|La Nueva Reyna de Michoacan|
300 E 4th St
Santa Ana, CA 92701
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No known official website.
Was contacted recently by Kathy Nguyen at The Orange County Register asking if I would like my site profiled in the paper. We agreed to meet over Mexican food, and since I've been meaning to get to the Mexican ice cream store known as La Nueva Reyna de Michoacan after reading about it in the OC Weekly, and knowing it was close to the Register offices Kathy and I agreed that it'd be fun to talk over some ice cream.
I arrived before Kathy did and waited for her to show up. When she did we both went in and started talking with the lady working there who was very nice but was reluctant to allow either of us to take pictures. Kathy and I then stepped outside to figure out what to do. She said that perhaps I looked like a stern health inspector or some other intimidating official sort of person. In my jeans and Hawaiian shirt I thought I looked pretty laid back but guess that just made me look like a health inspector in disguise. Since neither Kathy or I knew very good Spanish (although Kathy's has excellent Spanish pronunciation) she decided to call for some bilingual backup from the Register. She was able to get someone fluent in Spanish on the cell phone then handed the cell phone to the woman behind the counter to explain to her that we were friendly visitors there who meant no harm. The woman understood the explanation she got over the cell phone and eased up and explained to us all the frozen treats they serve.
I had heard the guava ice cream was good but found out they didn't have any when I was in. One ice cream flavor they had that I never knew existed as an ice cream flavor was cottage cheese. I sampled that and it just tasted like extra creamy, extra rich vanilla ice cream with a slight cheesy velvet-like texture to it, smooth not curdled. The only other kind I sampled before settling on a purchase to make was the cinnamon ice cream which was good and "cinnamony" but I couldn't really imagine eating a whole cone full of it.
I finally settled on one of these paletas, a fresh fruit popsicle, basically, that are made and packaged on location and sold there and maybe even sold elsewhere outside of the store.
While the whole discussion between Kathy and I is going on and during all our sampling and purchasing and unwrapping and enjoying Register photographer Leonard Ortiz was there to capture all the action. I'm not exaggerating when I say I think he took at least 200-250 photos. Some I hope are never seen by the general public, such as when I had to open my popsicle wrapper with my teeth and when I dropped all my change onto the ground and stooped down to try to pick it up. In the following shot Leonard and I are both capturing Kathy holding her cone of walnut ice cream:
I ordered the creamy strawberry popsicle that had a huge frozen strawberry almost falling out of the bottom and leaving very little of the popsicle stick left for me to grab onto. I wasn't complaining though. On a hot day this refreshing treat was exactly what I needed.
The writeup on this is supposed to be appearing as the lead article in the Life section of the Register on Monday, July 2, which will focus on several other food-loving people as well. I don't know exactly how the article is going to turn out. I was asked if I wouldn't mind having my picture taken for it. I struggled with how to handle that since, according to the 300-yr. old Food Bloggers Code Book, my appearance should be kept secret but at the same time I didn't want to reject the request. My solution was that maybe I could have my picture taken in such a way that readers would get some idea of what I looked like while still leaving me mostly unrecognizable to owners of restaurants I might visit in the future. So when the actual pictures were taken my best attempt to disguise myself was to put my sunglasses on. And maybe they'll use a picture with my back turned to the camera. At least I'll never be able to wear that same Hawaiian shirt to a Mexican restaurant again.