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Oct 21, 2008 05:47 PM


I've about to leave on my annual work trip to Yuma Proving Ground. Anything new happening? Aside from my traditional trip to Los Manjares de Pepe, I don't have anything planned chow-wise.

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  1. Not much good has happened to the food scene in Yuma over the last year. The sick economy isn't helping the restaurant industry.

    Los Manjares is still very good and I know of no new Mexican restaurants. There is a vibrant taco scene along 8th St.

    Kodiak Seafood in the Fry's strip mall in the Foothills is good for fish n chips and simple grilled seafood.

    But my favorite addition to the Yuma scene is Pupuseria Cabanas at 3045 8th St. It's truly a hole in the wall, but it is like eating in the home of a Salvadoran grandmother. Food made with love. Good pupusas and great soups.

    Anyway, here is link to my blog posts about Yuma dining:

    Good eating!


    6 Replies
    1. re: Ed Dibble

      Many thanks for both the Pupuseria Cabanas recomendatin, and the blog.

      I always seem to manage to find some very good taco stands/trucks while I'm there (I've got a weakness for tacos cabezas), but every time I go back most of the trucks and proprietors are different. Any current good finds on 8th Street?

      1. re: kaszeta

        I just posted about Taqueria San Pedro at the blog.

        Also, the tacos at David's Market, on Ave B between 1st and 3rd are good, and my memory is that the cabeza there (when available, they usually have either cabeza or lengua) is good as well.

        I still have not been to several of the nighttime taco stands along 8th, so if you find something tasty and different, be sure to post about it.

        1. re: kaszeta

          I forgot about the opening of Mar Azul, a good Mexican seafood house. While the coceteles are not as good as some of the 8th St stands, the fish and shrimp tacos, the whole fish, the little chile poppers, and the avocado salads are outstanding.

          More info about the place can be found in the post about the place at the mmm-yoso blog.

          1. re: Ed Dibble

            Well, I ended up doing Taqueria San Pedro and David's Market tonight. Really liked the Pastor at San Pedro, and the Lengua at David's was really, really good. I always feel like such a gringo since my Spanish is barely up to the task...

            I'll probably end up doing a few more places later this week, as well as the traditional visit to Los Manjares.

            1. re: Ed Dibble

              I was in Yuma earlier this month and am heading back tomorrow. Following Ed's advice once again, my last trip included a return to the Pupuseria where I had very good pollo (but skipped the somewhat average arroz), the fluffiest, most delicate tamal I have ever tasted, and a sampling of the pupusas of the day. A great bargain--three of us filled up on less than $20.

              I also visited Mariscos Nayarita on 8th St for the raved about shrimp empanadas which were amazing as promised. The coceteles was also excellent. The dust storm that my companion and I encountered after lunch, however, wasn't the best digestif!

              We also went to Juanitas for some fish and shrimp tacos. They were good tacos, but they didn't amaze us like some of the other selections we've had on 8th. Maybe we ordered wrong?

              My companion and I also stopped at Elvira's Bakery on 8th and had a really good pumpkin empanada and a fluffy cake with a lovely pastry cream. We also got a guava filled turnover which probably would have been better if I hadn't thought I was buying the mango filled one. We also appreciated the air hockey table that you can play for free. I was totally outscored on our game though.

              I'm taking my son with me on this next trip to celebrate his 8th birthday in Yuma as I manage an event for the public radio station. He's already excited about shrimp empanadas and Elvira's! Good to start Chowhounding early in life.

              Thanks again, Ed!

              1. re: AlFerris

                I "heard" you were in town. Glad to read your responses to our local cuisine. I truly love Pupuseria Cabanas, though the soups there are the most amazing things (yes, even better than the tamales). Juanita's is best for seafood coceteles - the campechana is consistently the best in town. It is better than the one at Mariscos Nayarita in that it has raw scallop and oyster usually, which I find a nice addition. Fish/shrimp tacos are good there, but not great. I actually prefer the ones at Mar Azul (where the whole fish and the avocado salad are also tasty).


        2. Anyone know where it was Huell Howser went on his "Southeast Corner of California" episode? My friend told me about it and said something about some great-looking potato tacos. My family and I will be in Yuma Monday night for one night.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Itslikeimsayin

            Don't know the show, but the potato tacos at Los Manjares de Pepe are very good.

            Most likely, the guy went to Lute's Casino, an old bar in Old Town (downtown). It is full of all kinds of authentic old memorabilia and is quite a tourist attraction. I've heard the potato tacos there are good, but I don't usually go to Lute's for the food.

            1. re: Ed Dibble

              Yes, that sounds like the place my friend described.

              Your post only confirmed my desire to go to Los Manjares de Pepe, but unfortunately, your town seems to turn in early. We pulled up to the parking lot around 8:35 Monday night, just as a guy was turning off the lights. He informed us they were closed and shut the door both to the restaurant and on my hopes of having a good meal. My son wasn't feeling adventurous enough to try a taco stand, so we looked for something more his style. I don't dare admit where we ended up eating here on Chowhound.

              Next time I'm headed through Yuma, I'll plan to get there a little earlier. Thanks for all the great insight and your blog, Ed.

              1. re: Itslikeimsayin

                yeh, we roll up the sidewalks early here. Probably the best Mexican around here at that time is Mi Rancho, and even it closes before 10.

                Too bad about the son's lack of adventure. You weren't far from Taqueria San Pedro, which is so nice that it would have overcome any hesitation.

                1. re: Ed Dibble

                  Yeah, restaurants in Yuma definitely close on the early side, especially if they don't have customers. On the other hand, I've noticed many times that the taco stands are often late in getting started. You definitely need to have some flexibility when dining in Yuma.

                  Ed is right, however. If you find yourself in this situation again, Taqueria San Pedro is quite good, and the semi-permanent seating area makes it much better for those hesitant to eat from taco trucks.

                  Looking like I'm coming back in February. I've got my hit list of places ready...

          2. I'm coming back next week for a whole 'nother week of testing at Yuma Proving Ground. Any updates on the Yuma scene?

            Aside from Los Manjeres, Taqeria San Pedro, and Pupuseria Cabanas, I've got a few more dinners to scare up...

            9 Replies
            1. re: kaszeta

              I am not super familiar with the choices in Yuma (though I would love to try some the places mentioned in this thread) but if you are headed there from the Cali side I would definitely recommend a stop in El Centro for some Mexican at Celia's. It is outstanding.

              1. re: kaszeta

                Don't have too much to add. The folks from Hwy 95 Cafe (decent Mandarin/Thai mostly) have opened a fancier Asian fusion place, Palagor. Some folks like it, but I find it inconsistent.

                Los Manjares is still very good, and he hasn't raised prices. I just had the chipotle pork special for dinner last night - best $5.75 value in town (Weds only). 8th St is still amazing at night. I believe Tio Juan and Mariscos Nayarita are closed for the season, however.

                Mar Azul is still doing seafood well.

                1. re: Ed Dibble

                  Los Manjares is so very tasty. It is fast becoming my favorite restraunt..

                  1. re: Ed Dibble

                    Hey, I just posted over at your blog, but your reviews are a top-notch resource. Let me know if you want to do another taco crawl when I'm in town, I'll buy the first few rounds for ya.

                  2. re: kaszeta

                    I would try The Market at the Radisson, I have had 3 meals there and have found the food and service exceptional for the Yuma area.

                    1. re: worldwarz

                      Yeh, you're right. What's happened to my memory? I've had several good meals there.

                      In fact, we were just there a couple of weeks ago for their Monday night wine/appetizer pairing ($20 for 5 pours and 5 apps). The food was outstanding and the wines, while nothing special, matched the appetizers well. They also offer deals on wine with meals that evening.

                      It is definitely a place worth trying - maybe the best fine dining option in town.

                      1. re: Ed Dibble

                        Now if we could only get an Arabic restraunt in town, I would be set.

                        1. re: worldwarz

                          Thanks. That's one place I probably wouldn't have thought of trying.

                          I'm thinking West 8th tomorrow night (probably San Pedro), and then a bit more exploring the other nights.