Bomb carne asada fries at Lalos in Hillcrest. For some reason Mexican food is the best post-drinking/clubbing food. (okay, maybe minus like 80% of that sour cream) – CP (Taken with Instagram)

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Late-night heaven: Tacos & Donuts

I have recently discovered a late-night craving gem, and yes, it is pretty worth driving all 20-25 minutes to Escondido for. 

Mi Rancho Market is actually a little Mexican market stocked with cheap produce and yummy Mexican treats such as those delicious creamy popsicles. In the back, however, you’ll find a couple booths for seating as well as various meats displayed as in a butcher shop, which is also where they sell tacos…but not just any tacos…legit Mexican street tacos, loaded with the meat of your choice from 11 different options (and they had it all, including tongue, brain, and intestines), for just over $1 each. Amazing? Absolutely.

I got the asada (bottom right) and pastor (bottom left). Both meats were very moist and not super oily tasting, and full of flavor. They give you two corn tortillas for each taco as usual, but since there was so much meat, we ended up dividing up the meat between the two tortillas, so it was like having 2 tacos in one. 

tacos

And just in case that picture wasn’t enough, here’s another…

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They don’t add any extra stuff like guac, pico de gallo, or anything. Just plain old cilantro and lettuce, with 3 salsas at the salsa bar along with some limes. With such flavorful meat, you really don’t want the extra stuff anyway.

And if the taco’s don’t get you sold on burning that extra gas to Escondido, the donuts that are right next door will! That’s right…right next door is THE famous Peterson’s Donut Corner

petersonsdonuts

If you can’t tell from the picture below, the donuts are massive. The maple bars at the bottom are easily 1.5x the length of my hand and extremely thick. 

donuts

And of course, that is the one that I got. One of my friends who suggested it told me that their maple bars are comparable to the donuts he’s tried at the famous Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Oregon. 

donuts

Okay so let’s be honest here. In the past week and a half or so, I’ve been to these 2 places twice. The first time we had Peterson’s we had unknowingly gone at the worst possible time, right before they put out the new batch and when their donuts are all old. Thus, my maple bar was super dry and…well…old. We wanted to redeem that experience, so we went back, and this time it tasted how it should.

It was super fluffy and light, and didn’t gush out oil when you took a bite. The maple icing was good, but there was such a thick layer I had to take most of it off. It’s also important to keep in mind my Asian taste buds that can’t really stand the sweetness of American desserts haha…but anyway, i wouldn’t say it was like the best donut I’ve ever had, but I could definitely find myself having a craving for this place at some random time. 

OH, I forgot to mention one of the best things about these two places besides the fact that they are super cheap, have great food, and are right next to eachother…they’re open 24 hours! Tacos & donuts, 24/7?!

Go now…

– CP

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Hello dear foodcult followers,

Please accept my sincere apology for abandoning this blog for the past couple of months. I did not intend to deprive the world of tantalizing shots of delicious morsels, nor did I desire to bring the endless midnight temptations to a hiatus. But alas, let’s leave the past behind and move on to the bright and hopeful future of reaching even greater foodcult glory. 

Now, moving on to my first post in a while…

A week or so ago, some friends and I made the long trek to La Mesa to enjoy some authentic Croatian & Russian food at The Village House Kalina. It had a pretty homey atmosphere, with the interior feeling like a small Russian/Croatian cottagenot that I know what one actually looks like of course, but according to my imagination it did. We were all pretty lost looking at the menu, as none of us had any idea what “Krasniy Lobio” or “Golubtzi” were. Thankfully, our friend John majored in Russian/Soviet studies and studied abroad in Russia for a semester, and was somewhat familiar with many of the menu items. 

A friend and I split the “Chakhokbili”, which, according to the menu, is a “Georgian style chicken casserole” consisting of a “large piece of chicken simmered with onions, tomatoes, basil, mint, fresh herbs, and aromatic spices”. As you can see from the picture below, it was pretty intense-looking, and served with a size of mashed potatoes and some fresh tomato slices and cucumbers. 

village house kalina

It not only looked amazing, it was packed full of flavor. It was SUPER tender, falling apart as we cut into it. All of the different spices came together very nicely, but it was just a tiny bit too salty. However, the mashed potatoes and the raw veggies helped to cut against that. In the end, we were all pretty satisfied our sacrifice of precious gas to come to this place. Whether we will be going back soon…perhaps if we get some intense Russian/Croatian cravings or need to entertain some international students from the area 🙂

– CP

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