A night out with Cerveza Montejo

This post is part of a compensated campaign with Montejo. All opinions are my own.

I had never eaten dinner on the field of a Major League Baseball park, so when Montejo, a Mexican beer company I adore, invited me to have dinner on the field at Dodger Stadium — with a Mexican-inspired dinner cooked up by Chef Eduardo Ruiz of LA’s Corazón y Miel — I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are big baseball lovers in our household, so I knew I would have a great time even though the Dodgers are not my home team.

Cerveza Montejo is a golden lager beer that has been brewed for more than 100 years in Mexico.

Dodger Stadium private dinner with Montejo - more on theothersideofthetortilla.com

Named after Don Francisco de Montejo, the founder of the city of Mérida in the state of Yucatán, Cerveza Montejo was originally brewed at the Cervecería Yucateca beginning in 1900, and is now brewed in Tuxtepec, in the state of Oaxaca, by Cervecería Modelo. Although this tasty Mexican beer has been around for a long time in Mexico, it has only been available in select states in the U.S. since September 2014. As a newer beer to the American market, it was cool to learn that Montejo is an official beer sponsor for the L.A. Dodgers and the Texas Rangers. If you’ve been to other ballparks in California, Arizona or Texas, you’ve also probably seen Montejo sold at the concession stands. And at Dodger Stadium, they even have a Montejo bar behind the right field pavilion!

We’ve had Montejo plenty of times in Mexico, so I’m excited to have it available in the U.S. because not only is it good for drinking plain and making micheladas, it’s also a great beer for cooking — especially when it comes to marinating and tenderizing meats for summer grilling!

RELATED RECIPE: Arrachera borracha… 

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Visiting a strawberry farm with the California Strawberry Commission

In March, I was invited by the California Strawberry Commission to tour a strawberry farm. This invitation came about after I recently passed through Oxnard on a road trip, where there happen to be several of strawberry farms, and I shared a photo on Instagram and Twitter, asking whether there were any farms that gave tours. The fields and roadside strawberry stands in Oxnard reminded me of Irapuato, a central Mexican town best known for its strawberry fields and the quaint roadside stands where you can get fresh fresas con crema. I’m always interested in knowing about where my food comes from, and living in California, there’s an abundance of local, fresh produce year-round.  I was excited to visit a California strawberry farm and have the chance to ask the farmers questions about where my berries come from and how they’re grown. This post is sponsored by the California Strawberry Commission, but all experiences and opinions are my own.

On this visit, I learned that nearly 90 percent of strawberries grown in the U.S. come from California, and strawberries are grown here year-round (with a peak season in March and April) due to the optimal climate, sandy coastal soil and ocean exposure. There are more than 400 strawberry farmers who grow both conventional and organic berries, and California is also the biggest grower of organic strawberries worldwide. Oxnard, where the farm we visited is located, is about 60 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

California strawberry farm visit - More on theothersideofthetortilla.com

The farm that we visited was a family farm that has been farming in Ventura County, California, for more than 110 years. Farmers Edgar and William Terry gave us a tour of their farm, a chance to taste berries fresh from the field and ask questions—even the hard ones. Although the farm we visited was not an organic strawberry farm, I learned a great deal about the methods for growing strawberries and food safety issues (both food safety practiced in the field by the people picking your berries as well as pesticides used and how they affect our health), as well as who is growing and picking my strawberries…. 

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Wordless Wednesday: What I ate at L.A. Restaurant Week

Since we’re still relatively new to Los Angeles, we decided to get out of the house during L.A. Restaurant Week after I saw the #dineLA hastag on Twitter. We hadn’t been downtown yet, so we decided to head into the city for an experience. We ended up at Rosa Mexicano (the LA Live location) because I’d eaten there in another city when I was traveling for work a few years ago and liked it quite a bit.

Here’s what I ate at Rosa Mexicano for L.A. Restaurant Week:

Appetizer: Tacos dorados de pollo (also known as flautas) served with crema Mexicana, cheese and salsa verde.

flautas tacos dorados Rosa Mexicano

Main Course: Carne asada, frijoles con chorizo, esquites and a fresh salsa verde. The esquites were so good that I had to steal José’s since he’s not really a fan. I couldn’t let them go to waste!

carne asada and esquites Rosa Mexicano

Dessert : Espresso flan with a cinnamon whipped cream and nueces (pecans). The galleta on the bottom was divine!

espresso flan Rosa Mexicano

I also loved this little detail in the decor on the walls at this location that reminded me of the cliff divers in Acapulco.

Acapulco cliff diver art

  • Rosa Mexicano has a Festival de Helados going on through August 26 (at all locations) with paletas, raspados, helados and more in interesting flavors such as guava, chile de árbol and huckleberry, honey-amaranth crunch, plantain and peanut butter, and others. Check RosaMexicano.com for the addresses of locations in New York, L.A., Miami, Boston,  Atlanta, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, San Francisco and other cities.

Wordless Wednesday: Store-bought Tepache

As I’ve been checking out as many Mexican grocers in Los Angeles as possible, I’ve noticed one product (made by a few different brands) that was not common to find in the Mexican supermarkets in Chicago: bottled tepache. I haven’t tried any yet, but I think I will soon just because I’m seeing it everywhere and I’m getting more and more curious how it tastes compared to the homemade tepache I’ve had in Mexico and Chicago from taquerías and street stands.

tepache_TOSOTT

The fermented pineapple drink has a hard cider quality and is originally from the state of Jalisco.

For a home-brewed recipe, check out this step-by-step tepache recipe and tutorial from my friend Pati Jinich from Pati’s Mexican Table.

I used to frequently find tepache at an aguas frecas stand at the Maxwell Street Market (every Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; free admission and most vendors only accept cash). For more places to find tepache in Chicago, check out this August 2012 article from the Chicago Tribune.

  • Have you had store-bought or bottled tepache? Is it any good and do you have a preferred brand I should try?

Wordless Wednesday: Finding a good concha

If you’re a frequent reader, you know all about my deep love for pan dulce and all kinds of Mexican pastries and other baked goods. So, of course it was one of the first things I sought out during my first week living in Los Angeles. A good friend introduced me to this place and I can’t seem to stay away!

concha_pan_dulce_la_monarca_TOSOTT

This perfect concha is from La Monarca Bakery in Santa Monica (they have two more locations: Huntington Park and South Pasadena). I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this place soon, as I like to stop by there whenever I can since it’s not too far from where I work.

  • Is there a perfect piece of pan dulce in your neck of the woods? Let me know in the comments where you like to buy your pan dulce, wherever you  live!