Friday, April 4, 2008

Enchiladas, baby!

Sorry for the delay in posting! I'm in CA and I had the most action packed day yesterday which left no time for blogging. However, I'm eating all the best food in CA and I would be reminisce in my duties if I did not share them with you (I probably won't cook that much while I'm here - although I might have a great coffee/crumb cake recipe to share with you soon).

First (and most looked forward to [that's bad grammar - oh well]) gastronomical experience: Juanita's!

Juanita's is my all time favorite Mexican restaurant. It's a dingy little hole in the wall near my dad's office in Oakland. It's painted a fairly ugly shade of pink inside, in the hot weather (which, granted, does not come about very often in Oakland) flies buzz around above your head, and the owner is incredibly strange. He seems oddly ageless to me at this point (but I've been coming there for the past 7 years, so who knows), probably in his '50's, with a silly mustache and some horrible jokes that are sure to scare you (case in point - yesterday he asks us "What's the closest thing to a smart woman?" Answer: "A transvestite"). If he recognizes you, chances are, he won't give you a menu and despite your years of loyal service, you always, ALWAYS, run the risk of pissing him off and having him refuse to serve you.

However - the food is drop dead amazing. They start you off with some chips and the best pico de gallo ever.

Can you see how there are chunks of avocado in it? Traditional pico de gallo doesn't have that. Plus, this is CA, so the tomatoes are always good (not like lame NY tomatoes). It's just the right amount of spicy (for me, Zack thought it was a bit too much, but he's a wimp) and it's just amazing.

Next, onto the enchiladas! I am obsessed with enchiladas. I dream about them in New York and was forever scarred the first time I tried ordering them there (I was brought a taco, folded in half, with rice and beans INSIDE (sacriledge) and some "enchilada sauce" poured over the top). Enchiladas are some sort of filling (chicken, cheese, etc - I like chicken the best - yummy stewed/shredded chicken, not stupid grilled chicken like in a burrito bar) wrapped in a tortilla (like an envelope, in thirds), and covered (drenched) in a green tomatillo sauce or a chocolatey mole sauce (there's red sauce too, but I don't like it as much). Here's the enchilada I ordered (chicken with green sauce). It came with salad, rice and beans.

Perfection! I could eat it every day (and I did, when I worked for my dad). Zack got some flautas (deep friend chicken taquitos with guacamole). Also very good, although he kept swatting my hand away when I tried to eat them.

All in all, an excellent lunch. Today we eat at Chez Panisse. Expect a full report!


Meredith said...

Ha! Well those look pretty good for California Mexican (I have other loyalties) Nice amounts of sour cream on everything though. I love sour cream. It is the true nectar of the gods.

Paul said...

Bleh - didn't enjoy that place - give me Cactus any day

Lena said...

Well you're just wrong, Paul.