Tuesday, January 24, 2012

El Cholo Cantina: A Culinary Delight!!!!!

OK look, El Cholo Cantina is Americanized Mexican food! Simple as that! And there's nothing wrong with Americanized Mexican food at all! At all!! I've been to El Mercadito in Boyle Heights, the barrios of Tecate, and have been to more than one backyard Mexican barbecue in East LA! I would like to think that I know and have sampled legitimate and real Mexican Food!!! Does that mean because El Cholo is a little bit of a departure from the real thing mean that it is automatically disqualified as being good tasting food?!?! I say absolutely not!!!!!!!! No Way!!!!!!!! One of my best friends is Mexican and grew up in Santa Ana!! His parents immigrated to the US and hardly speak a word of English! Barry, my buddy, gets absolutely offended when it comes to Americanized Mexican food!!! My question for him is always, "Why?!?!" I always tell him, "Dude, you just have to take this food for what it's worth! It's not what you are going to find when down in Mexico and that's OK! The same idea applies for Japanese food, Italian food, Chinese food, etc. The different ethnic foods you find here in America are not truly authentic!! So just relax, put the food in it's proper context and enjoy it!!!" He never agrees with me!!  With that being said, Americanized Mexican food absolutely has a place in the culinary world and I find it to be quite delicious!!!  And again, El Cholo Cantina is not the type of truly authentic Mexican Food you will find in the aforementioned places! But places like El Torito, Chipotle,  and Chevy's  though not authentic ... they're damned good!!! They're damned good!!! They're damned good!!! They're damned good!!! They're damned good! They're damned good!!! You're not going to change my mind!!! You're not going to change my mind!!! You're not going to change my mind!!! You got that Barry!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!
So with that, I went to El Cholo Cantina the other night!!! I've been here a few times before, and hands down, this is one of my favorite restaurants to eat at!!!!! When I heard we were gonna eat at El Cholo Cantina in Irvine, I began to get butterflies in my stomach and I felt exactly like I did the night before I asked my high school crush to the Senior Prom!!! Later that summer she dumped me and broke my heart!!!! Damn you, Elaine!!!!!! Damn you!!!! ... Anyway, upon knowing that El Cholo Cantina would soon happen, my gut became filled with childhood puppy-love and joy which I thought was now dulled down because of experiencing the harsh realities of life!!!! I never knew I could feel this way again!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! In the past at El Cholo, I've hammered down the Chicken Chimichangas (which are not Mexican, but Southwestern/Tex-Mex), and the Carne Asad Burrito (Again, burritos are not Mexican), both of which were completely and utterly brilliant meals!!!!! Soooooooooooooooooooooooooo g-damn good!!!!!!... SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!
When I returned the other night, it was the Carnitas Plate that caught my eye!!!! I was like a Rainbow Trout who had been fooled by a plastic caddisfly loitering on the top of a stream by an angler with his fly-rod!!!! I mean, when I saw that Carnitas Plate on the menu, I was hooked!!!!! And no matter how hard I might've wanted to fight and jump and get the hell out of the grips of that fishing net I was being reeled into, there was no escape for me!!!!! Carnitas Plata pour mi por favor!!!!!!!! Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!
After our orders had been placed, our wonderful server for the nigh brought out basket upon basket of free chips and salsa!!!!! We ordered some guacamole to accompany our chips and salsa!!!!! These chips were unbelievably tasty!!!! Unbelievably!!!!! Jesus Christ!!!! These chips had to have just been pulled out of the fryer!!! They were hot, greasy, and absolutely melted in my mouth!!!!! And their salsa is nothing short of addicting!!!!!!!! There is something they put in the salsa that makes is so flavorful!!!!! I can't put my finger on what exactly it was, but I swear to God I probably could've just sat at that table all night plowing through basket after basket after basket of those chips and salsa!!!!!!!! With these chips and salsa in mind, it's now tempting for me to get a syringe, fill it with El Cholo salsa, dim the lights in my room and line my arm with tire tracks every single night of the week!!!!! No joke!!!!! Oh, the guacamole was OK too!!!! While we were eating our chips and salsa, our server suprised us and brought out a plate of chips covered in melted cheese!!!!!! When we asked him about this he pointed to a small sign on our booth that read, "Nacho Table." Apparentely if you're sitting at the "Nacho Table" then they'll bring you out a free plate of Nachos!!!! Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeettttttt!!!!!! Ahahahahahahahahaha!!!! In picking up a nacho, I actually picked up something like 10 of them because the cheese was sticking and attached to many of the chips!!!!! Hey, it counts as one nacho, right?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Ahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! The cheese and chips were so greasy and so beautiful tasting that I actually had a moment of clarity and asked in kind of a loud voice looking at the ceiling, "What have I done to deserve this?!?!?!?!?! What have I done to receive such a graceful blessing?!?!?!?!?!?!" People then started to stare at me. It was a little embarrassing...
Then then then then... They brought out the entrees!!!!!! Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! When the server dropped my plate down in front of me, I had forgotten how unbelievably massive the portions are which El Cholo gives to you!!! I had a huge pile of carnitas on my plate along with a huge side of rice and beans!!!! I asked the waiter to bring me some extra corn tortillas because my plan was to construct as many carnitas tacos as I possibly could out of my plate!!! I ended up having a total of 9 corn tortillas that were each filled with carnitas, rice, beans, guacamole, lettuce, and salsa!!!! Nine of them baby!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! As I sat there loading up tortilla after tortilla and pushing each of them down into my growling stomach, I think I could actually hear myself getting fatter and my arteries clogging!!!!! The food here is incredibly heavy and sits in your gut like a g-damn cinder-block!!!! But I love and live for that feeling of lard slowly churning through your intestines, so for me it was a mezmorizing moment!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! I thought the carnitas were fantastic!!! The tortillas were hot and fluffy, and the rice and beans were all of a high quality!!!!! This was a wonderful, life giving meal that I partook in at El Cholo Cantina!!!!! So excited was I, that I ended up texting my closest friends, sharing with them that I had just had one of the most amazing meals of my entire life!!!! I want to share meaningful and important moments in my life, and this moment was worth sharing with the people who are closest to me, the ones I love!!!! That's what I want to do when I have a good meal!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! 
All I can say is that if you want a huge plate of sublime tasting Mexican food, then this is your place!!! Don't leave this life with regrets!!!! Go to El Cholo Cantina and experience the life that is truly life!!!!!! Oh yeah, and be sure to sit at the "Nacho Table!!!!!" Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!! Do it now!!! Now I say!!!

El Cholo Cantina on Urbanspoon

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