Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Dusty Bottoms: Do you have anything here besides Mexican food?

So O.G. and I were driving through East L.A. Sounds like the set up for a gangsta movie about an old lady cop and a young recruit? Not so much. We found ourselves there after picking out gravestones. Planning your own death makes you famished. Since it was lunch time, we both knew one thing. Tacos.
Many years ago my GREAT-grandmother lived in Boyle Heights. It wasn't like it was now. It was a little livelier, a little safer. Just a little. East L.A. used to have a big Japanese American community. That was about 40 years ago, before the gangs moved in. Boyle Heights is small, but there are close to 60 different gangs in that tiny area. Hard to believe.

I remember going there as a kid, probably around 7 years old, and the one thing seared into my memory was going out for tacos to El Tepeyac. El Tepeyac is still a working restaurant, in the same place where it stood 30 or so years ago.
They are known for having the 'Best burrito in L.A.' - they are gargantuan things, you don't have a fighting chance against. They are known for their Hollenbeck burrito, named after the Hollenbeck Police station which patrols the neighborhood, but their most famous is the Manuel Special, a FIVE POUND burrito almost impossible to eat.

But on this day everyone in front of me was ordering taquitos. EVERYONE. How could I go wrong? As usual O.G. tried to get me to order something else (read: eat half HER food) but I stuck to my guns and I'm glad I did. The guacamole was near perfection, and that is the most important thing to me. The taquitos were almost too full of meat, you could have probably made 4 taquitos out of those two, and the rice and beans taste just like homemade. O.G. got her tacos and she was happy.
Boyle Heights isn't the world's safest place, but the food - man, it's still as good as I remember. O.G. and I plan to go back soon. Maybe our movie wouldn't be so 'buddy cop' but more Friday starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker. Or not.

Here is the episode of Man v. Food where you can see how the 'Manuel Special' is made.

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9 Comments:

Blogger The Food Librarian said...

When I worked at the museum, we would go here sometimes...yum! Seriously a good place to be.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 7:41:00 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Does the section under "a la carte" say "Banos" (pretend there's a ~ over my n)???

Bathrooms? I'm confused.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 8:34:00 AM  
Blogger Lilcee said...

It's been ages since I've been here. I wouldn't even attempt the burrito.

Hmmm, I've never had the taquitos. Maybe I'll try that next time.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Ally said...

Yum! That whole menu looks delicious!

Ha! Your first sentence reminds me of Joshi Deka!

Also, doesn't banos with the ~ also mean, like, a covering or coating?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 8:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is ONE of my FAVORITE Mexican food restaurants!! Oh the Guac!! LOVE!!!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 11:59:00 PM  
Anonymous kat said...

I also cannot keep avacados in the house long enough to make guac. however, unlike the tjpb cups, this is only a problem of mine.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 2:26:00 PM  
Anonymous alibaba38 said...

I was visiting with family on the east coast and they wanted to celebrate cinco de mayo, I was telling them about the five pound burrito and that next year they'd have to come to Cali for real Mexican. I love El Tepeyac, and their chicken hard tacos are yummy, all white meat.

Thursday, May 07, 2009 2:14:00 PM  
Blogger Yvett said...

That looks soooooo good (except for the guacamole which I loathe). Now I'm craving tacos and refried beans.

Friday, May 08, 2009 9:22:00 AM  
Anonymous E.S said...

The Best!!!!!!

Friday, May 08, 2009 5:59:00 PM  

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