California must have a million little taco shops that all look alike. But once in a while, you find one that is really good. Las Carretas is far above average in food quality. Just look for the big blue sign that simply says, "Mexican Food." (You won't see the name Las Carretas on the building.) From the outside, you would not think this place is special, but it is! Heck, I did not even want to try it initially. Fear not! Walk in the door and order!
They know how to cook food just right--not overcooked. The spicing was excellent, with a variety of flavors, a good use of fresh cilantro, and just the right spiciness. I had a Fish Taco that was perfect and home-made. My Chicken Burrito was amazing--big, juicy, tasty, interesting, and fresh.
This place is pure Mexican. (A compliment from me!) Almost all the customers are local Mexican tradesmen. The cooks are mature Mexicans. The counter people are young Mexican-American women. All are very professional and polite. The language spoken is Spanish--but they graciously switch to English the minute you step up to the counter.
Try Las Carretas, you'll like it!
New York Pizza Delivery (NYPD) is a fun little place that serves great New York style pizza at VERY reasonable prices. The first few times I drove by, I didn't realize that this is a pizza place because they have a big blue sign that just says, "NYPD." They have a lot of fun with the theme. Their uniforms look are NY Police Department blue. They have signs that say things like, "I got your pizza right here." "If you don't like NY attitude, fuggedaboutit!"
The pizza is truly NY-style. Thin crust. Browned cheese. Italian spicing. A little extra olive oil. Just the way New Yorkers like it.
The staff is friendly...mostly 17-year-olds with nice manners and blue uniforms.
I made the mistake of ordering Lasagne one time. I should know better in a place that prides itself on pizza. Stick with the pies.
Besides being excellent, the pizza is a bargain. $2 for a slice. $6 for a medium pie. These guys even deliver for free. (I have no idea how they can afford that.) And they don't rip you off on drinks the way other places do. A small drink (16 oz.) is only $1.00. A 24 oz. is $2.00.
Imagine this....two slices and a drink. You're out the door for just $5. And the pizza is great!
So, if you have the taste for NY-style, check it out!
Ya know...I really shouldn't slam Red Robin. They have good food. Huge portions. Giant drinks. Friendly service. Fun atmosphere.
But this place is determined to over-feed you with the most unhealthy food. It seems like everything is fried. You can't find anything on the menu that comes in a small portion. The Fish and Chips all-you-can-eat special is excellent.
But I try to avoid this place. I don't need to over-eat. And you can't get out the door for less than $12.
I think for most people, Red Robin would be a big success. So, go. Eat Big.
Yep. These is a place any typical beer-drinking guy would like. Big tall frosty mugs of draft beer. Pool tables. TVs all over tuned to sports channels. Rock music. Cute waitresses. Video games. Lots of space. Big ole sandwiches.
The food was reasonably good. The prices about right. The service was flirty. The beers was cold and tasty.
Come on down, guys!
I had read glowing reviews of Mings on some other web-sites and decided that I must try it! Wrong! It was below average.
The Hot and Sour Soup was more like a thick brown broth. It lacked vegetables, tofu, or scallions. The theme was repeated with the Fried Rice. It didn't have a speck of meat, carrots, corn, scallions, or anything. It was just a pile of rice with brown color. The fried shrimp and fried wonton were like mummified remains. (See my photos! It's sad!)
The interior was pleasant enough. The service was okay. The prices were reasonable. But the food was so poor that I did not even take home the left-overs!
My good friend quipped that it was like the terrible Chinese food that his mid-western ex-wife used to cook.
It's a shame, too. I am sure these are nice people who work hard at their craft. But the food isn't any good.
Try China Wok on Washington Avenue in Palm Desert. They know how to cook great food!
Burger Time is a locally-owned alternative to the big franchises. They serve up similar food to the big guys -- Burgers, fries, and burritos. Burger Time also serves a fair breakfast.
But the food disappointed me. It tasted like food that had been cooked earlier, and then re-heated or microwaved. It lacked natural juciness, tenderness, and fresh flavor.
Quite frankly, the Burger King that is 200 feet away serves better burgers and fries.
Add to that...The staff isn't all that swift. The china is dingy. What can I say?
If you want to support local busines, go to Burger Time. If you want good food, then go to Goody's on Washington Avenue or the Burger King right nearby.
McDini's was once a downtown San Diego tradition for Corned Beef. Years ago, they re-located in a transitional neighborhood in National City that is full of Mexicans, Koreans, Filipinos, and off-duty sailors. But McDini's remains loyal to the old traditions.
McDini's serves up excellent Corned Beef -- whether as sandwiches or dinners. The service is fun and upbeat. They bring you the sides without asking. The prices are reasonable. The beer is on tap.
The restaurant itself is a little weird. They have a well-used bar, huge game areas, TVs blaring sports, and cavernous booths for visiting sailors to come and get drunk.
Go figure. Good Corned Beef in the middle of National City mayhem. Whodathunkit?
Most Del Tacos are the same. Cheap food. Average in every other way. This one is about on par, except for one thing. It attracts a nice clientelle, has lovely sunlight coming in, and is fairly clean. It actually makes it pleasant to linger over a meal.
Del Tacos are usually about the same. But this one is worse than the average. It is located at what is essentially a truck stop. There are very few other places to eat.
This particular Del Taco is crowded. The bathrooms are over-used. The access to the road is inconvenient. The food is only average. The service is slow.
Eat here only if you can't hold on long enough to reach another town for a decent meal.
Del Tacos are pretty much the same everywhere. At least this one is right by the I-10 ramp at Washington.
This particular Del Taco is a little disorganized. The food seems to come up slowly, and I sometimes wonder if they know what they are doing. Cleanliness is only average.
But parking and highway access is very easy. And the prices are Del Taco low.