Since moving to Los Angeles in 2013, we’ve eaten a lot of tacos. There aren’t a lot of places where we’ve returned to eat twice, but one place I like is Lotería Grill—specifically their location at the LA Farmers Market. It has a taco stand feel, the hustle and bustle of an open air market, a whimsical lotería board wall and the tacos I’ve eaten there are consistently good. I recommend this taco de carnitas, pictured below, which is made with Michoacan-style carnitas, salsa de chile morita (which is really not that spicy—although it says spicy on the menu—but is perfectly smoky), and is garnished with a slice of avocado, onion and cilantro. A few weeks ago I enjoyed lunch here with some girlfriends and couldn’t resist snapping a few photos to share.
April 8 is National Empanada Day, and far be it from me to deny a day meant to celebrate these delightful pastries, savory or sweet. This is more of a kitchen tip than a recipe on how to make semi-homemade empanadas, but I’ve included proportions below as a guideline—though you should feel free to tweak to your liking with different fillings or cutting the dough to different sizes. Whether you’re looking to fool party guests, need a quick potluck dish, or just want to make a snack or appetizer for your family, here’s my cheater’s guide to making empanadas, 30 minutes from start to finish.
Cesar Chavez Day is celebrated every year on March 31, the birth date of the famed Mexican-American labor leader and civil rights activist who helped unionize farm workers. I recently had a chance to visit a strawberry farm in Southern California with the California Strawberry Commission, where I had the chance to ask farmers questions about everything from how they grow their crops to their workers’ safety and healthcare, and immigration issues in the agricultural industry.
I’m sharing one of my favorite Cesar Chavez quotes with you, written over a photo I took at the strawberry farm. More on that trip soon, but for today, just the quote.
- If you’d like to know more about Cesar Chavez, you can read his biography and about his work, archives of his speeches and writing, and more, courtesy of the Cesar Chavez Foundation.
A few years ago, I spent a beautiful weekend with a large group of family friends in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. While I was there, we witnessed some pretty spectacular sunsets each evening as we gathered on the patio for dinner. I couldn’t resist pulling out my camera to capture the golden sky as the sun slipped away from us.
Over the holidays we spent time with our family at a resort in the Riviera Maya, just south of Puerto Morelos, Mexico. We love to explore when we travel together, so we rented a car and headed to the sea port town to find a place to snorkel. I took this photo as we were returning from snorkeling, pulling the little boat back up to the dock.
When you write a blog about Mexican food and travel within Mexico, you’re bound to be asked for recommendations by… well, EVERYONE. I’m talking family, friends, coworkers, friends of friends, blog readers, complete strangers—it really runs the gamut. But it’s a true source of joy when you share Mexico travel tips with people, and they send you thanks in the form of a video, a photo, a tweet (or whatever else) to let you know they’re thinking of you and appreciate a recommendation that has improved their experience while visiting Mexico.
In the last week, I’ve received two such messages that I wanted to share.
Several years ago, I mentioned to my friend Ramon and his wife how much I love El Globo, a bakery chain that makes one of my favorite kinds of pan dulce—garibaldi. They’re a little upside-down poundcake-like treat that’s bathed in (usually) apricot jam and rolled in white nonpareils. You can even make garibaldi at home with my recipe. A few days ago, while they were in León, Guanajuato, they sent this video while visiting an El Globo location there.
A few weeks ago, another friend told me she’d be traveling to Mexico City on business and needed some recommendations for places to go for breakfast and dinners when she was able to go out on her own. I sent her a list of some of my favorite places near where she was staying and she shared this photo when she visited Churrería El Moro.
- Have you taken my travel or dining advice in Mexico? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below, tag me on Twitter or Instagram @MauraHernandez, or tag The Other Side of The Tortilla on Facebook with a photo and note to let us know where you went and what you ate!