Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Eat, Drink, and Be Scary....

Happy Halloween 2008!!

Just a few glances around my yard and it is easy to see that Halloween is one holiday that we take seriously around here! There are ghouls and goblins galore, spread throughout a yard that, suiting us perfectly, seems to have been made for Halloween and all that is scary. Cactus flowers set off hideous hanging heads while spike Sago palms reveal their own treasures. One even has a giant spider crawling from it's depths!

These are a few of my favorite friends, which you can find in their resting places throughout our yard and on the front porch. On Halloween night, the dead come to life and our monsters are freed for an evening of havoc wreaking fun! It is a blast to watch peoples faces as the fog rolls around, hiding one monster only to reveal another even more horrifying than the first.
Seen in all it's glory with the lighting and the fog on the scariest night of the year, it is something to behold. Like my brother Rick once said to me, "It's all in the atmosphere!"
A couple of my favorite Halloween recipes:

Brains on Crackers
8 ounces regular cream cheese (not whipped or spread)
8 ounces braunschweiger
3/4 cup chopped green olives (with pimiento)
1/2 cup finely minced green onion
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients until thoroughly mixed. For an extra special Halloween treat, scoop 1/2 of the pate into a ziploc or decorators bag and cut off the corner. Mound the remaining pate on a plate in an oblong dome shape, and then pipe the pate in the bag in squiggly lines to resemble a brain. Add 2 whole olives (with pimientos) for eyeballs near the base. Serve with a variety of crackers.

Don't It Make My Buckeyes Blue:
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
6 ounces white chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
chocolate chips

Line baking sheet with wax paper. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and sugar with hands to
form a smooth stiff dough. Shape into balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball.
Place on prepared pan and refrigerate.
Melt shortening and chocolate in the top pot of a double boiler over simmering (not
boiling) water. When chocolate mixture is smooth, pour into small bowl. Remove balls
from refrigerator. Insert wooden toothpick into each ball and dip into melted chocolate.
(not all the way) Return to wax paper, chocolate side down and remove toothpick, replacing
with a chocolate chip, pointy side down, for the pupil.

If you like, a toothpick dipped in red gel food coloring is great for adding veins!

Refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

20 minutes to Tasty

Kimberly's House Special Stir-Fry
One of my favorite meals is stir-fry. Fast, easy, and delicious...that's the trifecta, right? With so many variations, it never gets boring, and by playing mix & match with the ingredients you can get a new dish almost every time you make it! Mom & I came up with the idea for making this Wednesday when my brother and his kids were joining us for dinner, rounding out the total number of people to 10...another reason stir-fry is such a great meal: add some rice and you can feed plenty of people for a reasonable cost.

I like to use whatever veggies sound good on any given day :) No hard and fast rules here! This time we used snap peas, water chestnuts, and broccoli "slaw", which is really just shredded broccoli and carrots. I would have preferred more water chestnuts, but that is just because they are my favorite stir-fry veggie! So crisp! Next was the sauce. Now, there will already be plenty of flavor because the meat is marinated for a time in equal parts hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, and soy sauce....but I love a good sauce, as I've said before, so I made a quick Chinese style brown sauce to go with the stir-fry and rice (and chow mein noodles, gotta have those!!). The sauce is easy:
6 tbsp light brown sugar
6 tbsp soy sauce
5 tbsp corn starch
3 cups water or chicken broth
That's it! Just combine in a sauce pan, and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally so the cornstarch doesn't clump and form a lumpy sauce. Boil 1 minute, then remove from heat. This is spooned over the stir-fry or the rice, or both. I prefer to have the stir-fry atop the rice, then a bit of sauce atop that. Oh, and then sprinkle on the chow mein noodles. Liberally, please :)

Ok, as I mentioned the meat was marinated with the trio of sauces. You don't have to do this for long, just 20 min. or so will be plenty. You can use just about any meat you like...this night we used both chicken (boneless, skinless breasts) and pork (loin chops). Stir fry quickly, in batches so you don't overcrowd the pan. When all the meat is done, stir fry the vegetables, adding a bit of soy sauce and a bit of sesame oil. This adds a lot of flavor very simply. Once tender-crisp, toss with the meats. Here is how it looked when finished:

And there you have it! Easy, fast, and delicious! I didn't take pics of the rice and chow mein noodles, because I'm sure you've seen them before :) You can also serve this with Yakisoba (stir fried soba noodles), in place of the rice or along with the rice, your choice. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy Birthday to Mom, part deux

Mom's Birthday Dinner

Being raised on a farm in the midwest, it isn't not surprising that my mom would choose a simple, but tasty pork chop dinner for her birthday! Fresh sliced tomatoes & fresh green beans from the farmer's market. Baked Yukon Gold potatoes. And of course, grilled pork chops!

Everything was prepared pretty simply, which was the beauty of the meal. I rubbed a little toasted onion avocado oil on the pork chops, then dusted them with salt and Worcestershire black pepper from McCormick. Color me a convert, I LOVE that stuff on pork and beef! If you haven't tried it, it's only a few bucks a can, and has really nice flavor.
The beans were steamed, then Smart Balance, salt & pepper were added. The potatoes were baked and finished on the grill so the skin was nice and crisp and tasty! I love potatoes with a little butter (or Smart Balance, as the case may be when visiting my folks!), a little salt, lots of fresh ground pepper, and the secret ingredient: paprika! Yummmm!
And for dessert:

PIE! I only got a picture of the apple, but we had apple, pumpkin, and key lime!
Ok so, I promised I'd post the rest of the food stuff from that day and here it is. Enjoy :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Remember When....?

I know this has nothing to do with food, but I have been talking with my daughter about all of the things that are different these days, and thought I'd share....
Remember when:
nobody was prettier than mom
popsicles came with two sticks so you could share
playing kickball/dodgeball in the street until the streetlights came on
jumprope and hide & seek and red light, green light
your mom or dad on the porch yelling/whistling for you to come inside
endless summer days and hot summer nights with the windows open
saturday mornings with fat albert and schoolhouse rock
spiderman and batman underoos
first day of school, with brand new shoes
swinging on the playground swings..you knew if you did it long and hard enough you could go all the way over
a 13 inch tv in room with no remote meant you were rich
laughing so hard your stomach hurt
being tired from just goofing around
work meant doing dishes to get an allowance
Koolaid was the drink of the summer...so was a swig from the hose, and we didn't even die
field trips to the museum with soggy sandwiches for lunch
almost everybody's mom was at home when the kids got home from school
any parent could discipline any kid or feed them or ask them to carry groceries, and no one, not even the kid, thought anything of it.
being sent to the principals office was nothing compared to the fate that waited for you when you got home
we weren't in fear of drugs or gangs...our parents were a much bigger threat
getting a foot of snow was a dream come true
worst embarrassment being picked last for a team
water balloons were the ultimate weapon
brothers & sisters were your worst tormentors, but also your fiercest protectors
it wasn't odd to have 2 or 3 best friends
race problems meant arguing about who ran the fastest
mistakes were corrected by simply shouting do over!
big decisions were made by saying eenie meenie minie moe
and the worst thing you caught from the opposite sex was cooties

sports figures were actually someone to look up to
you didn't worry when a kid said he had some coke...it was only cola
teachers used rulers and no one sassed back
the man at the bank knew your name, and always gave you a penny for the gumball machine
all the fun that could be had on a warm summer evening just by catching lightning bugs in a jar?
step on a crack, break your mother's back (I still don't step on cracks!!)
the curly cord that attached the phone to the wall
making ice cream from snow
you knew all your neighbors, and they all knew you
when you got gas, not only did they pump the gas, but they also "served" you, by washing the windshield, checking the oil, and your tires
you could watch anything you wanted on t.v. ...as long as that was what your father was watching.
a single tennis ball meant weeks of fun playing stoopball, stickball, handball and off the wall
running through the sprinklers...which didn't pop up out of the ground, but were set out on the lawn and swished back and forth in a big arc
building snow forts and igloos for the ultimate snowball fight
Campbell's tomato soup was 9 cents a can and didn't contain high fructose corn syrup
It was ok to call the Christmas parade by it's name, and not December Nights or Holiday Parade
cooking from scratch
shaking hands was as good as a 20 page contract
waking up in the morning and heading out the door...and not returning until dinner time, not because of work, but because of fun
shag carpet, bean bag chairs, 45's on the record player
hoola hoops, pogo sticks, and jump ropes
kindergarten was fingerpainting, snacks, naptime and storytelling
no matter what, everyone was home for dinner, and we ate it together at the table
and we behaved for fear that whatever we were thinking of doing would end up on our "Permanent Record"!

Happy Birthday to my Mom!!

Happy Birthday to Mom!!
Today is my wonderful, beautiful Mom's birthday...but since it is also a work day for most of us, we decided to celebrate yesterday, Sunday. My brother Jim, his wife Carrie and their children (Ashley, Emily, Ian & Hunter), as well as my brother Rick and his wife, Van were all there along with myself, Mom, Dad, brother Brian and his gal Deniece. Breakfast was the first plan of the day, so Jim & Carrie set to work on the stuffed French toast, bacon, sausage, eggs, and juice.

Now, let me just say, my brother and his wife share my love of cooking, so it was sure to be a delicious meal with all of us there, the progeny of such a wonderful cook herself, Mom!

Carrie made the egg batter for dipping the French toast using a dozen eggs, some condensed milk, vanilla, orange zest, and a tiny bit of sugar. The filling was Ricotta, cream cheese, sour cream, and a little vanilla sugar, divided then combined with peaches on one bowl, apples in another. The only left to prep was the bread itself, 2 loaves of French bread.

As you can see, it turned out beautifully. There was both stuffed and unstuffed, along with the breakfast meats, eggs, etc...and of course, we had to get some fresh fruit in there too! Cantaloupe and Honeydew melons, served sliced as you see above. The scent of the cantaloupe filled the air, combining with the sweet scent of the French toast, whetting everyone's appetite.
Later in the week I will get the recipe with measurements for the fillings, and post them. Also, I'll psot about the dinner we made after us gals returned from shopping! Happy Birthday MOM!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pat & Oscars....revisited

The Festa Italiana, Pat & Oscar's Style...

Anyone who's been to Pat & Oscars will know how it works. You can get a combo meal for 2, 4, or more people, and it will include some combination of ribs, chicken, pizza, pasta, and salad. For a limited time, however, Pat & Oscars has been offering something they call the Festa Italiana, which is what we decided to try on our recent visit. There are several San Diego locations, we chose the once closest to us, in Mission Valley, just north of Mission Valley Center mall.

Like almost all of the meals at Pat & Oscars, we started with breadsticks and salad. You can choose a Cesar salad or a Greek salad. As you can see in the photo, we chose the Greek because my husband and daughter both are feta fiends! The breadsticks are almost always served hot and fresh and tasty with their little sprinkling of garlic salt on the top. The salad, though a little ice cold for my tastes this time around, is tasty, with pepperoncinis, kalamata olives, tomato, red onions and feta cheese...and of course, romaine lettuce!

After the breadsticks and salad, the rest of the combo meal comes out. Meatball pizza, and spaghetti & meatballs. Now usually my daughter begs for the tomato-fredo penne, but even she enjoyed the meatballs served in the spaghetti and on the pizza. You can choose the pasta shape and sauce at no extra charge, so if you're not into spaghetti, you can order the penne instead with the marinara, meat sauce, or tomato-fredo...with or without the meatballs. We stuck with the original combo, and enjoyed it. The pizza featured sliced meatballs, sliced roma tomatoes and fresh basil. The first one came out (on the left) and wasn't quite cooked all the way, but that was quickly remedied and a fresh pizza made and brought to the table. Rich with gooey mozzerella cheese, and full of bright, fresh flavors, it was worth the extra wait, though we'd have preferred to have it done right the first time! All in all, it was a good meal, and there was plenty of leftovers to take home for the eldest manchild to take to work for lunches for a couple days.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Childhood in a bowl...

This is the most inaccurately named dish I can remember eating as a child, but it is a childhood comfort food that I and my siblings all love to this day. My friends, I give you, Mock Chow Mein.
Now, about the only resemblence this dish has to chow mein on any level at all is the rice. But, that's okay with me, I don't care what you call it as long as it's made right!
Mock Chow Mein is a Minnesota hotdish, brought to many a church supper, get-together, pot luck and winterfest. It is classic in it's ingredients: ground beef, canned soups, and of course, rice.
To start with you need bell peppers. Since I am not a fan (and that is putting it *very* mildly) of green bell peppers, I choose to use red & yellow...and sometimes orange. These brighter colors look splendid in the dish, and don't have the tendency, as green bells do, to overpower every other flavor in the pot. Dice up the peppers. 2 will do. Dice up an onion, and a bunch of celery too.
Brown up your ground beef, a couple pounds should be enough. Add the veggies, and saute until they're tender. Now you have a choice. You can either move this to an electric roaster or a roasting pan. If using a roasting pan, you'll be using your oven. Either way you'll want it to be 350*f. Combine the beef & veggies with a couple cups of rice, and the following canned soups: 2 cans cream of mushroom, 2 cans chicken gumbo and 1 can cream of celery. Of course, if you're not feeding half of the Midwest states, you'll probably want to cut all of my measurements by half. Add about 3/4 can water for each can of soup, and stir. Cover and let it do it's thing for about an hour and a half, stirring occasionally, until the rice is cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed. Don't over-cook, or it will be nothing but mush, so start checking the rice at about 1 hour. There you have it. All the comforts of childhood, cheap and easy and tasty to boot!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Remember the Alamo...?

Remember the Alamo....

Old Town has changed. After losing the lease on much of the traditional Old Town restaurants and shops, Bazaar del Mundo was forced to move on. So many changes made in a relatively
short period of time. That's why it was nice to walk down the
main drag and see The Alamo. Brightly lit and festive looking,
The Alamo is a fun place for a casual meal.

The seating here is all outdoors, so if you're going to be going in
the fall or winter seasons, be sure to bring a sweater! If you're lucky, you can snag one of the two tables that have their own little
firepits in the center! On our last visit, we were lucky enough to
snag one of these for ourselves.

There was a chill in the air, a Chargers game on the t.v., and lots of people relaxing with a margarita and some salsa. We added some guacamole, and had ourselves a little party! :) The margaritas are tasty and come in a variety of flavors...but we enjoyed the traditional lime. The guac is fresh and tasty, and the salsa, though
a little spicy for my sensitive taste buds, was bursting with tomato

For an entree, I chose the carne asada burrito, by which I judge many Mexican restaurants here in San Diego. As you can see, this one is huge! Stuffed full of tender, flavorful beef, pico de gallo and more of that delicious guacamole, this burrito delivers!

My husband chose a quesadilla and an enchilada, something which he judges places by himself! The enchilada, though tasty, was on the small side. Not the best enchilada, but certainly not bad!

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, quesadilla? How hard is it to make a cheese filled tortilla? You'd be surprised how
bad they can be! Greasy messy yucky stuff. This one, however, was none of those things. Light, crisp edged tortilla, with nicely melted cheese in the center. A little of that guac and it's golden.

The next time you find yourself wandering around, wondering what to have for dinner, head over to Old Town. Yes, a lot of things are gone. Yes, there've been a lot of changes. But there are still good finds to be had, and more importantly, there are still good times to be had too!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

To decorate or not to decorate, that is the question...

Ok, so, this is not food related...YET. In a couple weeks, I'll post recipes and pictures for our Halloween party food this year. This is just a preview :)
These are a few of my favorite decorations for Halloween we have for our house, as they looked last year. I am trying to decide if I want to decorate this year. We have a lot more college kids renting on our street now, and let me tell you, they are some destructive little snots when they've been partying, which is 4 or 5 nights a week.
This is our Doorman, Mr. Grady. His smaller sign reads "Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here."

This would be Ike, and...umm..well, Ike's dinner. Ike is a rather large tarantula, with an affinity for rooftops, large webs, neighborhood pets... You know, the usual! Ike's dinner on this particular evening was one of those pesky college kids I was telling you about. Guess that'll teach him to throw beer cans at Ike's web!

Meet Fido. He'll be taking care of guarding the yard, alongside Ike. I'll have to get a better picture of him at night time so you can see the eery glow of his red eyes as he sniffs out an ankle bone or a spare tibia that may be laying about. He sheds, but we try to keep him well groomed!

Ah, yes. Here is Legion. He appears to be coming up for a visit. I do hope he remembers to fill in that hole this time...the heat was unbearable last time! I am trying to refer him to a good dentist, but deep down inside, he's really just a big baby!

And what is this? A party? Where was my invite? Ok, clockwise now...first we have Ben, drooling up on that rock there. He's a bit of an ugly duckling, but we still have hopes he'll grow into a beautiful swan some day. Next is Lester...always laying about, that one! Such a lazy bones! And right above him, poking out for a bit of Vitamin D enriched sunshine is Harry Bates, Norman's less crazy brother.

Well there you have it...there's my brood! Well, at least some of them. I think...I think I might just be getting into the spirit after all. Stay tuned, charming readers! Oh, and just in case you thought there would be no food in this post, here's a recipe for you!!

Monster Brains:
3 medium ripe avocados
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
juice of one small lime
1/2 cup salsa, more veggies than liquid

Mash avocados, and add the rest of the ingredients, without making them too smooth. Salt to taste. Serve with Witches Hats (blue corn tortilla chips).
Sounds a bit like guacamole, doesn't it? Odd! lol :)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wow, this is nothing like packaged Ramen!

Thursday night my husband and daughter talked me into trying a place that they've visited often when I'm up North one day a week. I've been curious to try it, because they enjoy it, because I love a good KatsuDon, and because I'd never tried fresh Ramen before.

This is Mitsuwa Marketplace, located on Kearny Mesa Road, right off the 163. It is one of the places in San Diego where you can find authentic Japanese ingredients for your home cooking, but it is also home to a couple of interesting, and tasty, restaurant choices. The first, Kayaba, has been there the longest. It is a tiny spot, but the food is good and the service is quick, and reasonably friendly :)

Here you can see the small-ish seating are. There is a long table that is somewhat communal, and several smaller tables of 2 and 4.

This is the Katsudon. I didn't get a chance to get a picture of it before my husband added the katsu sauce! For the uninitiated, Katsudon is a breaded pork cutlet, served with egg, onions, and rice. Sometimes peas are added...I prefer them not to be. The onions are brothy and add a lot of flavor to the rice, and the whole dish is a big bowl of comfort food at it's best.

If you prefer no egg and onions, you can order the Tonkatsu. Tonkatsu is a breaded pork cutlet, usually breaded with Japanese panko crumbs and fried. Here it is served with rice, what we think is a potato salad (?), mandarin oranges, and shredded cabbage. Lemon slices and katsu sauce are optional, but delicious!
Kayaba also serves other dishes, such as Udon and Donburi (rice bowls with savory items, such as pork.)

And now for the item that got me curious. Fresh Ramen. The other restaurant I referred to is called Santouka and it is where you'll find the ramen. There are 3 varieties to choose from, in many combinations. Salt Ramen, Soy Sauce Ramen, and Miso Ramen.
Here you see the Soy Sauce ramen. It is served with 2 very succulent slices of char siu (pork belly), some nori (seaweed), green onion, salted bamboo shoots, and a slice of Judas Ear.

Served with the Ramen was a bowl of rice with char siu and green onion, as well as a soy sauce boiled egg (not pictured, oddly enough :) ). The ramen's broth was rich, and hot, which served the dish well. The ramen itself was toothsome, nothing at all like the stuff you get in the cellophane bags at Von's! lol The pork was, as I said, succulent and flavorful and rich...it's a good thing they don't over-do it! If I'm being honest, I left the Judas Ear fungus alone.

But I did love the char siu rice! The green onions were a nice, earthy contrast to the somewhat salty pork, and when eaten together it tasted a little like a really tasty fried rice. I gave my husband the soy sauce boiled egg, which he said was unusual, but good.

All in all, I'd say it was a good dining experience. Everything was tasty, I tried something new and I was able to slip into the market and get some goodies for later this week. Manga!

Friday, October 3, 2008

When you need a chocolate fix...

Anyone with kids in elementary school will know that there aer many, many occasions in which you're asked to bring something to a school function. Over the years, there were a few items that I became known for. French cookies (more on those in a future post!), fruit salad, Halloween treats...and for the carnivals and cake walks and bake sales, the Deep Dark Chocolate cake you see in the picture above. This one was made by my now 14 year old daughter for my birthday.

This cake is quick to put together, easy to make, takes ingredients most folks already have in their kitchen, and has a decadent, moist texture that is always a hit. It is a modified version of the Hershey's cake recipe that used to be on their cocoa can. Here's the recipe:
Deep Dark Chocolate Cake Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Nestle mini chocolate chips (optional)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I use double strength)
1 cup freshly brewed coffee (strong) or espresso

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing (recipe to follow)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. 2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Stir in chips. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in coffee (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. (Cake may be left in rectangular pan)

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing
1/4 cup butter melted
1/4 cup softened butter
8 ounces Philly cream cheese, softened to room temp
2 tsp vanilla (or vanilla bean paste)
1/3 cup cocoa
powdered sugar
1 shot espresso

1. Using a whisk, combine the melted butter and the cocoa. Whisk in 2 tbsp espresso. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, softened butter, and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add chocolate mixture, mix.
3. Add powdered sugar, about 3 cups, and mix until smooth. Depending on how thick you want the icing, add more powdered sugar until you get the consistency you desire. If it gets too thick, add more espresso or some milk.

And there you have it. This cake will serve a lot of people, and they'll beg you for the recipe when you're done! Enjoy!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A quiet patio on a warm & breezy night

This is Cantina Mayahuel, a nearly hidden gem on Adams Avenue, just west of the 805. Tuesday night, my husband and I, looking for relief after a long hot day, wandered into Cantina Mayahuel, and I am so glad we did!

Mayahuel was an Aztec goddess of fertility and of the maguey, an agave cactus of great religious importance. From the maguey a holy, intoxicating drink was made, called pulque or octli. Today the plant gives the raw material for mezcal and tequila. Not surprising, then, is the extensive selection of tequilas and mezcal available at Cantina Mayahuel. There are around 90 choices for tequila, another dozen and a half mezcals..that's quite a decision to make, but one you'll have a great time making! I was tempted to simply close my eyes and point, but instead asked the server what he recommened, which was to start with the house Margarita. I was not disappointed. Light, not overly sweet, with a crisp lime accent.

The menu is not nearly as extensive as the tequila list, but I suspect you won't mind a bit. I know we didn't! You can choose from 4 different style of tacos, 2 salads, Alegria bowls, and daily specials. There area also Antojitos (appetizers) including salsas, guacamole, black beans, and ceviche. Walking in the door, you can smell the fresh, lively aroma of sizzling steak and chicken, and with that in mind, I ordered the Tasajo Style steak taco. Since we were having a maragarita and the guacamole and salsa antojito plate, I ordered just one. It turned out that was a really good idea!

The steak is marinated in lime, and is tender and flavorful. Atop the steak is shredded jack cheese, a cabbage-carrot-cilantro mixture, salsa, and Mexican crema. It comes atop a doubled corn tortilla, and though it doesn't sound like a lot of food, it was quite generous, and very filling, in a delicious way.

My husband had a Tasajo style steak taco as well, but he also ordered a chicken taco, which he loved. The chicken is marinated in pineapple juice and chipotle sauce, and is served with tropical salsa, ancho mayo, the cabbage mix and crema. Everything was flavorful and the freshness of the ingredients really stood out.

If you haven't found this hideaway, with it's richly appointed dark wood and Day of the Dead inspired interior, and quiet, breezy patio, I hope you'll seek it out and give it a try.