Sunday, August 22, 2010

back to burrito blogging

generally mr loke stroke is one who dishes out an honest (maybe at times biased) critique of taco shops. i have lived in north county san diego my whole life, and know my way up and down the coast- and all the taco shops peppered throughout. i have a couple pretty basic rules about mexican food-

1.) i like to taste the flavor of the food, not just the hot sauce that adorns it

2.) mexican restaurants are not authentic nor have tasty food- taco shops hold the best grub

my experience this weekend broke my 2nd cardinal rule. i feasted on one of the best traditional platos i have ever had at a little place called- Casa de Bandini. some of you SD natives may remember this restaurant from old town-
it up and moved to north county in the Forum shops of Carlsbad/Encinitas. i have been to this restaurant many times since its new location, and have never once been disappointed. usually i get the Carnitas tacos plate, or "Tres Amigos" which consists of 3 tacos- 1 carne asada, 1 Pollo Asado, & 1 Carnitas- both of these keep the loke stroke real happy, real full and left on a good mex food buzz for a couple days.

last night i was in the mood for something different- more "tradicional" as they i studied the menu carefully, my eyes kept wandering back to "Arroz con Pollo" so i took it as a sign- and went with my gut, quite literally. before getting my food, i was in the mood for a smoothie-type drink and treated my self to a "flamingo"- pineapple, coconut, strawberry, and orange juice concoction that was perfect for a warm summer night. imagine a strawberry pina colada with a hint of orange too- freakin amazing. my waiter poked a jab at me as he questioned my order of a "pink flamingo" as he called it. he could have called me queer as a 3 dollar bill, that flamingo was off the hook.

the arroz con pollo was exactly what i was looking for. the chicken was cooked in a mixture of tomatoes, bell peppers and onions- mild but rich flavors that blended perfectly. the chicken nestled into a bed of rice-that was moist and had some type of sauce- not sure what it was but it was perfect. a little spice, some sweetness and some corn and carrots (minimal) up in the mix. on the side i had fresh, warm, and chewy hand-made flour tortillas to dip and wrap the goods up in. a side of black beans in a crispy corn tortilla shell completed the meal.

the plato tradicional was incredible, all flavors present, none too dominating. i made two of my own special burritos with the tortillas- each bite better than the one before it. the chicken was tender and juicy. the slight crunch and sweetness of the sauteed onions and peppers provided a great accent to the flavor. the black beans and rice made the burritos substantial and fulfilling. the portion size was generous; if i was watching my girlish figure, i wouldn't have eaten the whole thing- but it was too good to retire the fork. i completely succumbed to the plate. my palette was in ecstasy between the custom burritos, the flamingo and the chips and salsa. if you have ever doubted mexican restaurants like i do- look no further than Casa de Bandini. i am still on that good mex buzz.