No. 37: Breakfast Tacos at Chelas Mexican Grill
Anne Marie Panoringan
We're now halfway through the Long March known as 100 Favorite Dishes (INSERT YEAR). YEAH!!!
Hey, don't ding us for listicles: Weekly DataLab studies show ustedes love this gimmick, launched in honor of our coming Best Of issue. Besides, it is rather fun to do this for us Forkers--an opportunity to highlight dishes from restaurants we'll never fully review, or secrets from old standbys. Anyhoo, let the march begin...
We fawn over brekkie more than any of our cohorts, so when we come across a spot serving it, you bet'cha we're gonna sample the goods. The first time we stepped foot inside this south county find, owner Karla Vasquez wasn't there (but her breakfast menu definitely was). Served until 2pm every single day, it was begging to be ordered. With hunger nagging us, we settled on their version of morning tacos.
Although breakfast burritos are pretty standard fare, tacos aren't as widely offered. Upon further inspection, there were two kinds of breakfast tacos being served: Americano and Mexicano. Many may appreciate the kind of straightforward nature in their tortilla-egg-cheese-protein combo. However, the inclusion of onions and cilantro made for a Mexi meal we preferred overall. In addition to the style of taco, there were also a duo of meats to choose from. Americano is served with either bacon or steak; Mexicano offers chorizo or shredded beef. Somewhat stereotyped? Perhaps. Since this was our first time, we powered through one of each version.
The attribute diners appreciate most about Chelas is also the same criticism they have of it: It takes too long for food to get ready. Did it take forever for them to grill USDA rib eye steak, or was it painstakingly slow to cook raw flour tortillas? Neither, because quality is always worth the wait. Sauce your meal with a choice of five in-house salsas (we were partial to the La Famosa) and enjoy your hands-on experience. Chelas Mexican Grill is located at 29975 Alicia Pkwy, Unit 10, Laguna Niguel. (949) 542-4606; www.chelasmexicangrill.com.
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