Lately we’ve been putting aside some money every month so we can go out to eat. This month we’ve been hitting up some great mexican food right here in Lancaster. First of all, was at home! Susan found this great recipe on The Foodies Kitchen website to make Dobladas. Now I’m not a huge cheese guy (as many of you know) but this was really good. She did an amazing job!
Now, I think it’s worth mentioning that we’re countering all of this rich, delicious food with some really amazing salads that Susan has also been making. Take a look and tell me if it isn’t great!?
So to start us off with the culinary tour of Mexican Lancaster, we went to La Cocina Mexicana. This place is actually a discovery I made while working on the pictures for Taste the World here in Lancaster (which will be happening on Friday the 9th, you won’t want to miss it!) It’s a great little place right on Prince Street and the owner is from Puebla, Mexico. We started off with some chicken Taquitos. They were crispy on the outside without being overly dry on the inside.
Along with that my wife had the chicken tortilla soup which really amounted to a sort of vegetable soup with chicken and fried tortillas in it. It seemed to lack the consistency and depth of flavor that makes that soup so popular.
I have a weakness for Tacos after spending so many years indulging on the street tacos from those places that you only discover by trying. For some reason the Tacos al Pastor are by far my favorite so I decided to go with those. Why not try something else? Because nothing will ever taste better than to satisfy your cravings. Remember that.
At this point most sane people would say “oh, that should be enough food” but no! I would not be deterred from having the super nachos. Well, they weren’t really called super and they weren’t the best nachos I’ve ever had (Mono Loco is a serious contender in that category) but still, they had to be ordered!
And when you look at this, you’d say to yourself (much as I did at the time) “Hey, where’s the guacamole?”. And you’d be right to ask. This preparation just screams for some creamy avocado. So we ordered a side of it.
At our house we tend to stick to a traditional Guatemalan recipe that calls only for avocado, lemon and salt but I don’t turn my nose when offered a different variation. I may incline in a downward trajectory to facilitate consumption but never turn away!
And for dessert I had to order another favorite of mine: flan. Now, I’ve made flan before but this one was a little different (as eating out tends to be). So overall I’d rate that dinner at about a B+. Not a bad experience by any stretch but, as far as mexican food goes, it wasn’t entirely a slam dunk. Then again, right before closing might not be the best time to get the good stuff I guess.
We also went to El Pueblito, a small mexican store/diner out near F&M. When you walk in they have stands of all kinds of hispanic goodies (not just mexican). While we did actually go looking for corn flour, we wound up eating there as well! Here you can see a prime example of the torta mexicana. It was everything that it should be! The cheese was not overly cheesy, the chorizo was crispy, the milanesa was discrete yet present. Everything was so good I’m half way tempted to run out and get me some more (apparently the kitchen doesn’t close until 10:00 p.m. which I’m finding to be increasingly rare in Lancaster).
Now I like my tacos al pastor pretty much as you see it here. The sweet chunks of pineapple, plenty of onion and cilantro and a good dousing of lemon. I do not, however, care for the use of chicken in tacos al pastor. If that wasn’t chicken, my apologies, but something was definitely not quite right. It’s one of those things that’s hard to put your finger on. Would I avoid ordering it again? No, quite frankly I’d probably go back and order it again. Can you do better? Well, probably.
This was another one of those things that we got excited about. These are all the little snacks that you buy from the street vendors. Apparently they have the tocinitos (which are my addiction) but this time they had run out. I should mention, however, that they said they’d order some so maybe I can still get them next time!
They also had all kinds of great fresh ingredients like Cactus! They have a wall of fridges with all kinds of good stuff as well as freshly baked sweet breads that my wife loves to dunk in her coffee. Bottom line, we’re definitely going back and getting more stuff!