With fuel prices in California climbing close to meltdown levels, I intended to keep today's comida expedition within rifle shot of the quaint Casa Basura. Luckily, a solid (and historic) option came to mind that fit the bill perfectly. Philippe's (nowadays pronounced with the E on the end) is an LA landmark that hardly needs anymore introductions, but I will gladly oblige nevertheless. Originally opened in 1908 by French immigrant Philippe Mathieu, this old-fashioned lunchroom holds title for generating the illustrious French Dip. While this dubious claim is often disputed by Cole's Pacific Electric Buffet (who also declares the honor), most Angelenos think Philippe's first for dips. I somehow managed to miss the noon rush, so I chose the shortest line with the most animated lunch lady (all orders carved on the spot) and presented my humble request: beef dip, coleslaw, pickled huevo (brined in beet juice for a psychedelic effect), and an ice cold lemonade.
Friday, April 15, 2011
After an unintentional hiatus, I, Solo Basura, have returned once again to the lunch lines to seek out worthy comida that proves to be both mildly inspirational and downright delectable. On a lovely Viernes afternoon, K and I found ourselves in Encinitas at one of my favorecido North County roadside stalls. Raul's is mostly known for their adobaba, chile verde, and fish burritos but whenever I'm in San Diego my brain instantly computes rolled tacos. I swiftly ordered the number 13 combo: four rolled tacos (2 carne, 2 pollo) served with rice and beans (both vegetarian as it goes). At this point I will pause because I know what you're thinking: "Man, that's some gringo comida if I've ever seen any." While this is certainly true (catering mainly to surfers and teenagers), Raul's does manage to keep it real with items like the Mexico City style chicken sopa: flavorful broth, tomates, onion, shredded pollo, sliced avacado. This happens to be K's go to choice here (with a taco back of course), so after the stage was set we started on in.