Friday, May 27, 2022

Eating Around the World - 2022 "Challenge" [May - Mexican]

I came up with a fun "challenge" for the hubby and I to tackle in 2022. You see, we try and limit our eating out to once a week (because I'm frugal like that ;)). With that said, we tend to stick to our tried-and-true favorites (you gotta make the most of those dining-out experiences, right?!). Well, that means we usually eat at the same two restaurants. Hear me out, I am NOT complaining, but I thought it might be a fun "challenge" for the year to try a new place once a month. To take the idea one step further, I thought we could try a different cuisine every month - that way we aren't just trying a new Mexican restaurant every month (because, let's be real, I can never turn down great chips and salsa ;)). Here's how it went:

[Originally this was going to be a single post, but blog readers said they preferred monthly, so ask and you shall receive.] 

January - Indian

February - Korean

March - Pizza

April - Vegan

May - Mexican

Let's just say, when people ask "if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?" it's immediate... Mexican is my go-to. With that being said, we already have our go-to spot so we normally don't stray away from our fave. Even still, when it was May's turn for a new-to-us restaurant, I was feelin' Mexican, so we thought we'd give it a shot. Like months prior, we turned to Yelp (I've been a "Yelp Elite" for the past 5 years, so clearly we rely on "the people's" expertise on a regular basis!) to help us narrow down our choices - since obviously SoCal is teaming with Mexican food. We decided on Casero Taqueria for this month's new-to-us restaurant. We liked the slogan, "Baja Inspired. Carlsbad Made." 

The place had a very cool vibe (but I did feel a bit under-dressed
since I came from working at the running store all day...).

The hubby and I started with an order of the Mexican Street Corn. (I LOVE CORN ON THE COB! I'd say my top choice is plain or with light salt sprinkled on it, but Mexican style can be tasty too.) This corn was scrum-didily-umptious! I think the only thing that would have made it better (especially for the hubby because he mowed down) was if there was more... 

I don't know how much corn normally costs when you eat out (because I normally just eat
it at home), but $7 for what equates to a full piece of corn on the cob did seem a bit high...

When it came to entrees, both the hubby and I ordered the BRC Burrito (pinto beans, rice and cheese) and added guacamole. I'll be honest and say I normally prefer black beans and no rice, but this was really the only veggie burrito offered, so we went with it. Don't get me wrong, the burrito was yummy, but I don't know if there was anything special about it. It tasted fresh and the green salsa I asked for on the side was flavorful, but because we already have our favorite Mexican spot, I knew this was really going to have to blow my mind to take over the top spot and I wouldn't say it did that.

Next time I'd skip the guac, it didn't taste amazing do not worth the $3 in my opinion.

Oh yeah, and how can I forget the chips and salsa?! No matter how good the meal is, if the chips and salsa are sub-par, I can almost guarantee I won't return. The chips had a seasoning that made them different from your standard tortilla chip. The salsa was good but a bit thinner than I would've liked (and a bit more chipotle flavored than I normally prefer).

You can see the seasoning on the chips in the photo. I'm normally a purist, but it wasn't terrible.

Again, I know there were unrealistic expectations in my mind, so I have to say that there was nothing "bad" about this place, and, the hubby and I both agreed that if people came into town and wanted more of a sit down Mexican dining experience (our go-to spot is fast casual, where you order at the counter), we would definitely come back... But this was pricier than our normal spot and I wouldn't say any better, so it probably won't be making it into our normal rotation.

When was the last time you tried a new-to-you restaurant?

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