Eating in Esco

One theme of my pregnancy is tacos. While I have always enjoyed tacos (who doesn’t?), pregnancy has put tacos in a different perspective for me.

When I felt constantly mildly nauseous such that I loathed even some of my formerly favorite foods, tacos were there for me. When I started finally liking normal foods again, my first meal of tacos made me question why I had not previously worshiped them, as they deserved.

Over the weekend, we went on a food adventure in Escondido with Tony and Belen (who is also pregnant) and started off our decadent afternoon with tacos at Mi Rancho Market, a little hole-in-the-wall grocery and taco joint. Having lived in the area, Tony and Belen swore by this place, and it did not disappoint. Their cabeza, lengua, and adobada tacos were to die for, and there was a magnificent salsa bar with delicious salsas and fresh guacamole. The meat was tender and exploding with flavor, and it gave Tacos El Gordo a run for its money. Never again will I have to drive down to Chula Vista to get the best tacos on the face of the planet.

The reviews on the pollo (dry) and barbacoa (not enough flavor) leaned toward lukewarm, though I had a bite of the barbacoa and thought it was decent – just not as good as the cabeza, lengua, or adobada. The plan was to “taste” a taco or two at multiple locations, but three of us outvoted the fourth and decided many tacos would be had here (no regrets!) There are no photos of the tacos from this location, because the sight of the tacos incited a rabid appetite such that no one thought to take pictures.

Next, we crossed the parking lot to get donuts at Peterson’s donuts. I had been in line previously while awaiting our tacos, but the line was too long, the tacos were surely already done, and a possibly homeless definitely unbalanced individual in front of us in line kept trying to chat me up about nonsense. He commented about how I must have quite the man who bought me my very impressive purse (a hot pink one I bought at Target for $15, which my mother described as “hideous” and “horrible”) and muttered something else about a motherfucker keying a red car.

The donuts were on the pricier side (or has it just been years since I have purchased a donut?) at $1.10 each, though they were quite huge and beautiful. I had the plain, glazed donut, which satisfied Fetus Watson’s craving, but I wasn’t blown away or anything. Because the donut was less exciting than the taco, I did in fact remember to take a picture:

Belen wanted a smoothie so we headed over to Tortas y Jugos Goyo, where I had a heavenly cup of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. It was delightfully tart, not too sweet, and served at room temperature, which was utter perfection to me. As I walked into Tortas y Jugos, I noticed a bakery right next door with flan on display, but I did not allow Fetus Watson to get too carried away.

That was not enough indulgence for the day, so we headed over to Jacked Up Brewery. I’d been eyeing this place on Yelp, but we don’t come out to Escondido often, so this was the perfect opportunity.  Belen declined to have any drinks, being pregnant, and the lady behind the bar (an owner, perhaps?) assured that small amounts were not only fine, they are healthy. I immediately volunteered that I did not need any convincing. The bar owner says it’s fine; it must be so!

Kyle had a really nice and very strong stout, and I had a little taster of the dry hopped pale ale (I asked for their hoppiest beer). We also picked up a Happiness And Cyanide card game called “Joking Hazard” that turned out to be a really fun game. It’s sort of an illustrated and cuter version of Cards Against Humanity (except we liked this better).

After finishing a round of “Joking Hazard,” we left. We said goodbye to Tony and Belen, but decided last minute we should stop by another taco place, called TJ Tacos.

TJ Tacos was pretty good, but not as good as Mi Rancho. The adobada had a very unique flavor (pictured on the left, above) and the suadero (beef shoulder, pictured on the right, above) was extremely tender.

Tips for next time: Start with good tacos, not amazing ones, and build up to the best. Otherwise, you won’t get far past location #1.

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