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DYING OF HUNGER IN THE I.E.

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I moved to Riverside four months ago. ToTo we are not in L.A. anymore. I lived in northeast Los Angeles were you could take a walk down the street and eat food from 7 continents. In Riverside not so much. Were is the Cuban,Peruvian or even good Mexican food. Not to mention Crepes or a cupcake shop. I knew I was giving something up by moving to the Burbs but sheesh!! A mans gotta eat..good food! and before suggesting Sevilla..well don't get me started on them!!! Any suggestions???

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  1. Italian Mario's Place 3646 Mission Inn Ave
    Californian/French/Japanese Fusion Restaurant Omakase 3720 Mission Inn Ave
    Mexican Ancho's 10773 Hole Ave
    Cuban Cafe 5180 Arlington Ave
    Bakery Simple Simon's 3639 Main St

    Downtown Redlands has numerous excelletn restaurants (The Farm, Gourmet Pizza, The Eating Room, etc)

    1 Reply
    1. re: RBCal

      Thank you RB. I really miss good Cuban and will give cuban cafe a try this week. Omakase sounds interesting and I'm somewhat familiar with Mission Inn Ave. Still looking forward to exploring Redlands. Thanks again for your suggestions.

    2. Welcome to the IE BEN! It is not as dire as it seems at first, but nothing is usually close to where you are. I hope I don't offend too many people when I say that it is truly disappointing that when someone asks for a Mexican food recommendation in the IE everyone chimes in with Ancho's. It is not bad, but it is Southwestern, not Mexican. Please try Papi's Tacos El Carbon (Van Buren location only 5701 Van Buren Blvd) Have the Papi's Special Burrito (carne asada) . Delicious salsas. Also good: Mijo's Tacos (6215 Magnolia Ave) Have a handmade corn quesadilla with carnitas or carne asada. Flour ones are not as good, but the corn ones are amazing! D'Elias Grinders for a terrific grinder that doesn't come with Italian dressing (http://www.deliasgrinders.com), Brandon's Diner (10271 Magnolia Ave) for amazing breakfasts, both Mexican and American. Romano's (http://www.romanosrestaurants.com/) for delicious stuffed deep-dish pizza and a pretty decent carbonara. I hope you find some places you like, and hey, if not, the Metrolink makes goes straight from Riverside to Union Station--a nice day trip!

      17 Replies
      1. re: lgoodwood

        I always find it amusing when people denigrate Tex-Mex or Southwestern Mexican food. Why not go for the real Mexican food like you get in Mexico? If you are lucky you will get turista too.

        For Yucatan Mexican food Casa Maya in Mentone is very good. For Mexican seafood, as well as tradtitional Mexican food, La Costa in Mentone is also very good.

        1. re: RBCal

          "Why not go for the real Mexican food like you get in Mexico? If you are lucky you will get turista too."

          i'm puzzled by this. what does that mean?

          also, like Igoodwood mentioned, Ancho's is southwestern american, not mexican. extremely different.

          if you want good tacos (similar to the NELA experience) you should definitely make a bee-line for La Noria Market in Rubidoux.

          1. re: ceviche

            It means that you get the worst Mexican food in Mexico. You get far better Mexican food in the USA since the quality of the ingredients is better.

            Menu at
            http://www.anchos.net/menu.html

            Burritos, tacos, carnitas, enchiladas. Yep definitely not Mexican.

            1. re: RBCal

              Wow, did not expect this reaction. But since everyone has their opinion, I'll add mine. Ancho's is called "Southwest Grill and Bar" I didn't give them this name. They also serve the Mexican food that is traditional to the Southwest, specifically New Mexico. They mention this on their menu when talking about
              "Christmas sauce" (Half red/Half green) a term that is used primarily with New Mexican food. Are some of the items Mexican in origin (i.e. tacos, burritos, etc.)? Yes. Is the style similar to the "street food" many of us grew up on? No. Can you have a good meal there? Yes. My comment to Ben was merely to point out that this is not the only Mexican (Southwestern or otherwise) restaurant that is good in Riverside or the IE. People who speak about the IE seem to rehash the same places over and over. In some cases this is because they are very good. I would put Anchos in this category, but I wanted to suggest some places that I consider more authentically Mexican. As for "turista", you can end up with that anywhere, not just in Mexico.

              1. re: RBCal

                wow i didn't expect that response either. i just went to mexico city and moroleon, guanajuato a few months back and had MANY excellent meals. to each his own i guess.

          2. re: lgoodwood

            Funny thing, Igoodwood, I was in a sandwhich shop(Tortas Sinaloa) after getting off the metrolink the other night and I actually overheard someone say, as they were finishing up with their meal, that they should have gone to Mijo's Tacos. So now that I know where it is I will give it a try. Thank you

            1. re: BEN92555

              I haven't tried Tortas Sinaloa--so, in your opinion, is there a reason for me to? In that strip mall, I like the taco place next to the Enterprise pretty well. Get the homemade corn tortillas on whatever taco you're getting.

              1. re: mayjay

                I belive when you open a place in a market that is already flooded you should want to stand above the rest. this place does not. as a matter of fact i remeber saying that there was no need to return. However, the do have a varied selection of aquas fresca. Which on a warm day can't be beat. And as far as corn tortillas?? LOVE homemade corn tortillas...Thank you.

              2. re: BEN92555

                No problem! Totally off the topic of Mexican food, the best fried zucchini, IMHO, in the IE is at George's on Magnolia. http://www.georgesdrivein.com/
                Happy Hunting!

                1. re: lgoodwood

                  um, believe the fried zuccini from the place on Hole near La Sierra (across the street from the jack in the box) would beg to differ...

                  Igoodwood, you seem to know the area i grew up in pretty well!

                  1. re: ceviche

                    Well I was a Riverside Community Hospital baby and I've never left! But I haven't had the zucchini at the place on Hole...now I will and we'll just see....maybe with an IE standard: the combo burger?

                    1. re: lgoodwood

                      now that i think about it, it's on la sierra, not on hole. i think it used to be a Tastee (remember those?).

                      for me, the ultimate IE meal would be crunchy tacos (from Tony's of course) and a side of fried zucchini (from one of the many "__ the Greek" palces), all washed down with some orange bang!
                      -

                      1. re: ceviche

                        Is Tony's still here? The one we went to on Magnolia is something else now. Did they relocate? We used to get bags of tacos from there! I haven't had orange bang in forever! I was actually partial to the pina colada flavor, but they don't have that everywhere.

                2. re: BEN92555

                  A report on Mijo's: We have been trying to diet (!) and hadn't been in a while and my husband just told me they moved due to the upcoming underpass construction. Possible new address is 10203 Hole Ave. If anyone knows anything, please post and let me know. I can't go without their avocado salsa for very long!

                  1. re: lgoodwood

                    I might get shot at for asking this but here it goes......You mean someone else has a better avocado salsa than Pollo Loco???? This is my guilty pleasure place.

                    1. re: lgoodwood

                      Yes, it is open on Hole now. Haven't tried it yet, but some co-workers have and it is good.

                      1. re: cookingodyssey

                        Can't wait to go back. And yes, I think the avocado salsa is better at Mijo's than El Pollo Loco (also a guilty pleasure of mine!) because it is hotter. But if you don't like hot, then it wouldn't be.

                3. This might help:
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/578534 -- Best Kept Secrets in the I.E. !!

                  1. I'll just add Pupuseria La Sierra Restaurant on Tyler St. Great Salvadoran. And whatever bad thing you have to say about Sevilla, I'll second.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mayjay

                      I was in a relationship with a Salvadoran for 7 years. It's wonder my name isn't Big Ben. Absolutely good food but I always preferred the home cooking to what I could find in the restaurants. Panes con pavo??? Pork Tamals??? Yummy!! My Favorite. Thank you mayjay

                    2. Napa29 near the corona side of Riverside is pretty decent. Strange place, but good food.

                      1. in case earlier my mention of this place got lost in the "mexico does not have good mexican food" tangent:

                        please please please, if you're craving tacos, do yourself a favor and go to La Noria Market in Rubidoux. it's just a regular little mexican market / butcher, but they have a good taco counter. i really liked the tacos i had with carnitas and with also with costilla (beef rib). they also have very good masa for tamales if you are so inclined.

                        i think you'll find that if you head to the mexican neighborhoods in riverside, you'll find a lot of good food which is similar to the stuff in LA. unfortunately, most of the good mexican food (and by mexican i mean stuff other than crunchy tacos and nacho fries) in riverside is unknown territory on CH and most other review websites, so you'll have to strike out on your own and do some exploring. some good neighborhoods to try are:

                        - Arlanza in Riverside. there is a lot of stuff is at the corner of Arlington and Van Buren. start out in the food courts of the two big mexican markets (Tapatio and Cardenas) and work your way out from there
                        - Casa Blanca in Riverside. this neighborhood has a VERY rich history of mexican immigration.
                        - Chino near I-10

                        personally i think the best tacos in riverside are usually at the mexican meat markets / butchers. most mexican restaurants (at least in riverside) serve very americanized mexican food which is not very much like the stuff you've had in NELA.

                        also, i think you can pretty much avoid any mexican restaurant which serves its food on ceramic plates. almost every "sit down" mexican meal i've had in the IE has been mediocre or worse. the lone exception would be Anchos, which is good southwestern food.

                        -----
                        La Noria Market
                        5704 Mission Blvd, Riverside, CA

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ceviche

                          O.K. You twisted my arm hard enough lol. Actually you had me at Carnitas. Glad I was not being a snob when I thought the food was mediocre. It's not just me. My neighbor suggested Alcapulcos.("they have a nice Sunday Brunch") Did I mention HE is Mexican. I've also tried Brandon's in MOVAL but couldn't get past Huevos Rancheros con salsa verde. I know different regions make the same "plata" con different ingredients but this was not to my liking. I do some things to Huevos Ranchero sauce that might make an Abuelita roll over in her grave..but it is good!!! I say stick with law school graduate and then get that taquito truck/ shack that you dream of. I'm going to be here for awhile I could use a good torta!!! THANKS

                        2. Based on what I've read so far, the Inland Empire sounds a bit like Fresno.

                          Fresno's food scene may not compare to the San Francisco Bay Area (the usual comparison) or Los Angeles County for sheer number & visibility of wonderful places to eat. I think that's why some people think of Fresno as a culinary backwater.

                          But Fresno does have some very good places--especially Mexican food (in all the places I've lived in California, Fresno's Mexican food is my favorite). You just have to find them. That's what is different: in SFBA you don't have to look as hard to find good food; in Fresno you have to look harder.

                          But that's also what makes chowhounding in Fresno so enjoyable--the thrill of the quest.

                          That same attitude could apply to the Inland Empire. When I visit my family in southern Riverside County, we spend a lot of time looking for good & interesting places to eat. We've had a lot of duds but we've found a few gems, too.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: alanstotle

                            I didn't mean to sound snarky about "real" Mexican food. I have had excellent food inside Mexico. However, virtually everytime I've been there I've also gotten sick since I don't bother to avoid the water, etc.

                            Also, within Mexico the food varies widely according to the region. Once reason I suggested Casa Maya is that it is Yucatan style which you don't find that often even in LA.

                            1. re: RBCal

                              Thanks for Casa Maya. I've been to the Yucatan Penninsula it's a bit like the Caribe where I come from. One thing I do remeberwere the fresh fish meals I ate. I also tried the Cuban Cafe you suggested. I invited friends in from L.A. the comment I'm about to make would usually garner a slap from my mama when I was a teen.... It didn't suck!! It is way over priced. It is a family operation as noted by the babies running in and out of the kitchen, the Sangria was alright but the food was...mediocre. But as a friend put it, at least there a cuban place in the IE. I'll save my dinero for day trips to Porto's or Versailles in L.A. Thank you for the suggestions.

                              1. re: BEN92555

                                given the fact that (to my knowledge) there isn't a sizable cuban community in the IE, i'm not suprised that the cuban place wasn't that good. i think a good rule of thumb is to gravitate towards the restaurants which cater to a large, defined, recent immigrant population. these places tend to have more authentic food at lower prices.
                                on the other hand, places which do not have a large immigrant community to support them must instead cater to the population as a whole. these types of places can get away with non-authentic food, and usually at higher prices, because they don't need to depend on lower-income immigrants who have a defined sense of what "their" food should taste like.

                          2. I have heard that the Delish Deli on Mission Inn Avenue in Riverside has "New York style" deli sandwiches...don't know if anyone on the board has been there yet.