Super Cocina Super Post! (con Pics)
There is a Spanish proverb "Panza llena, corazón contento," which says something to the effect of: Full Stomach, Happy Heart.
I made it down today with my sister to the holy grail of San Diego Mexican restaurants, Super Cocina on University. And I have some of the first pics to grace chowhound of this fabled restaurant!
Reaction from my sister upon seeing the place: "You are taking me here?!?!"
My sister leaving SC: Smile from Ear to Ear!
We entered to the restaurant of small late morning crowd of diners. Standing behind the steam table was Fernando, the owner, whom I had met on previous occasions.
He is really one of the nicest individuals I have met on my chowhounding adventures. This time we got into a long conversation regarding the state of Chiapas, archeaology in his hometown (DF) , Mayans and Spanish Colonial history -all topics which he shares a similar passion for.
He really halped out my hesitant sister who was won over by his gracious offerings of samples. You should have seen my sister's eyes lite up in reaction to these floods of new flavors never experienced before.
I let my dishes up to Fernando a la omakase (is their a spanish term for this - I wonder).
He chose Puerco Enchilado, Enchilanda verde, Pollo Pibil, and Birria de chivo.
My sister is a sucker for carnitas so she told Fernando to create a plate with that for sure.
Along with the carnitas, she recived Mole Poblano, and Puerco enchilado which she raved about upon sampling.
This was a tremendous amount of food. It was soo delicious we were talking about it all day we spent in San Diego.
I liked everything on my plate with the exception of the enchilada - ok but nothing special.
I first made Birria tacos - dipping them in the lucious consomme to soak up all of the heady gamey-chile-unctousness. Lovely with the cilantro and onion.
The Puerco Enchilado gave me some sort of capiscian high that I sometimes get when eating kimchi. It makes you feel good - blood begins to rush. Tender, melting pork in an assertive sauce - whats not to like. My sister polished hers off in no time - she loves spicy.
I had never had Pollo Pibil before and was amazed by the brightness and smoothness of the achiote sauce. This is a sexy, nuanced dish fo sure.
Dining Diva has already talked about the carnitas and I'm loving the mole served here.
OK - Viva la comida casera a Super Cocina y Vamanos a Comer!
Uploaded some pictures of the latest Super Cocina Experience.
This place is my favorite restaurant - I enjoy everything about it: the nice samples, the fact that you can scope out everything, that there is always a new dish or two, the nice staff, the tortillas (which are abc, but tender) , the owner, the yellow walls (lol), the prices etc.
This time I was not ravenous like I usually am in anticipation of my meal at SC. So, I had a calabacitas taco which -while simple- was delicious and comforting. Mexican calabaza squash chunks soaked up sauce with the roasted peeled tomatoes and corn. My only complaint was that I wish that there was some sort of chile presence in the backround but I have no idea if that is traditional or not.
I also had the Papas empanada, which looked and tasted immaculate. Greaseless exterior, perfect crunch-tender ratio in the dough, and an enveloped slightly chile-tinged and tinted mashed potato filling and air pocket. Icing: Drizziling of Crema and thin cabbage slaw, nice.
This was very good with the salsa.
Something interesting also of note - Josh pointed out to me that atop the Carnitas were several pieces of whole fried canela- mexican cinnamon. I have never seen this before and I am curious as to whether it is a purely superficial garnish, or that it indeed imparts nuanced flavor, and if this is a regional variation (or whim of a cook).
You are right on the money, Eat Nopal with the use of 'pan' originating from the Portuguese. As you most likely know, there was a presence of Missionaries from Portugal in the 16th century in Japan (formest among them: St. Francis Xavier).
Other great examples here (great person who put this together for Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_words_of_Portuguese_origin
Famous as well is 'tempura' and 'castella' cake (derivation of castile/ see cgfan's beautiful flickr photos: http://flickr.com/photos/akatayama/se... ) .
I lived in and around San Diego/North county for 10 years. Now that I'm back in snowbirdistan I can only make one comment on your post:
I hate you :) !
How I miss Los Panchos, Robertos, Albertos, Robertitos, and my all time favorite, El Indio. It's the first stop we make when leaving the airport on the way to TJ's for Two Buck Chucks.