When we were in San Diego, I was that super-annoying person texting my friend, Jaime, who used to live in San Diego, all day long with things like ‘why did you ever leave??’ whenever I ate great Mexican food, saw the ocean, or generally did any of those fun things that makes the world wonder why we don’t all live on the west coast.
And of course, she responded with ‘um, because a 2BR condo is a bazillion dollars,’ which is exactly what I tell those same super-annoying people who ask me ad nauseum why I moved from Honolulu to Knoxville.
The reason my logic was so clouded is that (a) I was way too interested in drinking margaritas than I was remembering what paying $4.85/gal felt like as the Booze Hound gassed up to drive my constantly-semi-tipsy ass around town, and (b) THE MEXICAN FOOD.
Good Mexican food is homemade and fresh. If your restaurant tag line is that you make your salsa from scratch every day, I am instantly suspect because I am 100% sure there are things on your menu not from scratch. And Mexican food not from scratch is no bueno.
My Mexican food snobbery is at an all-time high now because everything we ate in San Diego was made from scratch, right down to the tortillas. Now. If you have never had homemade tortillas, you are missing out on one of the finer things in life. Comparing them to store-bought is like comparing New Kids on the Block to the ‘Nashville’ soundtrack. Totally not the same. (But both totally on my iPod.)
Making tortillas is not high-maintenance. There is no yeast, no rising. You could use a tortilla maker, but you don’t need one. They freeze well, and they make the Tiffany’s of breakfast burritos. Every Mexican dish that showcases a tortilla (think tacos, tostadas, etc) will taste like you dipped it in GOLD, but you didn’t… you just made your tortillas from scratch.
If you wanted to move to San Diego for the food, I really couldn’t fault you. It’s a food paradise. But there’s a ‘paradise tax,’ and it’s not pretty. We’ve paid it, we know. But I’ve also eaten bad Mexican food, so really, it’s like six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Thank goodness you can have homemade tortillas to snack on while you decide. 🙂
- 3 c flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ⅓ c canola oil
- 1 c hot water
- Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl with a whisk. Add the canola oil and mix with your fingers until all the oil is incorporated and the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add the hot water and mix until a ball is formed. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes. (I have done this for up to 2 days in the refrigerator).
- Preheat an ungreased frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Divide the dough into 12 balls and roll out one at a time to desired size on a floured surface. Cook tortillas on one side until brown blisters form (about 2 minutes), then flip and cook about 2 minutes more.