Friday, February 8, 2008

Week 2 - Cantina Mayahuel

Cantina Mayahuel – Near 30th and Adams, Normal Heights.

Eater #1: Shrimp Taco, Tasajo Taco, Chips and Salsa. Negra Modello.
The tacos are different here than what I am used to. Talking to another patron while waiting for them to open at noon, he explained that this is Mexican food from southern Mexico… They used cabbage instead of lettuce and smothered the tacos in chipotle, lime juice and other sauces. The shrimp tacos were good, nice plump shrimps and the right amount of other flavors. The beef tacos were good, but the meat was kinda too chewy… Like they used stuff that should have been made into stew. Overall I liked it.

Sitting on the sunny patio, drinking a Negra Modelo and eating good Mexican food. Damn I’m glad I live in San Diego.

Eater #2: Chicken Taco, (2) Tasajo Taco, Chips and Salsa. Negra Modello.
Right out of the gates Cantina Mayahuel earned one punto de taco for their wall of top-shelf tequila. After munching on some chips and salsa, I made the mistake of going too big and ordering two carne asada tacos (tasajo-style) and a chicken taco. Two tacos on my hungriest day would have been more than enough. The la diabla sauce for the tacos was pretty damn tasty and not nearly as sphincter scarring as it sounds. I would definitely go back and Cantina Mayahuel made a fine benchmark for the Taco Friday saga. I give them 3 puntos de taco out of 5. Mahalo & God save the Queen.

Eater# 3: Eater #2: Chicken Taco, Tasajo Taco, Chips and Salsa. Jamica.
Atmosphere: A small cozy restaurant, very cute, but the side patio tops it all.

Food: Chicken taco, good good stuff. Tasty flavorful chunks of white meat, tons of cabbage topped off with 3 sauces that I guess to be sour cream, a dark rich chili sauce, and one other that is somewhere in between the two. There was a tortilla disaster due to there being too much innards for the poor tortillas to handle, but that is a small issue.
Tesajo style beef taco was decent, but not as good. The meat had great flavor to it, but was tough and hard to chew, not a good cut of meat. Oh yeah, and it had a hair peeking out of the end of it, but hey this is life and shit happens.
Libation: Jamica, not as sweet as I normally like, but it was good and it tasted fresh which is always a plus.

Overall: I tend to like my food hair free, but other than that this was a good spot to relax and have some tacos, and you can bet my next visit will include a margarita with tequila from one of the several shelves of offerings.

Week 1 – Lucha Libre Taco Shop

Lucha Libre Taco Shop
Bottom of the hill on Washington, across from Gelato Vera

Eater #1: TJ Hotdog, Adobado Taco and a taste of the Champion Nachos. Horchata.
The TJ ‘dog was killer. I haven’t had one since I was an under-age punk partying in Tijuana. There is nothing better than a hotdog wrapped in bacon smothered in grilled onions and bell peppers. Lucha Libre makes their own pineapple salsa and the the adobado taco had some on it – really tasty. The carne asada in the Champion Nachos was perfect. Nice strips of grilled beef, seasoned just right. Good beans, too.

The atmosphere was cool – pink walls, the chairs have lucha libre masks in the upholstery. The owner said that they will have a liquor license soon – I’m betting that this place will rock at night.

Eater #2: TJ Hotdog, Carne Asada Taco.
As the medley of flavors from hot dog, bacon, peppers, and onions, combined with carne asada and guacamole, prance beautifully around my mouth from my most recent burp, I can’t help but think: “I ate a TJ dog hours ago and I don’t have the brown pee?” All I have to add is if Lucha gets a liquor license and I can order a bucket of beer, I won’t be waiting in the San Ysidro border line anymore to get my taco fix. Nice performance Lucha Libre, 3.5 puntos de tacos. God save the Queen.

Eater #3: Chicken and vegetable taco, carne asada fries

Atmosphere: A small little spot, but great d├ęcor. Very kitschy with the wrestling masks in all the seats, bright pink walls, and the 70’s lucha libre movies playing in the background.

Food: Chicken and vegetable taco, it had some clever name that I forget at this point. It was a good sized taco, and I was able to successfully transfer half of the contents onto the second tortilla and have two tacos. The veggies were grilled and very fresh. They made two of the best tacos I’ve had in recent memory.
They have a jammin salsa bar, with normal mild and hot, a sweet pineapple, and a few others that you just have to test out and try.
I mooched some carne asada from a friend’s carne asada fries and that was some of the best carne asada I have ever had. It was tender and juicy and seasoned to perfection.

Overall: This is a brand new restaurant and I think everyone should patron it because I really hope that they make it. Great spot!