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Dennis recently asked if I posted anything for our blogiversary! Hold up... it's already been 12 years? Who even writes for that long? Coincidentally, my fellow food crawl buddies. I had suggested getting together for eats and CC of Pink Candles at Ridgemont High took the lead in planning a food crawl around the Chula Vista (South Bay) area. Mary and Jake of This Tasty Life completed our group of four. Those two blogs are only a couple months older than mine! My last food crawl was Burger Week so I'm eager to share my latest adventure! Carry on!
Aqui es Texcoco
Address: 1043 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA 91911
Our first, bright and early stop was Aqui es Texcoco around 9am. This restaurant has participated in Tacotopia multiple times so I'm familiar with their prized lamb taco. Finally, I was INSIDE their storefront!
We started with rolled potato tacos, packed with potatoey goodness, and softer shells that didn't poke my mouth. Our favorite taco was the cabeza which was tender, flavorful, and a bit of that softer fatty delight. Also on our plates was the famous lamb taco which I topped with this delicious Chipotle type sauce. It had a hint of spice that quickly faded away so I handled that well! Last was this squishy squash blossom taco, not quite my favorite but a really unique spin on cheesy vegetables.
Otay Farms Market
Address: 1716 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA 91911
Not far down the road was our next stop, Otay Farms, where I picked up some freshly made tortillas! They looked amazeballs (and tasted that way too)! In the kitchen area, there was this round surface that spun and is where they cook them! CC mentioned that it was best to separate the hot tortillas with wax paper for easier access later! Thanks for the tips!
Address: 2260 Main St, Chula Vista, CA 91911
I felt like tamales so CC routed us to the nearby Tamales Ancira. Another hole in the wall in a tiny plaza but damn if I wasn't impressed by this spot! We ordered four different hot and fresh tamales and split into fours. My favorite was picadillo (beef and potatoes), like a savory shepherd pie rolled in masa. How incredibly soft that masa was! I also enjoyed the shredded beef though the pork version had a little more kick to it. Last, the bean and cheese seemed to be enjoyed by my company but I still preferred the meats! The shop had a frozen tamale sale priced at $7 for half dozen or $12 for a dozen. I purchased 12 to take home in my to-go freezer bag.
Address: 536 13th St Suite 6, Imperial Beach, CA 91932
This building looked oddly familiar. I had stopped by here once before, after riding 7 miles down Silver Strand from Coronado Island. After catching my breath along the wall, it was off to Coronado again (tailwind style). This easy breezy day, the ladies split a 4 cup sampler (only $4) which came out in a California shaped holder! I'm not a coffe drinker but I thought... why not... Cold brew is more palatable plus the others could finish off the rest. The lightest sample, Rising Tide, was the most pleasant to me but you won't see me drinking coffee any time soon! I'm almost worried that caffeine would make me crazy! The second, cloudier one was CC's favorite while the third had the most fruity appeal. The last dark sample was the most bitter and nobody was a fan. Oh well, can't win them all.
We passed by a cool sealife mural on our way to the next spot!
Deb's Cookie Jar Cafe
Address: 1002 Palm Ave, Imperial Beach, CA 91932
What a great business name! I saw CC pull out an Entertainment Book coupon which cut the cost to $9 for a dozen cookies! Each girl chose four cookies. I knew Dennis would be interested in the oatmeal raisin, which unsurprisingly ended up our absolute favorite! The butter walnut, OREO chocolate chip, and peanut butter cookies were much sweeter: I do love me a soft peanut butter cookie though.
There was a quick stop at Stardust for donuts too, though I mostly remember reading "__ESH __NUTS" (missing first two letters) and chasing a $1 bill on a very windy day. Shenanigans. =)
TJ Tortas & Tacos
Address: 1850 Coronado Ave Suite 401, San Diego, CA 92154
We were headed to one of CC's mariscos picks but found this restaurant there instead. It had been open several months and we decided to give it a go. My favorite was the al pastor taco, sweet pork cubes and lots of guac. The fish taco had a tiny battered fish while the birria was a bit dry overall. The oaxaca torta was their most popular item and I was digging the chicken and stringy cheese inside!
Address: 1832 Coronado Ave, San Diego, CA 92154
By this time, it was past 1pm (time flies when you're having fun) so we had just enough time to round the corner for some dessert. I selected mango initially but after noticing a chocolate covered pop in the corner, I totally changed my mind! This Banana Dip was higher priced at $3, compared to fruit ones at $1.65 and $1.75. The banana flavored ice cream was a mellow compliment to the chocolate shell and coconut shreds and nuts. I made it through 3/4 before calling it quits. Too full.
After a morning of exploring new spots, I was smiling ear to ear. Good company, good food, and good day! See you next time, Mary, Jake and CC!
*Added* Link Love! Mary's writeup and CC's writeup part one, two and three. I also didn't realize this was considered South Bay... How many places have you wandered to while exploring a new area?