Sunday, October 12, 2008

El Farolito: Tastes Like Home

Not my home, but Mike's (Chula Vista, south of San Diego). I asked Mike to post about our meal here, but he said blogging was lame. Well, that makes him lame by association! Ohhhh snap! Moving on.

If you think I'm a food snob, just bring up bay area Mexican food with Mike. He is about as elitist as you can get (since he grew up next to the border, he's spent a lot of time in Mexico, eating real Mexican food. From Mexico. Made by Mexicans. Oh wait, that's not that different). However, we were in the Mission the other night after watching Call and Response at the Roxie, and I hadn't eaten dinner and wanted some tacos. With Mike's nose scrunched up and the whining commenced, we took a short walk to El Farolito since I had never been there.

Now, Mike judges a Mexican burrito/taco place by its carne asada, and to do that, he always gets the same thing: a carne asada burrito with guac, and everything else on the side (the rice and beans filler masks the taste). They forgot his, so mine was sitting pretty as we waited. Finally, with the salsa cups and marinated carrots ready, we dug in.

Apparently, the "correct" way to eat a [good] burrito is to let the juices that are dripping all over you come out from the bottom and straight into your salsa, which you pour back into the top with each bite. And how those drippings taste, according to Mike, will tell you if the carne asada is good or not. The result? "Tastes like home."

His must've been fresh off the grill because it was a lot better and juicier than mine. Mine was still tasty, but a little tough in comparison. Thus, we decided that a good Mexican restaurant is one that makes its meat to order (among other things). La Burrita, La Taqueria, and a lot of other bay area places (including El Farolito) usually grill their meat in bulk and let it sit in a hotel pan before assembly. Letting it sit out will dry it out, and you won't get those yummy meat juices. Mmm meat juices.

So yes, the bay area Mexican food scene is thus redeemed. I'm sure you can ask them to grill it fresh for you, but the person taking your order will probably hate your guts, or will think you're some HM chick/DB from the Marina* and ignore your request. Who knows? Try it and leave a comment haha.

* Sorry, I just can't help it sometimes! Tris???

1 comment:

Mike said...

This might be the most rational post I've seen on this blog. You, my friend, speak the truth.