Things I’ve Written This Week - An Illustrated History of Ramen [First We Feast] Delicious Meats On Sticks In Los Angeles [KCET] Best Taco Joints in Los Angeles [Food Network]
Sunday, September 25, 2011
El Tecolote Mocorito, Mexicali, B.C.-Whooooo Doesn't Love Carne Asada in Mexicali?
If carne asada is your thing, Mexicali is the place to be. There are so many great taquerias serving the Mexicali style of carne asada. You will be directed to this stand and that stand by opinionated cachanillas(people from Mexicali), who will not only direct you to their favorite, but will completely dismiss the taqueria you were turned on to by the last Mexicali native you spoke with.
What's the solution? Try 'em all! There's no shortage of top notch carne asada in this border town. Let your instincts and your hunger guide your choices when it come to street food.
Steak is part of the 3 food groups of the cachanilla diet: tacos, Chinese food, and carne asada. It's a religion here.
Gran Ocotlan is one of the local heavyweights. Hell, even a chain like Asadero Las Brasas will blow away anything we have north of the border.But the long and steady line of customers at Asadero Tecolote Mocorito said it all. This place is a local favorite, and the original Tecolote has been drawing a huge crowd for the last 20 years.The branch I visited, El Tecolote Mocorito operated by brothers J. Antonio and Norbeto Lopez located on Rio Mocorito is only 4 years old.
Late at night the line is constant, and the tables are full. No where to sit? That's OK, just grab a foot of counter space somewhere. The only requirement for enjoying excellent tacos is that they be consumed immediately.
El Tecolote has a full team of taqueros, separate guys for al pastor and asada; other taqueros to assemble other style of tacos. It's a traditional and professional taqueria setup.
Molcajetes loaded with colorful salsas are lined up on the counter in front of the kitchen: roasted salsas, dry chili salsas, fresh chili salsas, and even a mango salsa. Baja California's signature creamy guacamole is a must on all your tacos.
Barbeque chicken tacos sound straight out of Spago's, but this is a Mexicali exclusive. I had maintained that chicken tacos didn't exist in Mexico as a grilled meat option until I took a look at the kitchen. There are rotisserie chickens and barbeque chickens that are served with tortillas all over Mexico,but not chicken tacos. I always wondered why the boys at Mexicali Taco Co. served chicken. It's common in LA for flat top grilled chicken to be served at Mexican-American taco trucks, but those are terrible.
The chicken at El Tecolote is moist with a tangy skin. Give these a try; they're tasty and true Mexicali originals. Practically all carne asada haunts have barbequed chicken in Mexicali.
Cachanillas love them some vampiros, too. Vampiros(vampire tacos) are a style of taco coming from the numerous Sinaloan taqueros in Baja California. The largest group of Mexican migrants in Baja are from Sinaloa. That means great tacos and beautiful women.
A tortilla is warmed on the grill until it dries and hardens into a tostada. Melted cheese and carne asada are set atop the tortilla, and the finishing condiments are applied to satisfy your own personal taste.
The carne asada taco gets its flavor and texture from a blend of three cuts of steak: loin, tri-tip, and top sirloin.
The Mexicali taqueros cut their meat in larger cubes than in Tijuana. El Tecolote Mocorito is a perfect place to get to know carne asada the Mexicali way.
I'm not sure why they have an owl as their mascot, but I think perhaps because the eternal question in Mexicali is, "Whooo wants to go get some carne asada tonight?" The answer is always yes. Cachanillas will never tire of one of their favorite pastimes--eating carne asada tacos--and it's so good, neither will you.
Asadero Tecolote Mocorito
Rio Mocorito No. 800 at Rep. de Ecuador