Sunday, November 22, 2009

Go Go El Borrego! Part Two

Supporting my neighborhood's great eateries have always been my second motivation to my blog and I've always been meaning to do a follow up to my first El Borrego post. I typically cringe when I revisit early posts of mine but this one wasn't too bad.. ;) I especially laughed at the ending, "Great Lamb dishes that never make you say "ba-a-a-ah". Haha! Very classy Dennis. :P

So anyway, El Borrego specializes in Lamb Barbacoa dishes but I noticed in the last year or so they've expanded their menu to much more and I wanted it to be the focus of Part Two. EB isn't exactly out of the way for me but it's also not the most conveniently located so my visits were unfortunately far and few between. I finally felt I documented enough meals to cobble something together so here we go..

My most recent visit was for a weekend brunch and I was curious of their Green Pork Pozole listed on the specials board. I had already ordered my Chilaquiles so I asked for a half portion which they were more than happy to do ($6).

Looked wonderfully rich which it was and came with many condiments including avocado slices, pork rinds, tortilla chips on one plate, shredded cabbage and chopped radish in another bowl, and dried oregano and red chili powder in shakers.

When loaded my pozole looked like so. I ended up later taking some of the dried oregano out of the container and simply crushed it with my hands. I also loved how the pork rinds crackled when placed in the soup. Croutons with some attitude? :)

Was a very nice broth with generous chunks of tender pork. The hominy added a texture of potatoes and were all great. This was definitely a meal in itself but again this was only a half portion. Delicious.

My main was the Chilaquiles which I already knew I would be taking some home with me but nothing wrong with that. There are a few topping options you can have with. I chose their lamb barbacoa and (why not) an over-easy egg ($6.99 + $1.25).

You can also choose either red or green sauce. I chose the green and the fresh mild tartness of the tomatillos really complemented the rich lamb, cheese, cream and eggs. Before I forget, El Borrego's full menu here. (I updated with a better high resolution image that is more legible.)

Messy and most wonderful. I would definitely order this again, and with another cup of their Mexican Style Coffee (with cane sugar and cinnamon).

I think I mentioned wanting to try the Lamb Especial on my first post which I did twice ($7.25). May look tame at first glance but it is a nice taster plate of a lamb taco, a rolled taco (lamb), a quesadilla, rice and a nopal salad.

The lamb barbacoa taco was as always extremely moist and tender. The tortillas here are handmade.

Had this a few times and found the gamyness usually on the mild side and also could use a light dash of salt. But with their extremely fresh Salsa Rojo and Salsa Verde, cilantro and chopped onions, squeeze of lime, it never fails to transform into a mighty meal. Yum.

The quesadilla is a nice and gooey cheese taco that seems to included what I think are strips of nopal cactus (and sweet corn).

The rolled taco on the other hand is fried and topped with cream and cotija cheese. The lamb flavor is quite mild here as well. Chicken and Potato are other filling options.

Just having fun with this aerial view..

During one visit I tried their Banana Leaf wrapped Tamale.

Were again a few to choose from but I ordered the chicken with green chile.

I'm no expert of tamales but the masa was of an extremely fine texture and very smooth. I enjoyed the light aroma that the banana leaves imparted and the filling of chicken and sauce was a nice amount as I now learned to expect from EB (more food for dinner, ha).

I ended up doing the post in a somewhat reverse chronological order but the chicken enchilada with mole sauce I had earliest this year ($8.75). You can choose between a red, green, or mole sauce for any of their enchiladas.

The mole was how I preferred without too strong of a licorice flavor.

The chicken was also extremely tender and moist and doused with a bit more of the tasty mole before wrapping for good measure. :) The beans and rice also always good.

Finally just so no one complains that I never post enough photos.. ;) Another lamb taco which I got a la carte. The $1.50 street truck price is certainly not a bad deal.

But for next time I'm definitely ready for another order of the Lamb Mixiote (the very first images of this post from part one).

A before and after of the exterior, to the right is a more recent photo. So if you're in the mood for some good food and happen to be driving along El Cajon Blvd you might want to drop by this place even if it means making a U-ey.

Because at least for me once I'm in and settled..

I'm always very glad I did. :)

El Borrego Restaurant, 4280 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115


K and S said...

never had lamb in tacos but it sounds so good!

Sawyer said...

wow, love all the pictures! there was this place next to my house that served pozole, but now, like many restaurants, they've gone out of business and i never got to try it...i'll have to look around harder. sounds like a delicious breakfast! enough to put you right back to sleep =p

what exactly is borrego style?

Dennis K. said...

Hi K&S I can't do goat just yet but I love lamb!

Hi Sawyer, this place has great light with the large windows and my pics usually turn out pretty good (although some a bit over exposed). Ha, you got me there.. My bad grammar again being redundant. ;P

Masa Assassin said...

A long time favorite of mine, I love the mixote. Now you have me in the mood for this :) Thanks for all the detail I never tried the tamal here.

Dennis K. said...

Hi MA, happy Thanksgiving! Super nice people here at El Borrego. As I was eating the tamale I was totally wondering what the Masa Assassin would think of it, haha. I still need to hit up more of the places you've been introducing though. Cheers