Appetizer: Chips and Salsa
Entree: Ensalada de Nopales
A la carte: Taco de Rajas
Dessert: Chocolate Mayan Tart
On this, the first anniversary of the beginning of this "blog" (still not sure I like that word), I'm highlighting my other favorite place: Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen on the Circle in Old Towne Orange. There is still no sign out front but they get enough business that co-owner Ed Patrick (Gabbi's husband) feels they may never need one. The above picture should help you locate it though if you've never been before.
On this visit I finally tried an item from their menu I had eyed many times before, the Ensalada de Nopales, or "Cactus Salad" for us gringos. A nearby customer (I believe his name was Robert) asked what I had ordered and when i told him he said that he was a connosieur of nopalitos, having practically grown up on them in Texas. He said many Mexican restaurants in Texas serve nopalitos with scrambled eggs for breakfast.
According to the menu on their official site the Ensalada de Nopales is comprised of "Breaded cactus, diced chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, cotija cheese, avocado, romaine lettuce & chipotle ranch dressing."
On Ed's suggestion I rounded out my lunch with a Taco de Rajas (not pictured) on the side. Another item I've never had before, the Taco de Rajas are filled with "Melted Oaxaca cheese, roasted pasilla strips
& onions." I also found out today that they have a newly updated dessert menu and I love how all their menus come on a wooden board:
I was tempted to try their new flan presentation (that'll have to wait for my next visit) but was even more tempted to try the Chocolate Mayan Tart, a pastry filled with a layer of ganache then topped with truffles made from Ibarra brand chocolate and resting in a cajeta (caramel) sauce, with a dollop of whipped cream and a mint sprig on the side:
When it was brought out to me my dessert was getting oohs and aahs from the other nearby patrons, with one of them (not Robert, somebody else) wanting to know what it was called. It was very good and very rich, probably a two-person dessert. I had to take half of it back with me, but every single bite transported me dreamily to Homer's Land of Chocolate:
Gabbi's easily maintains its five Speedy Gonzales rating:
Also see the review in Greer's OC (a site pointed out to me by Rafael, another customer I visited with earlier today while at Gabbi's).