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Excellent Dishes in Unexpected Places

z
zare_k Mar 30, 2013 10:52 AM

I am interested in examples of excellent dishes found in unexpected places-- the kind of place where the rest of the menu is indifferent at best, and the restaurant itself certainly doesn't look like anything special. I'm thinking of something like the pozole at Taqueria El Rodeo in City Heights, which I only discovered it because I used to live down the street. The menu looks pretty much like San Diego Standard Taco Shop and everything else I ever tried there was just okay. The pozole, though, is always good-- tender pork and hominy in a mild but rich broth, served with fresh chopped onions and cilantro, some shredded cabbage, and a nicely ripened half avocado.

What are your favorite unexpected finds?

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  1. ipsedixit RE: zare_k Mar 30, 2013 11:43 AM

    Hamburger at Mexican Fiesta

    1. c
      cstr RE: zare_k Mar 30, 2013 11:55 AM

      I think Super Cocina fits that category. Also, Marisco's Godoy, excellent marinated and grilled pupelo.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cstr
        z
        zare_k RE: cstr Mar 30, 2013 01:39 PM

        I don't really think of Super Cocina as being in the same class, because while the ambiance is certainly unassuming just about all of the dishes are (IME) at least pretty good.

      2. polldeldiablo RE: zare_k Mar 30, 2013 03:21 PM

        I'm embarrassed to mention this place as its not somewhere I'd be caught dead in but it fits the bill and my grandmother likes it....Shakey's pizza. They have the worst pizza I've ever had in my life(worse than $1 dollar cheap pizza in NYC) and their sides are literally disgusting but their fried chicken IMO is pretty decent. Their pizza and sides would easily be a 2 out of 10(food poisoning warrants a 1 out of 10) where as I'd give their fried chicken maybe a 8 out of 10.

        I'm preparing myself for all the backlash.

        8 Replies
        1. re: polldeldiablo
          notjustastomach RE: polldeldiablo Mar 30, 2013 04:43 PM

          Since this exercise calls for subjective experiences that contravene intersubjective expectations you are probably safe. There will be no backlash. The chances of anybody else on this list having eaten fried chicken at Shakey's Pizza are just about nil.

          To the best of my recollection, I have only eaten at Shakey's Pizza in Tokyo. I was living there in the mid '80's teaching English and just scratching by. I went to Shakey's Pizza for all you can eat pizza and Denny's for all you can drink coffee. Quantity over quality . . . absolutely!

          1. re: notjustastomach
            DiningDiva RE: notjustastomach Mar 30, 2013 09:18 PM

            There's still a Shakey's in Grossmont Center (by the Verizon store) in case you feel like giving the chicken a whirl.

          2. re: polldeldiablo
            ipsedixit RE: polldeldiablo Mar 30, 2013 07:35 PM

            Mojo potatoes at Shakeys are like crack.

            1. re: ipsedixit
              d
              dustchick RE: ipsedixit Apr 17, 2013 10:00 PM

              This.

            2. re: polldeldiablo
              o
              oerdin RE: polldeldiablo Apr 17, 2013 12:08 PM

              In ~1989 my nerdy D&D playing 14 year old friends and I used to hang out at Shakey's Pizza all day long because they had their $4.99 all you can eat buffet all day long on Saturdays. We'd push some tables together in the back, play our nerdy little role playing games, and for some reason the staff put up with us letting us eat their not so great cheap food while we slayed dragons for 8 hours straight. Great memories if not of the food. ;)

              1. re: oerdin
                DiningDiva RE: oerdin Apr 17, 2013 12:48 PM

                If you want to walk down memory lane, there is still a Shakey's in Grossmont Center.

              2. re: polldeldiablo
                n
                NorthEncantoGirl RE: polldeldiablo Apr 18, 2013 09:17 AM

                I remember Shakey's from my 'tween years in the early-mid seventies. There's a Shakey's still standing? I'm surprised.

                1. re: NorthEncantoGirl
                  ipsedixit RE: NorthEncantoGirl Apr 18, 2013 10:46 AM

                  There's actually alot of them.

                  http://www.shakeys.com/Locations/Defa...

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