Tasty order of rolled tacos from Manana’s in Ramona, CA!
Excellent Carne Asada Quesadilla at the new Rancho Viejo Mexican Food in Rancho Bernardo. Sometimes I just like a simple CAQ! Rancho Viejo packs a punch with theres… You won’t be hungry for a while. It’s made simply with a generous amount of good carne asada and a fairly conservative amount of cheese. Some places I go to the grease just streams out when you pick it up. All down your hands and arms and everything. Not here. This is a decent, no frills carne asada quesadilla served on a foam plate.
Probably the first dish at La Cocina I have been less than impressed with. Chile Verde plate, served with rice (& beans 😱) and hot tortillas, $10.99. Traditional chile verde is usually made with slow cooked chunks of pork shoulder. This version seemed to use thick slices of pork tenderloin. It was tender but overly lean tasting and quite flavorless. It did not have that luxurious mouth feel you get with a slow cooked pork shoulder. The verde sauce however was rich and flavorful. That would have gone good on just about anything but ice cream.
The rolled tacos at Los Amigos have been going down hill for some time. This time though it was such a sad sack order! Honestly, I’ve never seen such an appalling order of taquitos in my four decades of eating at SoCal taco shops. At least they have a really good carnitas burrito; barbacoa; and great salsa…
Outstanding sopes are now on the menu at Mi Ranchito in Ramona, CA! A sope is a traditional Mexican dish originating in the central and southern parts of Mexico. The base is made from a circle of fried masa, roughly the size of an ashtray, that looks like an unusually thick tortilla. It’s topped with a variety of ingredients, typically beans, a protein, lettuce, salsa, cheese, crema, etc.
There is no better way to say “te quiero” to amá on Mother’s Day than with a wet burrito from Mananas Mexican Food! I’ve been eating burritos here for years and have never had a bad one. I love a good wet burrito and finally tried their interpretation this morning; it was outstanding!
Any of Mañana’s burritos can be ordered “wet”. I chose a simple beef burrito, only $6.15. It was huge! Filled with a ton of tender, seasoned shredded beef. Also a few onions and peppers. No cheap fillers like beans, rice or lettuce, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Making it “wet” adds an extra $2.10. The whole thing is blanketed with a generous amount of their rich, flavorful enchilada sauce, then topped with some cheese.
Service and all was nice as always for me. I particularly appreciate the chips gratis when dining in plus the excellent salsa bar. I noticed this morning that they now have pickled red onions which I dearly adore with Mexican food.
If there was ever a “comfort food” from any of our local taco shops, it would have to be this outstanding albondigas from La Cocina! The perfect dish during these cool fall and winter months.
#2 combination plate at Los Amigos in Ramona. Includes enchilada and chile relleno, $10 & change. I requested a beef enchilada and it was decent. I’ll get straight to it though, the chile relleno was terrible.
The egg batter was so thick and doughy it looked like some deep fried state fair monstrosity. A properly battered chile should actually resemble the shape of the chile, not a body pillow. After cutting into a few bites I finally got to the chile. Couldn’t even taste it under the heavy batter blanket. Traditionally a relleno is filled with a queso panela or oaxaca that has a soft creamy texture. When heated it will soften but not lose it’s shape. Here they used the standard taco shop yellow & white shredded blend that didn’t really taste like anything but grease. No ranchero sauce on top either. Just served dry with melted yellow/white blend on top.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of things I like at this taco shop like their barbacoa, salsa bar, carne asada burritos with lettuce, etc. Their chile relleno though was definitely a miss for me tonight.
Had an outstanding breakfast recently at La Cocina! A super delicious chorizo con huevos, served with rice (& beans), a daub of guacamole & pico, and hot tortillas, all on their signature foam plate. $8 & change.
The chorizo here is excellent! Mildly seasoned and not at all greasy, unlike many others I’ve had. If you’ve never had chorizo before, try it. If you ever see a chub of chorizo at the grocery store, do not read the ingredients. Actually just avoid that one and order it the next time you’re at your favorite taqueria.