VIDEO: ¡Ask a Mexican! On Why Mexicans LOVE Thanksgiving

Categories: Mexi Meals

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The classic...

There was a big controversy last week over an anti-Mexican Indianapolis Star op/ed cartoon that suggested President Obama's immigration "reform" would mean millions of Mexicans would be invading your cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving. They ended up retracting the cartoon and apologizing, but I found a glimmer of hope in the fracas: now, Americans can know in earnest Mexis LOVE Thanksgiving. And that led me to record the following video.


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Dave & Buster's Apologizes for Tweeting "'I Hate Tacos' Said No Juan Ever"

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Photo by the Elmo Monster
WEAK SALSA...

I think I've gone to maybe one Dave & Buster's in my life--at the Block, of course, or the Outlets at Orange or whatever the hell they call themselves now. I hear it's popular for its happy hour and games, but still can't conceive how it's been open all these years (it's one of the few original Block tenants). In fact, I can be honest in saying I think about Dave & Buster's about once every other year, so insignificant it is to me.

But now I have nothing but Dave & Buster's on my mind: as a cowardly pendejo company that doesn't have the huevos to stand by a tired, semi-funny joke that they tweeted yesterday, almost immediately deleted, then apologized for it.


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On the Line: Carlos Anthony of Taco Asylum, Part Two

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Photo by Duc Duong
Let's discuss that fountain of youth

Carlos Anthony's attitude towards his cuisine is deeply rooted in family tradition, something I'm sure his grandmother is proud of. After all, she is the inspiration for many of his ideas. Keeping a positive attitude (and knowing how to precisely soft poach an egg) are two valuable talents Anthony possesses, but today his skill set includes responding to our rapid fire round.

Catch up with our time with Carlos in yesterday's intro over here.
Then continue getting to know him down below. . .

When you're not in the kitchen, what are you doing?
"Not in the kitchen"? I don't know what that means (laughs). I'm never not in the kitchen.


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Where to Buy Tamales in Orange County for the Holidays, 2014 Edition

Categories: Mexi Meals

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This is hilarious. Every year around this time, I get asked where to buy the best tamales in Orange County.

Really, the answers rarely change. Below is the article on the subject I did last year, which itself is mostly a retread of a story I did back in 2007. This time around, a shout-out to the awesome tamales de calabaza over at Taco Maria, as well. And don't bother with El Toro Meat Market's grease pools of masa. Anyhoo, enjoy the recap! And, yes, Virginia: Mexis eat tamales for Thanksgiving, too!

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On the Line: Carlos Anthony of Taco Asylum, Part One

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Photo by Duc Duong
He may be sitting still, but that mind is working overtime.

A change in leadership prompted additional updates in this Costa Mesa kitchen, best known for some crazy stuffing ideas in their tortillas. I drop by the asylum early in the week, as Carlos Anthony divides his expertise between here and a San Diego spot. Hard-working and ambitious, it's no wonder Capricorn Carlos is a perfect fit for the industry.

How do you handle executive chef duties at two establishments?
It's no question that running one kitchen is a large undertaking, let alone two. However, to run any kitchen you need an amazing team. I am lucky enough to have some really talented and driven people working under me. I wouldn't be where I am today without Natalie Tyler and Sam Masucci, my sous chefs, not to mention the countless other line cooks, dishwashers and prep cooks that help steer the ship. I think what we all share in common is a passion for cooking, and that helps drive us through the hardest obstacles.

Tell us about your first restaurant job.
At the tender age of 15, I started tossing pizzas at the local pizza joint. I immediately fell in love with the thrill and pace of working on the line. I felt so comfortable in the kitchen, which is not a big surprise, since I was raised in a Hispanic family, helping my mother and grandmother in the kitchen from a very young age.

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VIDEO: ¡Ask a Mexican! On Why Gabachos Love Burritos

Categories: Mexi Meals

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Photo by Professor Salt
Big, big burrito...

So notice how the biggest fans of burritos aren't Mexicans but gabachos? Breakfast burritos, fish burritos, Mission burritos, Korean burritos--it ain't Mexicans who are turning them into a multi-billion dollar industry but everyone else. I tackle this subject in the latest edition of my ¡Ask a Mexican! videos, filmed at the Weekly Studios in Costa Mexico.


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Illegal Pete's, Colorado Burrito Chain, To Keep its Illegal Name Despite Protests by Chicano Activists

Categories: Mexi Meals

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Latest Illegal Pete's logo...

Over in Colorado, there's been a big brouhaha over a burrito chain called Illegal Pete's trying to open an outpost in Fort Collins. Activists there tried to get the owner to change the name, arguing "Illegal" is offensive to Mexicans, arguing it's as offensive as "Redskins" and "Marco Rubio"; the story got picked up by conservative outlets, leading to all sorts of nastiness. The owner, to his credit, listened to the activists and gave his side of the story.

Then, when it was all over, he kept the name.


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Pepsi Has Its Own Official Mariachi, and It's Not Half Bad!

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Photo courtesy of the Godfather
Dig the logo on their suits...

SO...a friend of mine was recently at the latest store opening for Northgate, the Anaheim-based Latino supermarket for which my dad works as a troquero. They opened their 40th store in Long Beach, off of Cherry Avenue, in an area that's not exactly Latino but which is nevertheless already getting mucho business from African-American and gabacho clientele.

But the most fascinating thing about Northgate's fiesta for the occasion? The appearance of a Pepsi-sponored mariachi, down to the soda gian't ying-yang logo on each musician's charro suit. CRAZY!


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Amor y Tacos: For the Love of Mole

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Photos by Jennifer Fedrizzi
Sabroso!

Have you ever heard of "Mole Tots"? Yes, that's "mole," as in the legendary Mexican sauce made from more ingredients than you have fingers to count, plus tots, as in tater, the cafeteria staple you loved as a kid. Order it at Amor y Tacos in Cerritos, and you're served a fruit basket's worth of the cork-sized potato plugs, fried up crunchy and smothered in queso panela, shredded red onions, cilantro, sour cream, and the mole sauce that chef/owner Thomas Ortega makes with 21 different chiles and spices--a concoction so complex you'd think it less Mexican and more Google algorithm.


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The Naugles Pop-Up Was Even Awesomer Than Expected--And More to Come

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Photo by Brian Feinzimer
Oh, sweet beef burrito...

See our slideshow of the Naugles pop up event right here!

This past Saturday, somewhere deep in Fountain Valley, a mysterious consortium of people brought back from the dead Naugles, the legendary Mexican fast-food chain absorbed by Del Taco in the 1990s and whose mere mention brings back nostalgic hunger pangs for a certain generation of Southern Californians. The pop-up was supposed to start at one in the afternoon, but there was already a line by 12:30, a line that would increase as the hours went on.


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