancouver now but my last visit was in December of 2006, so it should not be very outdated. Cristina seems to be the board expert on the city and I agree with many of her choices but I wanted to add a couple that I have seen posted by others and a couple of my own. Here’s the list in no particular order:

A. Tacos in the corner of Chapultepec and Mexicaltzingo.
IMHO, this is the definitive taco stand experience in the city. 4 or 5 different food carts stand around this corner with different specialties, being the main attraction the one sitting right in the corner which offers excellent cabeza, sesos, lengua and pastor tacos. On the other side of the street the carne asada and adobada experts dish out well prepared “gringas” and “vampiros” (toasted tortilla with cheese and your choice of meat) right next to the desserts and “aguas frescas”. There is even a hamburger and a sushi stand for the more adventurous. They are only open in the evenings (starting around 7pm) there is no seating other than the curb and they take only cash.

B. I Latina / Anita Li. Av. Inglaterra 3100 Tel 3647-7774 and 3647-4757 (very close to the Fiesta Americana Hotel)
These 2 places may fall in the category of places to see and be seen that Cristina has mentioned before. However, the clear difference about these 2 is that you can tell that the food is really the main focus of their owners. Most of the dishes here are not Mexican inspired, but rather oriental / western fusion as you could expect in the Northwest area of North America (SF to Vancouver). They are very good however, very flavorful and fresh and they do add a few ingredients and recipes that you will probably not find somewhere else. The decoration and ambience of both places are among the best in the city and geared towards the city’s yuppie population with a somewhat eclectic architectural feel. Good service and bar make these 2 my top choices for taking a business acquaintance for lunch or your SO when you want a nice uptown night out. It is a good idea to make a reservation any night.

C. El Amigo tacos de Barbacoa. Corner of Plan de San Luis and Enrique Diaz de Leon (just look for the crowd). Open between 10am and 1pm Monday to Saturday.
Again this is a shiny taco stand where they only serve Barbacoa Hidalgo Style tacos. You have 2 choices: soft or hard. I prefer the latter, but make sure you dress them up with some onion, cilantro, avocado and their house sauce. The flavor of the barbacoa just explodes and for $8 pesos (or so) for each well sized taco, you just can’t get more flavor for your money anywhere in the world.

D. Fonda Gabina Escolastica. Javier Mina #237. Zapopan Tel. 3833-0883
This is my favorite place for Guadalajara style home cooking and it’s in a very clean and well decorated space near the Zapopan Basilica (a top notch tourist site as well). The Pozole is the main event here. The default is just maciza (or clean and fairly lean pieces of pork) in a perfectly cooked stew with large corn grains to be dressed with lettuce, onion, rabanos (raddish) and of course lime and some hot sauce. You can also ask for the more traditional Pozole de mixta which will get you some other pieces of the pork in the stew, like ears, snout, cheek, etc. Or here you can even try the only vegetarian Pozole I have tried that is worth mentioning, where they replace the meat with mushrooms and add a spinach base instead of the original broth. I recommend having the small children’s portion just to leave room for their excellent chicken, beef or cheese enchiladas. These are the closest in flavour, texture and quality to the ones my mother and aunt used to make for us when we were kids and every time I try them they take me back to those days. Another excellent option are the tacos de guiso which vary slightly every time, but I really recommend the Costilla ones if they are on the menu. I have also heard the tamales are quite good, but I have never made it that far. This is one of the places I can’t miss going to when I’m in town. Open evenings (7pm to 11pm) M-Sa. Sunday 2pm to 8pm.

E. Hosteria del Angel. Av 5 de Mayo 295, Zapopan. Tel. 3656-9516
This place is just around the corner from Gabina Escolastica and is owned by the same person (cousin of the women that operate Gabina). This is a more Mediterranean type of restaurant and specializes in cold cut meats, but I love going there for 2 plates in particular: the appetizer mejillones (mussels) which are among the best I’ve tried anywhere, and their famous Rotolatas. The Rotolata is basically a veggie and cold cut meat wrap but instead of using a tortilla or pita bread, they use a cheese and white wine crepe to contain the ingredients, it is delicious and I highly recommend having the salami con alcaparras (capers) if available. You can enjoy it with any of the 3 delicious house sauces: cucumber and green pepper, red beet and red pepper or carrot and habanero. Also very nice locale and well fitted for unadventurous tourists.

F. Carnes Asadas El Venado. Av. Circunvalacion y calle Cordobanes (close to Avila Camacho Av.)
Last but not least, I want to mention this place. This is a neighborhood style carne asada and taco place and is the single place where I have eaten the most times from in my life other than my mother’s house.
This is just solid, flavorful, clean and well prepared food. The menu has changed little over the years and I still love going there and sit at the bar accross the grill and talk to Tere who has been serving me the best possible carne asada, alambre (pork kebabs -my favorite-), cochinita and pastor quesadillas and tacos for at least the last 30 years (she told me last December that she has actually been working there for 25 years only). I always ask for either an agua de horchata (rice based) or a nice and cold bohemia beer with my dinner and leave fully satisfied for just about 60 pesos. Ah, if only I could go there tonight…

A cenar!

Apr 19, 2007
Alberto in Mexico