March 24, 2009

Santa Ana Taco Crawl

Heyo. Hallejuah it's the weekend! TGIF!!!

Been neglecting the blog lately. Sorry. Just been busy with the same 'ol same, and Cal Poly begins again on Monday...damn. I did pretty darn well last quarter though and am relieved it's over. Anyhoots, let me tell you a little story about a kid who liked tacos.

I planned a taco crawl with some friends a few days ago, where we would hit a few taco trucks around the Santa Ana area, and then reconvene at Cream Pan for dessert. However, after reading some Yelp reviews and finding out this place closed at 4, we decided to go there first, worried that they would have run out of most of their baked specialties by the time we would have gotten there after lunch.

They have various locations around Orange County, but we chose to go to the one in Tustin, as it was only a few miles away from the trucks. As we got closer, I realized that I had seen this place before when going to Honda-Ya. I just didn't really notice it because it was at night.

I wasn't really sure what to expect there, but upon entering, I saw that the place mostly made Western baked goods ranging from loaves of bread to scones and muffins. The strawberry croissant seemed to cause a ruckus on Yelp, so I ordered one of those ($2.20).

I rather enjoyed this. The outside was quite crisp and flaky (prob. due to copious amounts of butter brushing) and sprinkled with powdered sugar. The inside was filled with a generous amount of light cream (but without it getting too messy) and some very fresh strawberries. A friend of mine also got the apple croissant and said it was better than the strawberry, so I'll have to try that one out next time.

Also tried their Tiramisu ($4.50). I've never had Tiramisu before, nor did I even know what it really was. That thin layer of brown that you see on the bottom is the cake, and I wish there had been more. Overall, it was a bit too rich for me, and I shared it with the others, wanting to save room for the tacos. I should have tried their pudding instead.

Also got a Melon Pan to go ($1.50). It reminded me of a pan dulce/Korean anko bread, except that the outside was very soft and the insides fluffy. I don't really remember if tasting like melon though, but by this time, I may have already been gone (more on this in the story below).

I'd come here again. They also seem to serve a variety of lunch items from soup and sandwiches to curry.

602 El Camino Real
Tustin, CA 92780

*Don't panic when you see construction/remodeling going underneath this sign. The bakery is to your right*

Having had our "breakfast," we went right into lunch, hopping onto the 5 towards Santa Ana. Unfortunately, the first truck on the list proved impossible to find, and we ended up having to go to the 2nd one on Mortimer and 4th called Tortas Ahogadas. There was a long line of people just chowing down, which we took to be a good sign. Being the only Asians there, I noticed some people openly stare at us, while others looked on amusedly. I didn't care. I was here for some tacos. Uno al pastor y un carne asada taco con todos por favor!

2 bucks for both. They offered verde and rojo sauces along with a pico de gallo, onions, cilantro, radishes, and jalapenos. I'm not sure if they made the tortillas, but they were very soft and enjoyable. As for the meats, I thought it was just average...nothing really stood out, and I felt disappointed.

What I should have gotten is what everyone seemed to be eating, as well as what the truck was named after: torta ahogada ($5), which literally means drowned sandwich. The meat inside this was carnitas, and instead of having the soft bun, the bread was a bolillo/birote (think kinda like a baguette) topped with pico de gallo. From what I've read upon doing some research, as well as on their business card, this type of sandwich is from Guadalajara, Jalisco in Mexico. The sauce that drenched the torta burned your lips, and this was at a "medium" level that my friend BP requested when asked what level of heat she wanted.

My drink? Coke made from Mexico in a glass bottle ($1). The difference? They use sugar instead of corn syrup. It tasted less sweet than Coke we have here. Honestly, the only way I can put it is it just tasted like it there was sugar added to it. I liked it, but I don't think it's superior to the American Coke, like I've read/heard from others. I like both...

400 Mortimer St.
Santa Ana, CA

At this point, I started feeling slightly ill and sweaty, but wrote it off as being full and hot. It was probably around 80 degrees that day.

Again, the third stop was nowhere to be found, but we hit a plethora (I have no idea how that word even came into my head...I am buzzed as we speak, trying to finish this post up for tonight) of trucks, seeing one on every street...

Everyone was full, and our bellies were threatening to burst at the seams, but we had to continue. The truck was manned by a middle aged man and woman. The man was friendly and patiently answered our questions about what everything was. He then brought out a tray of pork and began breaking pieces of it for us to try. I have to say that the carnitas I had was pretty delicious...and I'm not really a big fan of it either.

I decided on the suadero taco ($1.50) w/ everything: cilantro, onions, and salsa. I asked him what suadero was, and he simply said steak. Upon looking it up online, "it is the is a thin cut of beef from the brisket (breast of the cow). Suadero is noted for having a smooth texture rather than a muscle grain" (from Wikipedia). What I first noticed was how hot the taco was. I don't know if I've ever had a taco come off the grill that fresh before. The meat and salsa again were okay...shoulda gotten the carnitas.

I have to look for the directions later, and I'll try to post a rough address. It's in my car somewhere.

And that was the end. Everyone was full, and we could do no more, although we had planned to go to one more truck. We had scarcely begun to drive back home when I started feeling feverish and nauseous. Being no stranger to food poisoning, I realized what had happened. The culprit? I have no started after the first truck, but I don't know if food poisoning sets that fast. It could have been the few drinks/food I had the night before. A friend of mine who came with me also said he didn't feel too good either, so it may have been from the truck. To be fair though, I have a weaker stomach than most. I ended up telling my sad story to a cold and apathetic toliet at some random gas station and got it all out, just in time to go to work...

Besides that though, it was a fun trip, and I hope to do one again sometime, but in a different location, perhaps L.A.? I'm out folks...have a good one tonight!

4 rah rah rahs:

KirkK said...

Oh man....what a bummer end to what might have been a great day. Hope you're feeling better.

shavedicesundays said...

At least your coke didnt' taste like gasoline like ours did in the Philippines. Then again, we had it on one of those garbage slum sites.

imjustatree said... was a pretty good day besides that. I think I am ready for another round of taco crawls haha...

shavedice - that sounds horrible...gasoline?? aye...

Melissa Good Taste said...

Mexican Coca Cola is bomb diggity!

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