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El Sabor de Acapulco [Cuisine of Guerrero] Chula Recon

What a great find!

The month old restaurant is owned by a young couple from the Mexican state of Guerrero. They are super friendly.

I love the restaurants daily specialities - many rare dishes from this intriguing part of Mexico.

Pescado a la Talla, Guerrean Sopes - Pikaditas, Red Mole in the style of the state, Ceviche in the style of Acapulco, Salpicon with white rice. cecina, pancita, albondigas en caldillo y chipotle, pozole verde and white with botana, barbacoa, cochinita pibil, entomotadas, enmoladas. Queso Fundido with chorizo or mushrooms, huaraches.

El Sabor de Acapulco
686 Broadway
CV

Checking out this place next.

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  1. I need to get to SD again!

    1. Between you and gas prices I'm just dying...Chula Juana is so hard on the gas but the temptations you're dangling get me all het up.

      Dunno, maybe buy a second home down there or something...

      1. Damn, this place makes me so happy to live in San Diego. I ate here for lunch and I absolutely consider it on the forefront of Mexican regional cuisine starting to appear in our city.

        Will report when I have more time later this day.

        Buy that house.

        1. Nice find KR,
          How late are they open for dinner?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Captain Jack

            Capt. --
            I believe only till 8:30 - 9pm.

          2. I had lunch here today. Everything is homemade by the husband and wife team who are from the city of Acapulco in Guerrero. I love this place.

            The owners have lived in San Diego for at least 10 years, so Iasked why they decided to open a restaurant. Antonio responded that in all the places they have lived in San Diego people walking by their homes would ask about the beautiful scents of Guerrean cuisine emanating from the window of their kitchen. wow.

            The small restaurant is cozy and you can see the wife cooking away in the kitchen. There is even a small patio in the back.

            Today I ordered an horchata to drink. Its better than the version over at DVs. Smooth and artfully specked with pieces of Canela. Like the Jamaica I was also offered kindly a sample of, it was just perfectly undersweetened. They understand Aguas Frescas. Yesterdays offering was Canteloupe water.

            First to Arrive were two salsas. The one on the left is undoubtably one of the most complex salsas available in San Diegos mexican scene. The deep orange sauce contained chile costenhos, pumpkin seeds, and guajes. So good and spicy! I was even impressed by the well chopped pico de gallo which was hinging on salsa mexicana.

            I ordered the Picaditas - which are basically Guerrean sopes. I got one with chicken and the other with chorizo and potato. Man, ths symphony of flavors on the chorizo sope - between the spicy sausage and the cooling crema atop a warm corn cake- I was in heaven!

            The chicken was excellent with the fine grated queso enchilado and topped with her unique pickled chipotle. The pickled dried chipotle blew me away - it was slightly sweet due to the inclusion of piloncillo.

            The beans are tops and the rice moist and toothsome.

            Wonderful, hardworking couple whose passion for the food of their homeland shines through. They deserve our support. They are breaking ground by not falling for the california burrito trap.

             
             
             
             
            6 Replies
            1. re: kare_raisu

              Apologize for the blurry cell-camera shots. I will try to upload my digital soon.
              1st are the salsas
              2nd are the pikaditas
              3rd house pickled dried chipotle
              4th homemade eschabeche (carrots, jalapeno and cambray onions)

              1. re: kare_raisu

                Awesome KR! I die for chorizo sopes and your killing me.

                1. re: Masa Assassin

                  They were good!
                  Here is the entrance

                   
                  1. re: kare_raisu

                    Ya no puedo abrir tus posts. Tanto que sufro.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      Por que? I should envy all of your life's travels

                      1. re: kare_raisu

                        I love Mexican food, have to go to Mexico or fix it myself to have any.

              2. http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:...

                According to this site some of the regional specialties that peak my interest are:
                - octupus in its own ink
                - stuffed pig? lechon relleno? Pork filled with plantain, raisins, apples, pineapple, potatoes and carrots
                - fish tamales with hierba santa
                - Pescadillas - tortillas filled with fish olives and spices
                - petaquilla - a mezcal with orange juice and cinnamon!

                http://www.arqueomex.com/S8N4GVesp82....
                This site mentions:
                - Mole verde served with tamales nejos "blank tamales" or cesina
                - Elopozole a pozole variant made in certain places at special times of the year with fresh corn
                - ground grasshopper and egg fritters in salsa!
                - Plum salsa - sweet and spicy
                - Little chalupas with stewed pork and sweet chipotle
                - A cold cut plate dressed with a honey of piloncillo [wow

                ]

                & check out this page: http://www.mexicanmercados.com/food/s...
                the pork in a plum and green chile sauce sounds so good

                7 Replies
                1. re: kare_raisu

                  http://coyuca.googlepages.com/comidat...

                  From the Costa Grande of Acapulco we have:
                  - Beans cooked with coconut milk and served with salsa!
                  - Pescadillas - fish empanadas
                  - Tamales nejos

                  1. re: kare_raisu

                    Guinatan - which sounds similar to dinguan - another phillipino cultural exchange: dried fish cooked in coconut milk!

                    http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:...

                    1. re: kare_raisu

                      The filipino dish, dinagu-an, is a blood and guts dish, not dried fish and coconut milk. Guinatan in the Philippines is a dessert.

                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                        Just like we see naming conventions get blurred, obscured & sometimes complete screwed up for Mexican dishes in the U.S., likewise its normal that would happen in Mexico as well. Even if the names don't represent the same things anymore... the etymology is sound and there is no historical doubt that Western Mexico from Nayarit down to Oaxaca has deep rooted Filipino influences dating back to the relatively short lived but prolific Asian slave trade... its no coincidence that you can still find some people in that area that could easily pass for Pacific Islanders.

                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                          Thanks, should I mention I know what dinaguan is?

                          1. re: kare_raisu

                            raisu-san, I humbly respect your food knowledge and deeply appreciate your rich, tantalizing posts.

                          2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                            Guinataan is also the name for any dish cooked in coconut milk in southern Luzon...like in Bicol

                    2. Pescado a la Talla: The dish of Acapulco:
                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/madresel...

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: kare_raisu

                        You are a true sleuth, bubba! You make me hungry even after I eat dinner.
                        I'm truly loving South Bay these days, after a long, LONG, dry spell, we finally don't have to drive 20 miles to get a decent dinner.
                        I love your posts and descriptions. I love the plum addition, it smacks of Asia, doesn't it? Get over to the east side of Mexico and we get tropical feasts in addition to the agua frescas. Does anyone know if Mames are eaten any way but out of hand? and do I love sapotes! It seems both of these luscious fruits would make interesting desserts. Anyone know?
                        Sam Fuji...should be ashamed of himself. We should all get to go where he's been! I want to have dinner at his house.

                        1. re: P Macias

                          You are all invited!!

                          1. re: P Macias

                            Mamey... are you kidding me... from licuados & ice cream to Mole de Pixtli... the use of Mamey is quite extensive in more elaborate dishes.

                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                              I want to know more about the mames. I am not a big dessert person but I do like mame and sapote. I have tasted the licuado mame but what is Mole de Pixtli? and is sapote used the same way? Can you get it in the US?

                              1. re: P Macias

                                Mole de Pixtli is one of THE most incredible dishes of Mexican kitchen.... it is made primarily from the Mamey seed which is dried & worked a bit each day for an entire week before its at a point it can be used... preserved Mamey (whether in Almibar, Candied or Dried is also used in the sauce).

                                Regarding sapote... I've read about a Mole with the various varieties of sapote (somewhat akin to a Manchamanteles) that is a speciality in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.... but I've never had it.

                                1. re: P Macias

                                  Pat, I've seen zapote blanco at the Hillcrest farmers market on occasion. I have yet to see zapote negro in SD (but I also haven't looked that extensively yet), it is soooooo good.

                          2. Great rec, Alex. Went there for lunch today, and got the pescado a la talla. I misunderstood what I was asked on the phone, so wound up with an entire grilled tilapia, skin, head, tail, and all. I was there a little early for pickup, so watched them cook the fish. They kept ladling the salsa on it as it grilled, the smell was making me very hungry.

                            While I waited, I was given samples of both their homemade jamaica, and the pozole verde. Both were delicious.

                            When the fish was ready, he showed it to me as you see it in the photo. I got very excited to return to the office and dig in.

                            It was great - tender, flaky, beautifully cooked. The sauce was really flavorful, and I sampled their salsa verde, along with the guajillo-pumpkin seed one you mentioned. They threw in some of the pickled chipotles, which were amazing as well.

                            I will definitely be going back to this place.

                            Photo of the fish:
                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/joshthew...

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Josh

                              Nice pics... it looks they might be sourcing the Tilapia from Baja instead of the frozen Chinese / Thai imports most restaurants use. If you saw the raw fish did it look like the one in the following link:

                              http://www.centraldecarnes.com.mx/ima...

                              That link is the most common Tilapia off Mexican waters... but when you go south you start seeing some Silver fishes with Red edged fins... that is what you would get in Acapulco etc., in either case they are a bit different than the Southeast Asian imports... the shape of the one on the grill (particularly around the eyes & mouth) seems more like the Mexican version.

                              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                Eat, I know you know this, but tilapia are fresh water and mostly farmed; and most of those farmed around the globe are tilapia roja as in your photo. The black Nile tilapia are black to grey, sometimes with black fins edged in red, with a long, continuous dorsal fin. Commercial "sport fishing" lakes here stock tilapia roja. I fish for tilapia negra out on one of the big ponds out on our research station fields.

                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                  Thanks Sam for putting the name.... Black Nile tilapia seems to be what gets to the U.S. most offen... because of its farming techniques it has a muddy flavor.

                                  However, I should note... Tilapia like Perch, Salmon & Snapper can live in either fresh or salt water... and in Mexico it is most common to eat wild caught (Mexico really only seems to farm Shrimp & Oysters etc).

                                  What I am not sure... in Mexico Tilapia is just usually referred to as Mojarra... but I believe Mojarra is a much more expansive label that really includes any perch-shaped fish (because even Bluegill & Sunfish are referred to as Mojarritas in Highland Jalisco)... so maybe there are fish that I referr to as Tilapias that really aren't.

                                2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                  they are indeed getting it from baja

                                3. re: Josh

                                  Oh man, that looks delicious. I am going this weekend for sure!

                                4. I do believe Sabor has closed. :^(

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: kare_raisu

                                    Yes, they're closed. It is sad because their food was good and they were really cool folks. Parking was the huge issue here, it was awful. I'm wondering if they might open somewhere else?
                                    Kare, Have you tried the new place next door with the big parking lot. I forget their name.

                                    1. re: P Macias

                                      I have not - Paco says its pretty bad its called Querencia