Anepalco’s Café – Literally Amazing Chilquiles in Orange

When I come home I always try to make every meal count because while I come home quite a bit, I’m never there for that long, so I try not to have any misses.  On my last trip home from the holidays, I asked on chowhound for some new Mexican recommendations in Orange County and Das Ubergeek gave me this recommendation.

Honestly, if you gave me the menu and asked me if I wanted to try this place I would’ve probably said no because the menu is a mix of Mexican and American and just looks like some type of jack of all trades master of none type of menu that wouldn’t be good, but luckily looks can be very deceiving.

The restaurant is a small non-descript café located just off the 22 freeway by the hospital and doesn’t have too much in the way of décor.  The place is tiny and probably can fit maybe 15 people comfortably.  The guys working there were nice guys.

Here’s what we got:

Anepalco’s Chilaquiles:

Chilaquiles are a Mexican dish that is made up of fried tortilla strips, red sauce, scrambled eggs, cotija cheese, sour cream, avocado mousse and pico de gallo.  When I’ve had this dish before it’s been more like fried tortilla strips with all of the sauces dumped on top.  Here they made the tortilla chips into a semi-cake and topped it with a small omelet, pico de gallo, avocado mousse and sour cream on top with the red sauce and cotija cheese on the side.  It looks much nicer than other versions I’ve had.  The tortilla chip cake is really good and the toppings were all very good, but the real standout was the red sauce and cotija cheese.  I would categorize it as amazing and I don’t say that about that many things.  It’s a little spicy and has this addicting tangy flavor that pairs just perfectly with the cotija cheese.  It was just so good.  This is definitely one of the best dishes I’ve had in a while. 9/10

Huevos Rancheros:

This was another dish that was highly recommended.  Its typical huevos rancheros consisting of tortilla, black beans, scrambled eggs, cotija cheese, avocado mousse, pico de gallo, sour cream and red sauce.  It was actually fairly similar to the chilaquiles, but with black beans and a tortilla instead of a tortilla cake.  However, it was one of the better huevos rancheros I’ve ever had and while everything was very good, it was the red sauce and cotija cheese again that really set it apart.  The flavor of that sauce with everything is just so good. While I thought it was very good, I’d give the nod to the chilaquiles. 8.5/10

I loved this place and it was one of the best new finds I’ve been to in a while.  I can’t wait to come back and try more stuff including the huevos divorciados, which were also highly recommended by the staff.  I highly recommend coming here.

Address:
415 S. Main St
Orange, CA 92868
(714) 771-2333
www.anepalcoscafe.com

Tacos & Tacos – Really Good Tacos Al Pastor in Costa Mesa

19th Street is where most of the good Mexican food is in Costa Mesa and when I’m back at home in CA, I usually make at least one stop there.   I had heard that Tacos & Tacos, which I believe may have been called Tacolandia before, had good tacos al pastor.  Tacos al pastor are spicy spit-grilled pork (think of how a shawarma is cooked) that has been marinated for a long time.  When done correctly, it is very tender and flavorful.  Along with carnitas it is one of my favorite types of Mexican food and tacos are in turn one of my favorite foods in general.

Tacos & Tacos is a typical divvy Mexican joint with no real décor to speak of.  The people are pretty nice who work there and the clientele is mainly Mexican.

Tacos al pastor:

Wow this was really good, the meat was really tender and flavorful.  Not overly salty and has that great sort of spicy flavor that good tacos al pastor have.  It’s sort of hard to explain, but go try one and you’ll know what I’m saying.  These were the best tacos al pastor I’ve had in recent memory. 8.25/10

Chips:

The chips and salsa were solid as well, they were fresh and the salsas they had were really good. 8/10

Short review, but this place is great and definitely worth trying out if you’re in the Costa Mesa area

Address:

580 W 19th St

Costa Mesa, CA 92627

(949) 645-0481