I've long had a soft spot for El Pollo Loco, and not just because it's one of the few Mexican-originated fast-food chains. My parents would take us there for as long as I remember, because their charbroiled chicken was buttery and smoky, their pinto beans weren't half-bad, and they had Orange Bang! ... More >>
I'd always known that food in Mexico was both fantastic and cheap, but I'd never really thought about it until I added up all the costs for food that my friend Weston and I ate during a week in Jalisco last year, so we could square up before heading back to our respective cities. We spent more on on ... More >>
Don't pay attention to the prophecies of St. Malachy: the world isn't ending because the next pope's name will be Petrus Romanus; it's ending because Vicente Fernández is retiring. The most Mexican Mexican of all time is ending his public performances this year, and his farewell tour is swinging th ... More >>
Last weekend, I was in Tucson for the city's annual book festival, and I made sure to bash traditional Cal-Mex at every opportunity as a bastard child of Sonoran cuisine. It wasn't just me playing up to the hometown crowd, folks: our chimichangas are Styrofoam compared to theirs, California machaca ... More >>
[¡Ask a Mexican!] And why do Univisión and Telemundo look so sharp?
It was 1934, the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution had just repealed prohibition at the close of 1933, and a year later, Mexican president Lázaro Cárdenas would outlaw gambling and close Tijuana's world famous Agua Caliente Casino and Hotel. This was the state of things in Tijuana ... More >>
Three weeks ago, Bill gave what may be the world's first quasi-comprehensive guide to the vendors swirling around the mass fustercluck known as the northbound border crossing at San Ysidro; it's only quasi-comprehensive because the vendors change occasionally.Today, Tijuana Sí! covers what should a ... More >>
A couple of weeks ago, I was in Houston to do a book signing for my book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. Afterward, I went with friends and fans to enjoy some awesome Tex-Mex at El Real Tex-Mex, and among those who attended were two colleagues/pals from our sister paper, the Houston P ... More >>
Proposition 37, the Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Modified Food Act, is one of the more controversial items on this Tuesday's election slate; the whole foods movement and a whole slew of chefs and food industry people support it, and the "no" side is funded by large companies like Monsanto a ... More >>
The 12th Annual Expo Tequila Tijuana kicked off last night on Avenida Revolucion and runs through Sunday, October 14th, right smack in the middle of the Baja Culinary Fest and Tijuana Innovadora tourist fair. If you're planning on being in town for the Culinary Fest, the Expo Tequila is more than wo ... More >>
[¡Ask a Mexican!] And what are some Mexican regional stereotypes of Mexicans?
The Sea of Cortez teems with ocean life, the likes of which we only see here when chefs cart the haul north of the border. Chocolata and pata de mula (ark) clams, snook, perfect sweet shrimp, all come out of the water also known as the Gulf of California, and it's with Baja California that most of t ... More >>
See Also: *Fadia Mosri Offers Preview of Solo Album Tomorrow Night at NAMM*'Viva Mujer Sessions' Set to Serenade Fullerton*[Locals Only] Taller Sur[Editor's Note: Spare Notes is a new Weekly music feature highlighting outtakes and personal stories from bands who just finished working their asses off ... More >>
[Hole In the Wall] Kathy Hernandez runs this Costa Mesa cart solo
Fiestas de la Vendimia 2012 is now behind us, and we're emerging from our collective hangovers and recesses. If you are serious about Vendimia, then you're an 11-month employee--you cease all productivity in favor of great food and drink during the month of August. It's now back to normal in the Val ... More >>
In the borderlands, a flour tortilla is sacramental, holy, filling, the true daily bread: fluffy, filling, thick, pliable, toothsome love. In Southern California? Universally, shit.I've eaten tortillas my entire life, and the flour versions have only been consumed out of necessity for quesadillas (d ... More >>
Roland Rubalcava has been doing great meals over at his family's market in Placentia, playing around with Mexican favorites while ensuring they do what Mexican food does best: comfort you like an abuelita while enticing you for more like a mujer from Los Altos de Jalisco. It's all great, but what re ... More >>
State College Boulevard in Anaheim has hosted something like a dozen Mexican seafood restaurants in the five years since I moved here. They all claim to be Sinaloa- or Nayarit-style restaurants, because those are the Pacific coast states with the strongest seafood traditions, but with the exception ... More >>
For decades Baja California Sur has been defined--unfairly-- by the OC on the Sea of Cortez tourist spot: Cabo San Lucas, where American spring breakers go to suck down margaritas, eat nachos until they burst, perform graceless acts at wet t-shirt contests, and develop pre-melanoma lesions under the ... More >>
Most older gabachos have a general idea that the Mexican food they grew up eating in Southern California was heavily influenced by Sonoran cooking: the flour tortillas and burritos and machaca and chile colorado and obsession with beef that distinguishes Cal-Mex from Tex-Mex (which owes most of its ... More >>
It's that time of year again when Anaheim transforms into NAMMaheim. The trade show hosted by the National Association of Music Merchants has already descended upon the city's Convention Center with numerous in-house stage performances and after parties promised in the days to come. For musician ... More >>
[¡Ask a Mexican!] And why do Mexicans cheer for the Texas Longhorns and USC Trojans in football if they never attended?
[¡Ask a Mexican!] And what's the Mexican music that sounds like polka?
© Bravo Did you watch last night's first episode of Top Chef Texas? Episode summaries are usually Edwin's beat, and he usually weighs in toward the end of the season after we've learned which cheftestants to root for. I'm going to take a different approach at the head-end of the season and make ... More >>
Mexican contraband smugglers have had a long, colorful history trying to smuggle in their wares, whether alcohol in the 1920s labeled "Sonora water" or the present-day insanity at the U.S.-Mexico border. So news that a smuggler tried to sneak in over a million dollars worth of marijuana by puttin ... More >>
UPDATED, JULY 15, 12:30 P.M.: 36-year-old Robert Allan Lehmann is due at Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach today for a preliminary hearing tied to the murder counts he faces for allegedly executing his former wife and father-in-law in May.It will be lonely at the defense table as a judge las ... More >>
DMVEmily FordUPDATE, MAY 5, 11:28 A.M.: The Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) just announced that Robert Allan Lehmann will be arraigned today for the murders of his ex-wife Emily Ford and her father Russell Ford. The 36-year-old Costa Mesa resident has been charged with two felony ... More >>
[¡Ask a Mexican!] And why would an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe cause so much controversy?
Photo courtesy of WienerschnitzelDer-derivative!It had to happen.The bacon-wrapped hot dog, the messy, mouthwatering treat that awaits after stumbling out of a Hollywood club at 2 a.m., has been smothered with a logo-ed wrapper and made into a limited-time menu item at Wienerschnitzel.
From Lolita's Facebook page...I was in San Diego recently to conduct further research on my book on the history of Mexican food in the United States (out May 2012!), and to try and figure out two mysteries: how did the phenomenon of the -berto's-suffixed restaurants (Alberto's, Alerto's, Filibert ... More >>
Updated, with a comment from Pee Wee's and the Tucson Weekly at the bottom...I've been hearing good things about Pee Wee's Famous Hot Dogs and Hamburgers in Surf City, but had to roll my eyes when the Orange County Register announced this morning they were introducing "real Mexican hot dogs" to i ... More >>
But what's been unearthed reveals a culture of cruelty
I've never truly understood the appeal of chimichangas, the fried burrito of the Arizona-Sonora region that made their way to Southern California in the 1930s. They're not bad, but I'm the type of guy that likes to grab his burrito, not slice it with a knife (exceptions, of course, for the smothe ... More >>
I love Avanti Cafe in Costa Mesa for its vegetarian-vegan treats, so the following question from server Dion surprised me:Where can I get a good chimichanga?Being Hispanic Heritage Month is o-vah tomorrow, what better way to end my recent run of Latino-themed questions than with a treatise on thi ... More >>
Chico's Tacos in El Paso: The Most Mexican Restaurant in AmericaRick Bayless came to and left Orange County last week, and none of Weeklings were able to attend, busy as we are with our normal lives (Dave, Edwin, and Shuji, their 9-to-5s; me, skinheads and pedo-priests). Sucks, because the battle ... More >>
If you were born after 1989, you're probably not going to know what the hell this blog is about. It follows the tale of a platinum-blonde haired, crimson lipped, Orange County pop starlet named Katalina. If in 1996, you were in your mother's womb, I won't hold out any hope that you hear ... More >>
This is one long, hot summer for the United States--at least if we can measure a country's anger by the amount of Taco Bell "Mexican" food used as weapons. Last week, it was a taco in Michigan; this week? A Taco Bell burrito thrown in Sonora (the California city, not the state where the burrito w ... More >>
[¡Ask a Mexican!] Also, why do the people of Jalisco look down on other Mexicans?
Dave LiebermanI wanted to see whether the news reports were true; I missed Baja and the laid-back lifestyle it represents. When Bill Esparza of Street Gourmet LA offered a quick one-day tour, I jumped at the chance to see whether it was time to go back.I'm happy to report that it is. No soldiers ... More >>
[¡Ask a Mexican] And other summer-themed Mexi-madness
The actual taco-related crime of the week happened in Nogales, Sonora. I was in Tucson last week and picked up a copy of a Spanish-language paper, which recounted the tale of a girlfriend who tried to smuggle some happy pills to her imprisoned guy by inserting them into a bean taco--it was Sonora ... More >>
Aren't ustedes sick of the camaraderie that exists between these new-wave loncheras? That big street food festival that happened recently in LA? Or those that hit up local spots like the Bruery, all nice and cooperative? Nah, give me the days of fights, of stealing and selling routes, of good ol' ... More >>
The actual image of the display box--arriba, arriba!I'm in San Antonio right now, speaking at community colleges and eating so much Tex-Mex cuisine I now sweat processed cheese. Before catching my flight from John Wayne Airport on Sunday, I went into one of the shops next to the gates that sells ... More >>
Millard Sheets helps us remember why we love where we live
The quixotic quest for great gourmet Mexican cuisine
On the borderline with the Minutemen, the media and MS-13