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

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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Naugles, Legendary Mexican Food Chain, Making a Comeback NEXT WEEK in Fountain Valley!

Categories: Mexi Meals

Thumbnail image for naugles_hot_sauce.jpg
Photo by The Mexican
Naugles' legendary hot sauce

No long-gone Southern California fast-food chain seems to inspire more wistful memories than Naugles, the Mexican-American company that closed down in the 1980s after a merger with Del Taco. I wasn't around back then to taste it, but I'm well aware of its influence, as documented in my Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America

As I reported last year, a group of Naugles activists (yes, they exist) are trying to bring back Naugles--never mind that Del Taco still owns the rights to the name. They've gone so far as to offer pop-up nights of chain standards like bun tacos (hamburger with taco meat), bean-and-cheese burritos, and taco sauce, all prepared with the original Naugles recipes. The first one, held in Lancaster this summer, was such a raging success that a second one is being held next Friday, October 11, in Fountain Valley.

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Is a $12 Taco Worth It? Yes and No, Or: How to Fight Taco Inflation

Photo by The Mexican
Ruben's Tacos y Mulitas' tacos? Worth it

Recently, a new-ish Mexican restaurant in San Francisco (surprisingly NOT in the ever-gentrifying Mission District) started a firestorm for two distinct reasons--one indefensible, the other almost defensible. They initially called themselves Bandidos, which got yaktivists rightfully up in arms (ironically enough) over the stereotypical name. But what got people even más encabronados was that Bandidos planned to charge $12 for two tacos--oh, did that one piss people off, especially my pal, Bordertown colleague, and fellow zacatecano Lalo Alcaraz (check out this comic strip of his, then subscribe to his Twitter feed and LAUGH).

Sure, there was outrage that hipsters would dare charge other people that much money for tacos that don't seem particularly remarkable (more on that in a bit). But I think most folks were offended at the very idea that tacos could be expensive, because mainstream thought has deemed that Mexican food should always be cheap and affordable as a reflection of Mexicans, who of course are universally humble and poor. A college professor friend of mine said as much when he posted on Facebook that folks should "support MEXICAN establishments that serve the people at prices made for the people. In other words, if regular gente are priced out, avoid."

My response: "At this point, that's virtually every restaurant except Del Taco...$1 for a taco? TOO MUCH."

And that's why, gentle cabrones, $12 for two tacos is not just not unreasonable--it's the future, unless we do something about it.

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Cal State Fullerton Sorority Dinged for "Taco Tuesday" Event Involving Sombreros, Cholo-Wear

Is the red cup part of the Mexi costume?
Not since 'Seniores and Señoritas' day at Canyon High School in 2012 had there been Mexi mocking at a school sanctioned event in OC, but it happened again. Back in August, the sisters of Cal State Fullerton sorority Alpha Delta Pi (ADPi) held a Taco Tuesday recruitment party that went horribly wrong. As the Daily Titan reported earlier this week, the majority of Alphies dressed up as "Mexicans": sarapes, sombreros, and chola clothes, all things they'd never dare do down the street in Tokers Town!

"You can have a Taco Tuesday without being racist," says C@SA (Chicana Chicano Studies Alliance) Co-Chair Martha Contreras in the common-sense line of the century. "Just serve tacos."

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The 10 Most Important Tacos in Taco History

Categories: Mexi Meals

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Photo by The Mexican
Tacos, tacos, tacos!

This week marks the beginning of Hispanic Latino Chicano Brown People Heritage Month, a time where corporations outdo each other in pandering for pesos. We here at the Weeklyare not immune to such cheap points--hell, we pander all year! So in the spirit of that, behold a listicle celebrating taco history, specifically the 10 most important tacos of all time. Why tacos? Because it's the 100th anniversary of the taco's official debut in the United States, as you'll soon find out...

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Museum of Ventura County Hosts Exhibit to Counter Chipotle's Cup-Essay Fiasco

Categories: Mexi Meals

Submit, por favor!

I've spoken twice at the Museum of Ventura County, so I can easily say it's hipper than your usual ossified collection of crap. But I didn't know how hip until head curator Anna Bermudez let me know that they're hosting an exhibit that's a direct response to Chipotle's weak-salsa move earlier this summer to have essays on their soda cups by famous authors...none of which were Latinos.

Called "Cuento Cups: Because Our Stories Matter" and co-produced with chingona author Michelle Serros, it will not only feature the contributions of Latino authors and writers but YOU, if you are so inspired.

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ESPN's Data Geeks Find America's Best Burrito! And the Winner Is...

Categories: Mexi Meals

Photo by Anna Maria Barry-Jester
La Taqueria's first-round score--no argument from me!

Earlier this year, I was invited by data wizard Nate Silver to participate in their search for the best burrito in America in his epic Burrito Bracket. Silver, of course, has his own ESPN vertical over at FiveThirtyEight, where they crunch data to delightful results, and I was flown into a secret room in New York City along with restaurant chingónDavid Chang, Mexican-food expert Jeffrey Pilcher, and Eater food critic Bill Addison.

Silver brought us in to be the human voices of reason to his beloved data, which used Yelp scores to determine what were the best burritos in America. He thought that crowd-sourced data would be more accurate than not in determining whether a burrito was great. Us humans, on the other hand, knew from first-hand experience that you really can't trust crazy Yelp kids. As a result, we recommended our personal favorite choices to FiveThirtyEight burrito correspondent Anna Maria Barry-Jester. Eventually, whittled down a list to 64 burritos that would face each other off, March Madness style, and off she went.

After months of eating, Anna Maria found a winner. And it is...

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Taco Maria Extending Hours To Brunch And Late Nights

Categories: Mexi Meals

Anne Marie Panoringan

If you know me, then you know that the way to my heart is through my favorite meal. So when I learned that Carlos Salgado was not only extending hours, but including Sunday brunch, I made time to visit their first service. While Edwin is the official restaurant reviewer, I have no problem admitting that my meal was epic. Okay, and a bit overindulgent.

Late-night tacos occur on Tuesdays and Wednesdays inside The OC Mix. I'll go over the details, but the bulk of this post will be brunch-related.

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Taco Asylum Undergoes Menu Makeover

Categories: Mexi Meals

Anne Marie Panoringan
Watch that spill

Who is well-spoken, has worked for both Thomas Keller in Napa and Brian Malarkey in San Diego and is changing things up in Costa Mesa? That would be one Carlos Anthony at Taco Asylum. If you didn't know that the asylum broke off from the Haven Collective (Haven Gastropub and Provisions Market in Old Towne Orange), now you do. Owner Ace Patel and his tight-knit team have reworked the menu and are ready to rock and roll, kicking off their newest creations last week.

The most obvious changes to the menu are price and selection. Six-inch tortillas, crammed with meaty classics like carnitas or vegetarian with roasted peppers and black beans start at $3.75. The most expensive bites are a shrimp duo, either pad thai or wasabi style for $6.75. Hover over your metal serving tray, since tasty morsels will spill out (or suffer the consequences, like my dress did).

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61. Consommé from Tacos y Birria El Güero

Photo by The Mexican
Drink up, Part Two!

Behold our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

Let's go to the review I wrote of this place earlier this year, shall we? Let's shall!

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