Carlota’s on Lambert

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Carlota’s is a local Mexican place right in the heart of Oro Valley. The location has a long history of Mexican food. Ever since I can remember we would go to the Mexican restuarant -El Burrito Patio- and I would order a hot dog wrapped in tortilla. Very latino, I know. Since then, my tastes have expanded and the restaurant has changed.

The decor is pretty much the same – Mexican turquoise, coral, yellow – and there are pictures of old vaqueros on the walls. It’s cozy and fun. The menu offers all the yummy type meats in burros, enchiladas, tacos, and combo plates! And, like any good Mexican restaurant, complimentary chips and salsa (at least the first bowl and refill.)

I ordered the carne asada tacos lunch special. The meat was tender and flavorful, the toppings – cabbage and cilantro and onion and tomatoes – were fresh and crunchy. Add some of the house salsa and you got perfect tacos. The rice was moist and not bland. And the beans… were your ordinary run of the mill refried beans. Overall a great lunch for about $8.


Elliot’s on Congress and The HUB

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Pictured here are the pulled duck street tacos from Elliot’s on Congress. This is a neat little bar in the downtown area.

My friends and I went for happy hour where they feature great drink prices (though, honestly, their full price specialty drinks are no more than 8 dollars anyway.) It is a SERIOUSLY good deal!

I enjoyed a glass of draft Shock Top for $2 and a plate of the Street Tacos for $7. A filling and fun evening for $10 total.

The tacos were really unique and cool. I’ve never seen of this fusion before and really enjoyed the pulled duck. The tortillas were a mix of corn and flour as well, providing a nice mild flour flavor with the sturdiness of your average corn tortilla.

I will admit it was a smaller portion than I was bargaining for. Especially when compared to the huge plate of burger and fries that my friends both enjoyed.

The fries there, by the way, are truly a unique experience. They are the thinnest shoe string fries I’ve ever come across and drizzled in a light garlic sauce. They are even more addicting than normal fries because you feel like you have to eat three of them to measure up to an average fry. I don’t mean this in a bad way! It’s just different. A true SNACK food.

The decor is very trendy to boot. It’s a neat hip place that you should definitely check out!

And of course, end the evening with a visit to the HUB for some original and amazing ice cream flavours (like brandied cherry goat cheese ice cream or chocolate stout ice cream.) A very gourmet dessert for a decent price!

Guisados – The Best Tacos in LA

T. is very lucky because her roommate is a foodie and knows many other foodies who give epic restaurant recs.

First, I need to tell you that the every restaurant we’ve been to has been set up the same way – there is a counter for ordering your food and then a separate dining area. Sometimes the food is delivered to you and sometimes you pick it up from a second counter. But we have yet to eat at a traditional restaurant with servers taking our orders.

Which I actually don’t miss that much at all.

This was the first place we experienced the new set up. Guisados has a variety of very tender and delicious fillings for their soft corn tacos. Anything from pollo con mole to chicharrones to queso to pescado. EVERYTHING. So, presented with so many options, I picked the sampler plate and then we all sat in the porch seating behind the kitchen.

Pictured above, it comes with 6 2in tacos in the flavors of your choice. I chose Calabacitas, Pollo con Mole, Tinga de Pollo, Chuleta en Salsa Verde, Cochinita Pibil, and Chorizo. And they brought out a side of spicy cream sauce, as well.

Everything was very succulent and bursting with flavor. Each bite carried a spicy warmth and every filling was unique and different. My favorites were the Tinga, the Pibil and the Calabacitas, but none of them disappointed.

Ground beef chili nachos

So maybe it’s not technically chili… but that’s how I used it, so it counts, right? =)

My friends came over for a night of tequila and cheesy movies. To feed us properly and have a great movie snack I made us nachos.

I used a tube of ground beef (nothing special, I’m not too picky) and cooked about halfway. Then I added a can of diced tomatoes, half a can of corn and a packet of taco seasoning and let it simmer till thoroughly cooked.

Normally I’m all about the DIY recipes, but I have a limited spice collection right now (seeing as I’m about to move out of my apartment back home) and taco seasoning is taco seasoning, right? Not that big a difference in flavors, imo.

Doesn’t it look DELICIOUS?

The ground beef stayed tender and moist and it was delightfully drippy to eat. Actually, there almost wasn’t enough for the nachos since my friends (and I XD ) were eating it like…well, chili! out of the pan.

It was THAT good.

Chorizo and Zucchini Taco

Can you believe the cheesy zucchini just landed, perfectly, right there? It’s the perfect accent!

I was really craving meat and crunchy tacos. So I combined them into this quick and scrumptious meal!

I cooked a single serving of pork chorizo up until almost all the way done. I scooted it off to the side of the pan and threw in some yellow and green zucchini to cook in the natural fats from the meat.

Once that was sautéed, I threw in some corn and mixed it all together.

Then I just poured it into my self-standing taco shell (so clever!!) and topped with cheddar and salsa.

It tasted like chorizo and calabacitas. All the flavors melded nicely and the taco was exactly the crunch I had been craving. This would be super easy for a large group or party, as well!