Friday, April 9, 2010

Hard Luck Day

So after getting shut down at La Gloria, I pedaled around aimlessly in hysterics, tears streaming down my face at losing such a fine establishment. Then I ran over a thumbtack in the road. Hisssssss.....more bad luck. Hightailed it straight home before I got stranded. Made it up the driveway before the tire went completely flat, grabbed the van and was once again left with the decision, "What the hell am I going to eat right now?" I could always El Buen it, but I had a 2 tacos al pastor and a fat super burrito asada from El Buen last night and I can't stand going anywhere near the high school at lunch time lest I lose my patience with all the rat-faced punks who are unfortunately the future of this once grand land.

So I've got a car now, where haven't I been in a while?

Laguna Deli.

Hit up an asada torta.

It was ok, not great. The meat was decent and the bread was nice (as my good friend Jesus says, "the torta is ALL about the bread"), but they grilled the cheese onto the bread so there was nothing left but hard, crusted on cheese. I like my cheese a little more gelatinous. All in all a fine meal, but it didn't leave me raving and it didn't make me feel like my luck for the day had changed.

RIP - La Gloria

I just ran off to go grab a burrito from Taqueria La Gloria only to find blacked out windows and locked doors. Damn.

While not the best burrito on Milpas Street, it was damn good and by far the best taqueria a minute from my office.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Mayo's Carniceria & Deli - Adobadass

Since I'm on an uncharacteristic posting binge, I decided to go and check out yet another favorite that I never seem to get to anymore. As one of the primary purveyors of the bitchinest tacos during Fiesta every year, Mayo's on upper De La Vina also makes the best adobada in town, bar none. For the uneducated, adobada is specially marinated (red chile based) pork, a lot like the al pastor marinade, although on rare occasions it is done with chicken as well. As usual, if you think you know of better, let me know, so once again I can tell you how wrong you are.

There are numerous reasons to love Mayo's that don't involve adobada. Not just a food place, it's also a classic little carniceria with a bitchin Mexican magazine selection, heavy on the celebrity gossip (read: scantily clad women and wrestling). The portions are good sized and relatively cheap ($5.95 for a nice fat burrito), the verde salsa is so simple and tasty it'd make a potential suicide case rethink slashing their wrists just to enjoy it over and over. Order everything up at the market register (not the deli counter) even though no one tells you this. Doing it this way weeds out the rookies. They're always impressed when gringos walk right in the door and go order the proper way.

Anyways, the important part is the food. I love adobada and when I first ate Mayo's version many years ago it became my standard for what good adobada is. No place in town comes very close. There are places with really good adobada (Lily's comes to mind, also the El Sitio on Fairview is pretty good), but no place has as much flavor as this one. The burrito is a simple affair, just beans and meat and cilantro with a serve-it-yourself salsa bar (pico, red salsa, and as mentioned before, the outstanding green salsa). Pure joy of a meal, the biggest downside is that I was there in the middle of a workday and had to take it on the road, unable to wash this fine specimen down with one of the many adult beverages in the cooler. Next time.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pepe Delgado's

It's April Fool's Day so if you expected an "always out for a few yucks" practical joker like me to have a headline today like, "El Buen Gusto Sucks" or "I Hate Beer" or "Taqueria El Bajio Lowered Their Prices and also Made a Meal That Didn't Taste Like Shit", well, you're dead wrong.

With the one and only Steve Edwards visiting, the last few nights have been awash in some of the finest Santa Barbara Mexican food. Los Agaves on Tuesday night followed by a second visit in 4 days to Palapa last night. Sidetracking.......I was reading some online reviews of Los Agaves and it seems there's a lot of negativity recently. Starting with the usual "It used to be better" which is most assuredly not's just as good as it was in the beginning, I should know, because since the day they opened up I've visited VERY regularly. To go along with "the service is bad", often true, and has always been true, but who fucking cares? They've got it set up as a quasi-taqueria and not as a Wine Cask for a reason dumbass. Another thing I read a few times was "too expensive", which is incredibly dumb if you've ever been to a number of the truly spendy places with lesser food (Super Rica, Carlito's, Cava, or Los Arroyos come to mind). But the most hyper-stupid thing I read was "portions are too small". Only a babbling fat bastard from Nebraska who is used to eating 4 fried chickens and a gallon of mashed potatoes sopped with thick, drooping gravy would say something so moronic. I can pile food on pretty good, and I have NEVER left Los Agaves either hungry or feeling ripped off.

As far as Palapa last night, well, it was dreamy as usual and I knocked down a gigantic pile of carnitas and a few micheladas. Actually, the pile of carnitas was so huge that I brought half of it home to enjoy for lunches. Anyways, tasty stuff and it was heartening to see a couple Super Asada readers in there, no doubt encouraged by my posting and Micah's seconding the accolades. Hopefully you guys had a great meal.

Let's get on to tonight's feast, Pepe 's in Goleta, sort of the Rose Cafe of the Goodland, having been there since 1958 or so. I love this place and it's the thing I miss most about my couple of years living in Goleta, where I spent a fair amount of time saddled behind the bar swilling Dos Equis draughts and chowing on some classic grub.

I haven't been here in quite a while, so Deb and I ordered up two of my absolute old favorites, the Rajas con Pollo and the Chingadera. The rajas con pollo is exactly what it sounds like, rajas (roasted chile with onions, cheese and chicken). If it doesn't sound delicious, well trust me, it is. Just as good today as ever. Perfect combo of onions and chile.

The chingadera is simple perfection and one of my true faves in town (have I said this before?...yeah, probably). With a name like that, what is it you ask? Basically it combines three of the greatest ingredients on the planet: pork, jalapenos, and beer, and puts them heated up on a tortilla over beans and chile verde sauce, with either a big dollop of guacamole (my choice) or sour cream. Granted, you have to buy the beer separately, but if there is one dish in town that is so perfectly complemented by a frosting mug filled with golden brown Dos Equis draught, this is it. I'd damn near move back to Goleta just to go back to the days of eating this twice a week. Heaven.