Thursday, July 5, 2012

California's Finest Mexican Ca Cao

Anyone who knows me at all, also knows that as a general rule, I do not eat Mexican or Chinese food. So even wonderful places for those types of cuisines will probably never make it onto my restaurant list, much less into my mouth. The old saying, "Familiarity breeds contempt", is my reason for shunning both; I grew up in a Chinese restaurant and I worked in a Mexican one (please don't ask so I won't have to tell).

For Mexican food to even make it into a conversation with me is remarkable, but when TWO food connaisseurs tell me about the same place and rave about it, I made the trek to Eagle Rock (a 20 mile drive) just to satisfy my curiosity and try the place. I am so very glad I did. Ca Cao is not only a restaurant, it's a deli, so many of the items they serve are available for sale to take home, from the tortillas to the sauces and everything in between. You will want to do that because they make EVERYTHING here (yes, that includes the tortillas)!

The chips here are the BEST I have EVER eaten (having worked in a Mexican restaurant, this was the one smell I could never get out of my nostrils at the end of the night). Made fresh daily and sprinkled with a delectable seasoning, they were great without either accompanying (freshly made) sauce.

Ca Cao is famous for their mole and chocolate, so my friend ordered their mole fries for $4.95 that I guarantee will be unlike any french fry you have ever tasted. I did not care for the sweet smoky flavor, but would say that many people would (I just don't care for sweet savory dishes in general).

The mesquite smoked Angus beef torta was only $9.50. Made with freshly baked rolls from the Eagle Rock Italian Bakery, beans, tres quesos (three cheeses), sauteed onions, tomatoes and jalapenos, this was the ultimate Mexican meat sandwich.

I had to order the sustainable white fish, seared with garlic infused Valle de Guadelupe olive oil, topped with avocado and charred spring onions, and served with cilantro lime rice and  pico de gallo for $14.95. This was the best fish I've ever had in a Mexican restaurant, including the fish I've eaten IN Mexico in Careyes (yes, I also lived and worked in Mexico for about a month, but that's another don't ask don't tell story:) The plate was so big, I had to take half of it home, but it was just as delightful even reheated the next day as it was in the restaurant.

My friend somehow found room for dessert (she always does), so she got a nice ice cream sundae, drizzled with chocolate sauce, sprinkled with almonds and accompanied bu fried tortilla chips. It was the perfect ending to a meal which will remind me not to prejudge any place based on cuisine!

They have a marvelous happy hour menu Tuesday-Friday from 3:00-5:30 with tacos that are only $1.65 and a "gringo burrito", made with carne asada, french fries, green onion, cheddar cheese, guacamole, and lettuce is only $5.95!!!!

Cacao Mexicatessen on Urbanspoon

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