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61. Consommé from Tacos y Birria El Güero

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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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63. Breakfast Taco at Sapphire Laguna

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Photo by The Mexican
Very bueno!

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!

"A breakfast taco at Sapphire?" I mumbled when I saw the breakfast options at Sapphire Laguna, the excellent farm-to-table restaurant of Chef Azmin Ghahreman. The place has always cut the difference between tourist-friendly offerings and Ghahreman's ambitions, and a breakfast taco--a trend slowly trickling in from Texas--seemed out of place here.

The dish came. "That's not a breakfast taco," I groaned. Indeed, if you look at it, it's more like a huarache--two tortillas on which a bed of scrambled eggs, pico de gallo, and cheese sit. And so pretty! I was ready to dismiss it as Laguna pomposity...and then I bit into it.


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The Michelada VW Bus Is as Awesome as It Sounds

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Photos by betovision
From left: Fernando Lopez, some fancy paisa, and Bricia Lopez

So I got married over the weekend, an epic street party in downtown SanTana. Lot of food, lot of family, lot of fun--but the undisputed life of the veritable you-know-what was the MicheMobil, a repurposed VW van that serves micheladas on tap.

Let that register in your alchohol-wanting liver again: An immaculate Kombi. With taps. That serves micheladas, those Mexican beer cocktails that find cerveza spiked with a chingo of stuff that's entering the mainstream.

¡NO MAMES, GUEY!


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Viet-Mex, New Vietnamese-Mexican Restaurant, Opening in Garden Grove

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Gracias, source!
Coming soon...cam on and gracias!

I've heard of Vietnamese restaurants renaming bún as "fideo" and goi cuon as "taquitos" to get Mexican clienteles inside their doors. I've heard Mexican restaurants rename their fideo as pho and burritos as goi cuon to get Mexicans in. Then you have Dos Chinos, who mashes the two cuisines into glorious luxe lonchera desmadre.

But a restaurant that served Mexican AND Vietnamese food, with no fusion but rather cohabitation? I think there was one in SanTana years ago, but OC consumers tend to like their Mexican and Vietnamese food separately. But that just might change with the opening of Viet-Mex, a restaurant about to open up shop on the corner of Harbor Boulevard and Lampson Avenue in Garden Grove.


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72. Tacos Gobernador from Mariscos Los Corales

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Photo by Das Ubergeek
Taco up!

Behold the beginning of 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!

"Shrimp and cheese?" asked my Italian coworker when I suggested Los Corales for lunch. His incredulity aside, the taco gobernador, a specialty of the Mexican states bordering the shrimp-rich Sea of Cortez, is a great thing to order at SanTana's best seafood lonchera, at least when you're not ordering aguachile.


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75. Lengua Tacos at La Chonita

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Photo by Moss Perricone
Tongue 'em up!

Behold the beginning of 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!

Get ready to associate quality Mexican food with gabacho musical theatre kids. Because the taco truck on the corner of Sycamore Street and Civic Center Drive--a favorite for students at the Orange County School of the Arts--serves one of the finest lengua tacos you'll find in OC.


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No. 93, Breakfast Burrito from Calacas

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Photo by The Mexican
A perfect SanTana morning...
Behold the beginning of 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!

Calacas is going a bit of renovation right now, as new partners join husband-wife dynamic duo Rudy and Jackie Cordova to offer their pioneering Chicano cuisine. No clue yet as to what new dishes will emerge, but I'm sure its regulars will accept anything--unless the breakfast burrito is no longer there, at which point desmadre will happen.

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The Definitive Guide to All 15 Burrito Styles Available in the United States

Categories: Mexi Meals

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Photo by Professor Salt
Epic!
This past week, I hosted ESPN's burrito correspondent, Anna Maria Barry Jester of the company's FiveThirtyEight data-mining site. We ate at Athenian Burgers #3 in Buena Park, which is a competitor in FiveThirtyEight's epic Burrito Bracket competition that seeks to find the greatest burrito in America by facing off Yelp stats versus actual critics.

Anna Maria loved her Athenian Polish sausage breakfast burrito, although I worry about it advancing, given it's facing off against the legendary Manny's El Tepeyac AND Al and Bea's. She told me about her burrito adventures so far, from the Deep South to Santa Fe to Ventura and beyond. And as she recounted one cylindrical god (or imposter) after another, it got me thinking of all the different burrito styles in America. While you may think you know them all, you'd be surprised at the amount of burrito diversity in this country, from the Mexican hamburger of Denver to burritos in El Paso that function more as tacos, to the monstrosities of Taco Bell, austerity of a bean-and-cheese, and more. So, without further ado, in no particular order of deliciousness...

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No. 95, Tacos de Cecina from Alebrije's

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Photo by The Mexican
Taco taco taco taco!

Behold the beginning of 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!

Is there anything else we could possibly recommend from Alebrije's, the lonchera we've praised for years for their mighty tacos acorazados, their epic picaditas, gargantuan alambres and many other chilango faves? Absolutely! We recommend the...tacos. Amazingly, I had never tasted a regular taco from Alebrije's until just recently, when owner Albert said I should try his tacos de cecina. "My favorite dish after the acorazado," he asserted, and why would I want to get a regular ol' taco when I'm at the best lonchera in OC? But at his insistence, I took the plunge.

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No. 99, Tres Amigos Burrito from Piaggio on Wheels

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Photo by The Mexican
YUM...

Behold the beginning of 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!

Jose Piaggio is such a master meat man that he's now offering his Argentine-style chorizo for sale--buy some from him directly wherever Piaggio on Wheels may park. Hopefully, he'll start offering a chorizo breakfast burrito soon--in the meanwhile, whenever I'll need my cylindrical god fix, I'll stick with with his Three Amigos burrito.

The nickname doesn't just apply to the fact that Piaggio mixes beef, pork, and shrimp into a gargantuan flour tortilla, throws in white rice, black beans, and secret sauce and calls it a meal. Each meat represents a different part of the Piaggio equation. The skirt steak is puro Argentina; the pork, carnitas. And the luscious, crunchy shrimp reflects his better half's Brazilian heritage.


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