One of my goals for my year of being 40 is to eat at 40 new places, and I’m up to 17. Four of the first Mexican places I went are reviewed here. Here are the most recent eleven:
7. La Casita De Doña Machi, 1/18. I saw this on the drive from work to my son’s basketball game, and stopped in. I loved the atmosphere right away–the TV was tuned to a Spanish language news station. I had a burrito, which was so different from the fast food I’m used to–not nearly as mushy and juicy. Though that made it seem a bit dry to me, it was tasty, and washed down well with some hot sauce and soda. Very nice place–would definitely go again.
8. New China Cuisine, 1/26. One of a few Asian places near my house that I’ve never gone to. It doesn’t look like much from outside, near the edge of a middlebrow strip mall, but on the inside the atmosphere wraps you up and draws you in. I took my wife there on a date night–she likes Chinese food even more than I do. The waitress had solid suggestions for us–I tried some excellent sweet and sour shrimp. The appetizer was egg drop soup, which I love and haven’t had for years. It made me find some recipes online and try to make it at home–alas, not nearly as good as theirs.
9. Tacos El Gordo, 2/1. This came recommended from an old colleague, and I’m seriously grateful. The counter setup inside is a bit odd, but the food is sweet and solid. It’s like an In-N-Out Burger for genuine Tijuana tacos. Almost as good as the tacos was a creamy orange soda called Bang! Totally have to go back again soon.
10. El Nopal Mexican Grill, 2/3. We got an ad for this in the mail, and found it behind the Ruby Tuesday’s by the Craig Ranch Park. It’s surprising how many great, real Mexican places this town has–we sat next to a big family party that looked like they were just having the best time together on a Friday night. The waitress’s English was so-so, but good enough to give us some good advice. That right there is one of the very best burritos I’ve ever had in my life, and my wife had a delicious torta.
11. Tacos Mexico, 2/20. This awesome little place is right by where I work, and I’m so glad this project got me to finally go in. They have 80 cent taco Wednesdays! I’ve worked around here for seven years and I’m only now learning this. Sigh. All those years. Wasted. Also, it looks like I’m not the only one celebrating 40 years of existence!
12. Maggiano’s Little Italy, 2/24. My wife and I had a gift certificate for this place, and it turned into one of the best dinner dates we’ve had so far this year. We both loved it. When the staff heard that it was our first time there, they brought us some extra appetizers, and we could have made a meal of them, they were so good. But then the actual meal itself! I hate to say it, but I can’t remember what my dish was called, but it had spicy sausage and, I think, lobster. My wife said her meat was juicy and tender–I tried a bite and, yeah, it was super awesome.
13. Teriyaki Madness, 3/2. Took my oldest daughter here for her birthday. The cream soda was pretty sweet, and their bowls! Those bowls look little, but they’re filling. Light, but filling. I like little touches at fast food places, like the array of sauces and such at each table. I bet my wife would like it here, too.
14. BJ’s, 3/7. Another dinner date. We went early because this place is always packed. The food was really good–the service was great. I enjoyed it, but was it that much better than a number of other places? Meh. Maybe I shouldn’t have just gotten a burger, but that’s what I was craving that day. Fries were also so-so. The salad was more impressive.
15. Los Tacos, 3/23. This is right next to Tacos El Gordo on Charleston and, like everything else on here, was a great place. It was a bit pricier than I’d thought for a fast food place, but one nice touch made it memorable–I used the drive-thru and when I got to the window, the cashier gave me my total in Spanish but then, looking up and seeing me, smiled and repeated it in English. It was a cute, friendly moment. Also, the tacos was quite good, but maybe that was because I splurged and got it with everything on it.
16. Raul’s Mexican Food #2 (Victorville CA), 3/27. We always try to eat at places we can’t get at home when we’re out of town, so we stopped here on a family trip during Spring Break. So glad we did! Everybody enjoyed their food, and it was truly friendly and inviting. I forgot to take pictures of our food. Still, reasonably priced, delicious, generous servings…the next time you’re in Victorville, please check it out!
17. Culver’s (St. George), 4/2. Speaking of eating out on the road, we stopped by this place on our way home from a trip in Utah at the other end of Spring Break. I tried the Butter Burger, because that’s what the sign said they’re famous for, and yeah, it was excellent. Even better than the one I had at BJ’s, come to think of it. The mint shake was fantastic, and everyone loved getting fry sauce. Also, it was jam packed, so this place must not be much of a secret!