February 4th, the date I have finally decided to try a Taco adventure to a Mexican city I have never been to: Mexicali.
The journey starts at 7AM, El Central. Alain and his Father have prepared me an expected journey to what I have expected to be the best tacos in Baja California. Forty minute drive to border, five minutes of currency exchange, one day of goodness. Let’s start from the breakfast:
- Tacos del Ferrocarril, famous tiny taco shops in a row. I have ordered 2 classic tacos: Lamb stew and Carbeza (1st and 2nd pics). Critic: Tender meat in large quantity, spicy salsa, paired with a drink made out of Hibiscus. Taste very good compare to what you can get in US, the drink will keep the heat down from spicy red sauce.
- Secret taco shop with no name, hidden in the corner street of Zuazua near Park Mariachi. They only sell and only need to offer: Carbeza (3rd and 4th pics). Critic: Best Carbeza taco I have ever had, the meat stew melt in your mouth yet packed with lots of beef flavor and spices. They also offer the green sauce that is perfect for Carbez because it does not take away the meat taste from your tongue.
Lunch is a new experiment for me: Chinese food infused by Mexican cuisine.
El Rincón de Panchito (旺角酒家)
Critic: Mexicali have a strong Chinese community and influence, as a result restaurant prepared dishes in Chinese way: Make a big dish and share among family members. The tea they offered is similar to Southen sweet ice tea that is refreshing in a hot summer. The food is very Mexicanized as well as Americanized, I will not recommend to try for second time as Chinese. However I will strongly recommend if you are looking for a nice place to take a lunch break in the hot summer day in Mexicali.
Dinner was a brand new eating culture to me, it is called Aasadero translated as “Roaster”. It was close to what you see on streets of TJ but offered different type of service and food culture. You arrive at the restaurant, see a open kitchen with open flames cooking different meat. As a guest we sit inside order for tacos with whatever meat you want inside. However your don’t just wait order like a regular restaurant, instead they bring you a big plate full of pickles, salsas, beans, grilled onions and guacamole served as appetizer and salsa completely for free. Moment later your tacos will arrive, that’s when you start to customize you taco HOWEVER YOU LIKE. There should be no no rule in Asadero on what you should put on your taco, how about put some pickles with Carne Asado, what does taco taste like when Chorizo mix with pastor, try whatever you like! It is a feast of possibility and experiment to make the best taco you created for yourself and keep coming back for more DIY tacos, that….is the spirit of Asadero!
Asadero El Pirul (#1 rated in Mexicali)
Critic: you can order your taco with differnt meat inside, many variety of side items and salsa, try dipping cucumber in guacamole. El pastor with Chorizo is a spacial taste you have never try before. Tripa is on the salty side, but guacamole will balance it in your mouth. Check the meat menu, start to make your own Taco today at Asadero el Pirul!
Here are more pictures I took during the vacation, I hope you will take your own ferry to Mexicali and have some great time there.