Friday, August 7, 2015

Mex Challenge

Log Item: Finding the best Mexican Dive in the area (naturally, while riding the Diavel)

For the past week, I've been making jaunts here and there looking for the sort of quality dive bar that one would typically find in Sinaloa (yes, where all the drugs come from). Roadside dives in Los Mochis are typically outstanding because the drug kingpins eat there and if the food sucks, the restaurant changes hands. That Darwinian delineator is not present in SoCal (to the same extent). 

There's a lot of Michoacan style food around here, also coming from an area dominated by a narco economy. It's not up to Sinaloa in my eyes, but its good.

Here is my rating scale:


3 pts- If the cook is a grandma and is making tortillas by hand. If that's the case, everything will be made by hand and the tamales will only be served at holiday time or if one of the people who goes to the restaurant has a child that turned one.

2 pts- If the cook speaks no English. 

1 pts- If the cook is fat.


3 pts- If the waitress is from Mexico and speaks no English

3 pts- If the waitress is willing to flirt (for a tip) with an old white man riding an Italian muscle scooter.

-1 pts- If the waitress is white and only speaks English.

-2 pts- If the waitress is fat and slow.


4 pts- A drug kingpin would eat there daily.

3 pts- Food is freshly made from scratch including fresh chips (from freshly made tortillas) and salsa verde.

2 pts- Food is not Americanized

1 pts- Food is properly spiced.

When I drive by the targeted Mexican Dive, there need to be cars present. Beaters preferred. I will still eat there if there are white people eating at the dive, but if my order is taken in English, it's off-putting. Sometimes staff will make a mistake and think that I'm a white guy. 

A lot of Mexicans in SoCal were born here and fear to travel south to Mexico. They pretend to be Mexicans but are really pocho boys. Thus their presence at a dive bar doesn't guarantee authenticity. In fact, their standards of excellence usually suck because they don't go down to Sinaloa or Michoacan. Even the local drug dealers who were born here don't spend enough time in the old country eating good ethnic to know good flan from bad flan.

So far, my SoCal survey is disappointingly low scoring. 

Roadside Mexican food (as stated above) in Sinaloa is excellent. There is always a grandma or two making tortillas fresh and the BBQ is from an animal that you can see turning on the spit. You don't find that here. The people who take your order are impeccably scrubbed and are absolutely polite. The polite factor is almost always lacking in the USA.

Dive bars in Sinaloa or Michoacan always have waitresses that flirt with you in Spanish (partly because they're also whores and want to increase the tip).  They are always pretty. 

I used to ride my Harley Davidson down to Ensenada for the day. I haven't done that with the Diavel yet, and am not inclined to do that just because times have changed since the early 90's.


  1. 5 pts from me if you get yourself into a Mexican stand off! :)

    1. Unlikely. I tend to shoot first and ask questions later. A Mexican stand-off requires the both parties are not prone to immediate violence. Naturally the party not inclined, looses.

  2. Yeah, times indeed have changed when back in the 1970's, you could hitch hike down to Husong's Cantina in Ensenada, have a great time, and hitch hike back. And live to tell about it.

    Now try and do that, and you will never be heard from again.

    Additional points for the dive you are looking for, LL:

    +3 points: chickens free ranging under the restaurant
    +2 points: the weeds in the parking lot will dent your rear differential housing if you don't watch out and run over them.
    +1 point each: per dog sleeping under the porch, ignoring the chickens that are walking around while it sleeps.

    1. Those all constitute sound advice. Free range chickens provide pollo assada as well as eggs for the batter for chili relleno.

    2. P. S. You can't have chicken mole without chickens.

  3. What's with Jules inciting to violence...
    and your bias against muy grande senoritas...
    Think positive,
    saw an ol white guy on a scooter at the drive up window on the local taco truck...

    1. Muy grande is fine. Muy gordo is no bueno/buena.

      I haven't reached out to taco trucks because I'm looking for a dive with good food to hang out at from time to time so as to maintain my Spanish.