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.
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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.
38. Grilled Brie With Apples And Fig Jam at Boudin SF 39. Fried Almond Shrimp Balls at Capital Seafood 40. Tulsa Potatoes At Tulsa Rib Company 41. Tiropites from Kentro Greek Kitchen 42. Pasta Salad from Crave 43. Chicken Plate at Surfin' Chicken 44. Rosemary Madeleine from Little Sparrow 45. Umeboshi Ochazuke at Kappo Suzumaru 46. Soft Tofu Soup at DooRei 47. Hitsumabushi at Sagami 48. The Fireball at Cortina's 49. Paint It Black Pie at Rebel Bite 50. Pidan Doufu at I-Tea Cafe 51. The Happy Hour Specials at Ahi Ahi Sushi Bar & Grill 52. Free Happy Hour Food at Gulliver's 53. Banh Tom at Van's Restaurant 54. Dinner at Marrakesh 55. Congee at Capital Seafood 56. Taquito Burrito at Cuca's Mexican Food 57. Clam Chowder at Billy's at the Beach 58. Volcan at Tacos Ruben y Mulitas 59. The Burger at ARC 60. Chocolate Chip Cookie at Crave 61. Lime Curd At Playground 62. Every Damn Thing at Mochi Cream 63. Most Things at Devilicious Donuts 64. Robiola Bosina at Provisions Market 65. Bite-Sized Stinky Tofu at Tofu King 66. Tacos Dorados at Tortas Ahogadas Los Primos 67. Tlacoyo at El Rincon Chilango 68. Whole Pig Roast at Haven Gastropub 69. Chingaderas at Smoqued BBQ 70. The Continuous Ramen Chronicles at The Playground 71. Shrimp & Grits at Slapfish 72. Bacon Cotton Candy at Biggy's Meat Market 73. Urban 3b at Urban Seoul 74. Waffles & Chicken from The Slummin' Gourmet & Waffles de Liege 75. Ahi Tuna Tartar at Nieuport 17 76. Chicken Wings at Hashigo Korean Kitchen 77. Brussels Sprouts Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza 78. Breakfast Sausage Hash at Thasos Greek Island Grille 79. Chocolate Doughnut with Jacobsen Sea Salt at Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee 80. Loco Moco Dog at Dogzilla 81. Fruit Tart at Le Croissant Dore 82. Daing Na Bangus (Marinated Milkfish) Silog Breakfast at Chowking 83. Strawberry Basil Lemonade at Mick's Karma Bar 84. Lemongrass Chicken Salad at Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop 85. Tofu Soup at Tasty Thai 86. Take-Out Dim Sum at Capital B.B.Q. and Dim Sum Express 87. Hodo Gwaja at Cocohodo 88. Popcorn Chicken Salad at Guppy House 89. Fried Okra at Memphis Soul Cafe & Bar 90. Salted Egg With Bitter Melon & Scrambled Egg at Tasty Noodle House 91. Boysenberry Lemonade from Bautista Creek Local Produce at SOCO Farmers' Market 92. Scallop Carpaccio with Curry Oil and Yuzu Vinaigrette from Cafe Hiro 93. White Board Specials at Taco Adobe 94. Coney Dog at LinX 95. Halal Pizzas from San Giovanni Pizzas 96. Clayuda at El Fortín 97. Lunch Buffet at Dosa Express 98. The Meats at Darya in Orange 99. Panocha at Taquería Zamora 100. Bean-and-Cheese Burrito from Del Taco