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Road Trip! Anza Borrego, El Centro/Brawley

Munchmouth Feb 19, 2011 10:08 AM

Hi Chowhounders,
Finally got a high clearance vehicle and looking to enjoy the dirt roads around Anza Borrego SP. Any recommendations for the area east of Anza? Don't know the area very well.

  1. Fake Name Feb 20, 2011 06:44 AM

    I've had the especial in Brawley, and thoughtfully included a photo on this thread. I was going to Celias this weekend, but was robbed by the weather.


    Be aware you're not heading into Chow Territory. This is about it, but fine goal.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Fake Name
      DiningDiva Feb 20, 2011 07:36 AM

      I thought you were going to Argentina

      1. re: DiningDiva
        Fake Name Feb 20, 2011 07:54 AM

        "Tomorrow, Tomorrow!"

        - - Annie

        Actually we had plans to drive to El Centro yesterday to watch the Blue Angels practice. Oh, and to go to Celias. But the weather suggested we stay home. Off to BA tomorrow, after a gruesome coach-class plane flight.

        1. re: Fake Name
          DiningDiva Feb 20, 2011 08:43 AM

          Have a great trip. Coach all the way to BA is going to be brutal, don't forget to do some laps around coach. I'm off for Merida tomorrow, half the flight time as you and a pit stop in Houston to stretch.

      2. re: Fake Name
        Munchmouth Feb 21, 2011 05:29 PM

        Next time I'm in the area I'll check out Celias.

      3. i
        ipsit Feb 19, 2011 08:30 PM

        The best food in Imperial county is to be found in the El Centro/Imperial area. The quesadilla especial is an Imperial county classic. Every Mexican place in town serves it - I like the versions at Celia's, El Zarape and Mariscos Porto Nuevo the best.
        For an interesting twist on Asian food, try Exotic Thai bistro in El Centro. While the menu looks like a standard Thai menu, the food is Mexican-ized Thai/Chinese. The curries are served like caldos and some of the stir-fries have dried Mexican chillies. Mexicali has a large Chinese population, and if you cross the border, check out one of the unique Chino-Mex restaurants in Mexicali. A decent representative of this cuisine is China Palace, also in El Centro.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsit
          Munchmouth Feb 21, 2011 05:25 PM

          Thanks for steering us toward the quesadilla especial! We ended up in Brawley and a young woman at our hotel told us about Christine's where we got a real home-made quesadilla especial. It was fluffy and cheesy! My husband liked their chili relleno. This was definitely a little family place where locals come to gossip. Really friendly people out there.

          The quesadilla especial reminded me of my grandma's pasties and empanadas too- something your grandma or aunt would make to keep you going!

        2. bizzwriter Feb 19, 2011 12:34 PM

          Ya gotta check out the famous Imperial Valley quesadilla especial -- this thread will give you some specific recommendations and coordinates:


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