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Breaking: Man charged with murder in 20-year-old cold case that centers on a boy found under an I-85…
OrangeCounty  from twitter_favs
9 weeks ago by andriak
Review: At Fonda Mixcoac in Anaheim, order a cheesy 29-inch machete. Bring friends - Los Angeles Times
"There is more to Fonda Mixcoac than machetes.

But you’re here, in Anaheim, four miles but a world away from the tourist hotels and chain restaurants of Disneylandia, for the machetes. A staple of Mexico City street stalls since at least the 1960s, they are the freak show cousins of quesadillas and huaraches: roughly the length of a Louisville Slugger, a folded-over surfboard of masa stuffed with two or three meals’ worth of cheese-smothered meats and veggies.

Fonda Mixcoac is run by several members of the Villegas family, a multi-generational clan who routinely trade off kitchen duties. The elder Villegas, Jose, opened the restaurant about five years ago with a vision that was simple and twofold: to carve out a niche for machetes in Southern California, where they are still relatively hard to find — and to make machetes bigger than those in Mexico City.

To that end, Fonda Mixcoac makes 29-inch machetes — griddle-crisped behemoths so long they barely fit on the restaurant’s tables. (A 12-inch, junior-size version called a machetito is also available). I’m told it took the family years to fine-tune a masa recipe sturdy and stretchy enough to withstand the dish’s exaggerated proportions. They’re stuffed with the standard guisados: thin sheets of the marinated beef called cecina de res; slinky, gooey pork skins of chicharrón prensado; juicy, slightly spicy nubs of homemade chorizo. You can configure a vegetarian machete from wilted, buttery flor de calabaza (squash blossoms); smoky rajas with epazote; or a thick spread of huitlacoche, the earthy, jet-black corn fungus that’s been a culinary staple in Mexico since pre-Columbian times.

Your machete is bulging with melted Oaxaca cheese, finely chopped iceberg lettuce and rivulets of crema fresca. It lands on the table with a whiff of head-turning fanfare, wrapped in the perfume of clean, hot oil. You whip out your smartphone to take pictures. Someone gently raises the baby cradled in their arms next to the machete for a sense of scale (the machete is bigger). It takes three or four adults to polish off one two-plus-foot-long machete. Someone else wisely carves into the dish, divvying it up into smaller, more manageable sections. Hot cheese dribbles out of every loose end. When you take a bite, the fried corn shell splinters against your teeth with a sharp crunch. Stretchy ribbons of cheese and quivering flaps of meat threaten to splatter onto the table. You devour your piece in one unseemly breath, nearly smashing it into your mouth to avoid spillage.

Beyond machetes, the cafe’s wide-ranging menu hews closely to the foods that Jose Villegas grew up eating in Mexico City, and his devotion to home-style Mexican cooking is broadcast loud and clear on the menu. “COMIDA MEXICANA,” the cover declares in all-caps typeface. “No ‘Mexican Food’.”

“My dad always says that if you want ‘Mexican food,’ go to Taco Bell,” Jose Villegas’ son, Erick, explains. “But if you want comida Mexicana, come here.”

So, in place of Doritos Locos Tacos, there are pambazos, plump, chile-stained French roll sandwiches stuffed with a cheesy blend of chorizo and potatoes. There’s beefy alambre, a platter of chopped steak, ham, peppers, onions and bacon fused together with lavish amounts of melted cheese, served with short stacks of hot corn tortillas. Huaraches, smeared with black beans and blanketed with queso fresco, are crisp and massive. Try the huarache azteca, furnished with thin, salty scraps of cecina, grilled onions, nopales, avocado and a drizzle of fresh salsa verde.

There are tacos made with nubbins of gently charred carne asada, or loosely packed with a creamy, spicy choriqueso. The al pastor is altogether unremarkable, but there is always cecina de res, air-dried beef that has something of the clean, thin-sliced, salty appeal of prosciutto.

On the weekends, the restaurant slow-cooks large quantities of lamb barbacoa, a city version of rural Hidalgo’s famous pit-roasted barbecue. The meat is shredded into flossy, slightly chewy tendrils that are gently charred around the edges on the grill and piled into aluminum to-go containers. If you order the family-style barbacoa package, it comes with a large bowl of consommé, a deep, musky aromatic broth filled with stewed garbanzo beans. You splash the meat with some of that lovely, meaty broth, and eat it with hot tortillas and salsa roja.

But a half-pound of lamb is probably not why you wandered into Fonda Mixcoac’s sunny, bare-bones dining room in the first place. You came for the same reason that people pile into small, sun-baked boats off the coast of Baja California every spring to see the blue whales that pass through the Sea of Cortez: to spy for yourself a rare colossus that’s impossible to forget once you’ve seen it in the flesh."
food  anaheim  orangecounty  mexican  restaurants  2019 
april 2019 by robertogreco
An Official Welcome - The New York Times [California Today]
"I’m a California native — born at U.C.L.A. Medical Center. But when I was 2, my dad got a good job in Kansas City, so my parents packed up and left the place where they grew up for the Midwest.

Now, I understand it for the smart career move that it was. For the 10 years we lived outside the Golden State, though, I only ever wanted to go back.

Whenever we’d fly into LAX to visit my grandparents and my cousins, it felt like coming home for reasons I couldn’t really articulate.

Part of it was that in Kansas, I never quite forgot that I looked different from my tawny-headed classmates, who sometimes asked if I was Chinese. That was hurtful only because it underscored that I’d never be like them at an age when I just wanted to fit in.

My mom is Japanese-American and my dad is of Russian Jewish descent. And in California, I felt like I could be just another face in the crowd — whether we were at an udon restaurant with my mom’s parents in Gardena or the West Hollywood comedy club where my paternal grandmother worked.

I share this because it captures the peculiar magic of California for me.

[image: "Out on one of my favorite assignments: Squid fishing off the Orange County coast in 2013. [photo by] Don Leach"]

We eventually moved back, to the Mission Viejo area. Then I went to college at U.C. Berkeley and worked in Bakersfield, Orange County and Los Angeles as a reporter. During that time, I learned California is a place that’s impossible to explain, to encapsulate in any one way.

But it’s a place where almost anyone can feel at home.

And that’s what I want California Today to help you feel. I want you to look forward to opening the newsletter every morning, knowing that you’ll start the day understanding your state a little better, even if it’s boundless.

To achieve this, we’ll be rethinking the newsletter from greeting to kicker. You’ll notice us trying different formats and features."
california  multiculturalism  identity  kansas  orangecounty  californiatoday  2018  jillcowan  missionviejo  experience  home  place  ethnicity  inclusivity  acceptance 
december 2018 by robertogreco
Twitter
Hey students — classes may be cancelled; more time to vote on . Important notice for
ElectionDay  OrangeCounty  from twitter_favs
november 2018 by andriak
Twitter
In , polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Election Day (TUESDAY). Find your polling place…
OrangeCounty  from twitter_favs
november 2018 by andriak

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