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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

IAQ (Infrequently Asked Questions)

The following are some questions that nobody ever asks me but that I imagine must be floating around some readers' heads. Actually, I've been asked two of the questions before.

You mean to tell me you only eat at Mexican restaurants?

Nope. They're just the only kind of restaurants I write about. Some non-Mexican restaurants I've been to recently include 50 Forks, Ciao Brasserie, and Li's Chinese.

Why are you so nice in all your reviews? As a critic aren't you supposed to point out all the bad stuff?

Well, I'm not really a critic. A couple years ago I set out on a quest to make a concerted effort to try out many new Mexican restaurants in Orange County, California. Beginning in December 2005 I finally began chronicling my experiences. If my web log can expand others' horizons then that is a wonderful thing. I'm not really trying to critique any one place so much as give an overview of my experience at it. There's a couple places I have had bad experiences at (one was kinda bad, one was fairly bad, and the third was just unmitigatingly, extraordinarily bad) but I realize my experiences may have been exceptions so I keep my mouth shut. Of course I have pointed out a few negative things here and there.

Are you allowed to use the Speedy Gonzales image on your site?

I don't know. But if Warner Bros. wants me to stop then I will. And I did meet the wife of the guy who created the character one time at Fashion Island and conversed with her briefly so I think that gives me some kind of authority to use the character. And I'm using him in a very appropriate way that doesn't offend racial sensitivities. And if anybody thinks there's something offensive about Speedy then I can find a thousand Mexicans or more who would claim otherwise, including all the vatos I see driving around Los Angeles with Speedy Gonzales stickers on their pimped out rides. Or, if Warner Bros. wants, I can pay them 15% of everything I make from this site.

Do you make any money from this site?

I wish.

Has any restaurant owner ever invited you to their restaurant and/or given you free food?


Are you going to eat any more grasshoppers?


Sometimes you talk about a particular place being authentic. What exactly makes one place "authentic" and another place inauthentic?

An authentic Mexican restaurant is any place that does not have an item on its menu called a Crunchwrap Supreme. Joking aside, that is a very good question and I have wondered how to articulate an answer. Usually I just go by my gut feeling. Sometimes you go off of whether or not people that have moved here from Mexico consider it to be authentic. Let's solicit some opinions and I can put them together for a later entry.

How come I don't see any of those Google ads on your blog?

Because they are aesthetically unappealing and tend to be irrelevant to the actual content of the sites that you see them on.

But don't you care about making money?

Not as much as I should when I live in a greedy, capitalistic county like Orange County. I'm really a lot like Speedy Gonzales' sleepy cousin, Slowpoke Rodriguez.

Slowpoke Rodriguez

So, are you ever going to have ads on the site?

Maybe. But if I do they will be relevant and only for products or services I actually approve of.

How come you keep using the phrase "pretty good" in your reviews?

Because I have a weak vocabulary (feeble attempt at self-deprecatory humor). But I'm working on it.

How come you don't give enough details about the actual food?
Blame it on the weak vocabulary, but every time I think about what words to use the only word that comes to mind is "succulent" but I see that word too often in other food reviews and I just don't want to go there. The other thing is that, quite often, the food at one place is very similar to the food at many other places so I tend to only mention something about the food if it stands out as being particularly good, bad, or unusual.

I've heard you make a mean flan.

You've heard correctly.

What do you think about Dr. Phil?

I don't know. Does he like Mexican food?

The biggest compliment you can give me is to let other people know about this site. If somebody isn't looking for the information that this site offers then that is fine. But if they are looking for it and don't find it that would be a tragedy. Thanks for reading. Keep the comments coming.


Joy said...

How was 50 Forks?

ChristianZ said...

You should really try it sometime. It is run by students of the culinary arts school at the Art Institute of Orange County. The absolute most I have ever paid for a meal (salad, appetizer, entree, and dessert) there is $26 and usually a good bit less than that. When they have dinner it is a fixed price of $13 per person. It is very fancy food that you could imagine paying $75-100 for but much of the cost is subsidized by the students' tuition. Don't worry that it is students making it because they have instructors watching everything to make sure it is all up to par and I have never been disappointed. It is kind of like Taco Rosa in that I have taken numerous people there and everyone loves it.

Joy said...

Sounds like a good deal.

The Orange Coast College has the same kind of student-run restaurant, called the Captain's Table. They only serve lunch, and only once a week (on Thursdays), but it's only $9. They have a different cuisine featured each day of the semester, and unless you went last month, you already missed Mexican. (From the pictures on their site, some of the other meals look somewhat better than the Mexican lunch anyway.)

I haven't tried it yet, since I almost never go out to eat for lunch, but for $9, how bad could it be?

elmomonster said...

I have to check out 50 Forks soon, thanks for the reminder. Been interested it it ever since Gustavo reviewed it, but never got a chance yet.

I have been to Captain's Table a few times though. Good stuff.

Here's my review BTW, if anyone's interested.

joy said...

>looks sheepish< I'm pretty sure that Elmo's review is where I first heard of 50 Forks. Recently I've been scouring the (few) blogs out there on OC food looking for restaurants to add to my Go To list, and Elmo's has been a really informative source. Keep those good reviews coming, both of you, thanks!!!