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Posts Tagged: Tacos

The various types of Mexican food we tried On Tour

Here at El Camion, our menu comprises of mostly cuisine from the Baja California region of Mexico. This Northern part of the country has links to the United States, and comprises of lots of fish, tacos, burritos and quesadillas, as well as fish and steak.

So it was fun to explore the other gastronomic delights of Mexican food when we went On Tour to Mexico City recently, and see the dishes that don’t make it as frequently across the seas. Here’s a little round-up of what we found:

CACTUS SALAD

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Yep, that’s right – a salad made from cactus. Actually refreshing and completely delicious. It had the texture of green beans but was much more flavoursome, and was marinated with lime juice, coriander, chilli and onion. Cactus is actually incredibly good for you, having many of the same properties and nutrients as Aloe Vera (it’s from the same genus). We also had cactus pears (very tasty), and wonderful cactus juice.

CHILAQUILES

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Chilaquiles is a traditional breakfast dish in Mexico containing, as many meals do, tortilla chips.The tortilla chips are fried until they start to soften, then placed on a plate and topped with pulled chicken and sour cream, and served with refried beans on the side. To ensure the tortillas remain crisp, the salsa is added last – in this example it is red salsa.

BLUE CORN TORTILLA QUESADILLAS 

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Quesadillas can be eaten at any time of day (we serve some very popular ones at El Camion!) but these particular varieties were eaten at breakfast. They have a variety of fillings, including mushroom, cactus and pulled pork. What makes them quesadillas is the melted cheese inside – the name comes from the Spanish word ‘Queso’, which means cheese. Blue corn (also known as Hopi maize) is a variety of flint maize grown in Mexico. It contains 20 percent more protein than white corn, and has a sweeter, nuttier taste.

TRI-COLOUR ENCHILADA

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Enchiladas, for anyone who hasn’t chowed down on our El Camion variety, is a corn tortilla rolled around a filling and covered in sauce, usually containing rice and a mix of meat and vegetables. This variety has three colours made from green and red salsa and black beans. The sour cream also adds to the impression of colours from the Mexican flag.

TORTILLA SOUP

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These tortillas crop up everywhere! Well, they are a staple item in Mexican food. It’s very popular to have them cut into strips and added to soup, such as this tomato variety made with chicken stock. Other additions include avocado chunks and fried onions.

 

So there you have it – a little gastronomic tour of our visit to Mexico City! If you fancy experiencing the flavours of Mexican Food yourself then come down and visit some day – and here’s a picture of our fabulous Mixed Botanas to tempt you!

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The colours of Mexico City

Here at El Camion, we’re known for being a bright and cheerful kind of establishment. We serve authentic Baja Californian cuisine, and like to bring the joys of warmer climes to Soho with our eye-popping decor.

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And a recent visit to Mexico proved beyond all doubt that this is one of the most colourful and vibrant places we’ve ever encountered.

Take the houses, casually jostling for space in Mexico City centre, right next to historical Spanish churches…

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They’re beautiful! Canary-yellow and cherry red facades, with azure blue awnings on the windows. Why can’t London be a little more cheerful?!

Then there are the famous pieces of artwork…

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This is just a small portion of the incredible mural painted by Diego Rivera, showing the history of Mexico and its people. Literally the most beautiful, intricate and colourful piece of artwork we’ve ever seen.

There are the traditional boats, also known as trajineras, which are found in Xochimilco…

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The spices in the market…

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And even the breakfasts! If we woke up to such colourful food every day, we’re sure we’d be smiling ALL THE TIME!

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Which is why we aim to bring similar happiness with the plates that we serve…

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So, if you can’t get over to Mexico yourself, just remember – we’re on hand to bring the brightness to London!

 

 

So how did YOU celebrate Cinco De Mayo?

Well, this time last week we were holding our heads and groaning slightly, ready to indulge in our of our Mexican Hangover cures. Yep, it was the morning after Cinco De Mayo – a time when all of El Camion and The Pink Chihuahua get their party sombreros on.

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There was a great atmosphere in the bar for Cinco De Mayo, with people dropping in for margaritas, nachos, and general good cheer. So how did other places celebrate the victory over France at the Battle of Puebla? We take a little look…

FOOD:

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San Francisco loves a good bit of food – and so whether to celebrate the rich cultural history of Mexico, or simply another good reason to get tiddled on Margaritas on a week night, then the Bay Area threw a good party. These homemade tacos and corn chips represent some of the tastiest cuisine of the area, and there were several authentic menus, street fairs, and chances to immerse oneself in the Mexican culture.

FIREWORKS:

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It wouldn’t be a good party without a firework or two (Mexico has a whole festival dedicated to gunpowder, don’t you know!). Fireworks lit up the sky from California to the Southern tip of Mexico, marking the victory of the battle over a hundred years ago.

FIESTAS:

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From street fairs, floats, dancing and stalls celebrating traditional Mexican customs and costumes, the streets of Mexico City were a riot of colour and excitement!

And some good old patriotism..

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This image shows two caballeros in traditional riding outfits proudly lead the Cinco de Mayo parade displaying the flag of Mexico.

 

But remember – Cinco De Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day! This occurs on Wednesday, September 16th. Just enough time for us to start planning another big bash…

 

Down Baja California Way…

Come along to El Camion and we promise a little slice of Baja California, right here in Soho. From our authentic Mexican grub (shredded chicken tacos.. mmm) to our vibrant, brightly coloured tablecloths, we like to bring the sunshine. But how much do you know about Baja California? And what kind of things can you expect to see when you’re over there?

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Baja California

‘Baja’ is actually the world’s second longest peninsula, and is the most North Westerly state in Mexico. Officially known as Free and Sovereign State of Baja California, it became a state in 1953. Renowned for its beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, lush forests and friendly, relaxed people, it is a great destination spot. This is where famous cities such as Tijuana and Los Cabos are located, and the lapping waves of the Pacific ocean make this the ideal spot to find a beach bar and sip ice cold margaritas. Or embrace a more adventurous side by wandering through the pastel canyons or braving the surf for an adrenalin kick!

The cuisine of Baja California is a blend of traditional Mexican fare – incorporating beans, tortillas and spice – with the fruits of the land. There’s superb fish thanks to the seaside proximity (think fish tacos – delicious), and expert beef preparation because of its arid-inland ranching. These are the kind of authentic vibes we’re channeling in our menu!

So if you do find yourself down Mexico way, what can you expect? Well, here are three things not to be missed:

Espiritu Santo

Located in La Paz, this gorgeous collection of shallow inlets and sugar-pink cliffs is a Unesco World Heritage Site. With activities such as snorkelling or kayaking, or just the chance to absorb the beautiful sites, it is certainly worth a visit. La Paz itself is a bustling collection of lively squares, city streets and stunning beaches.

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Centro Cultural Tijuana

For those culture vultures, then a trip to this arts centre is a must. It’s got just about everything you could want – an art gallery, the Museo de las Californias , a theater, and the globular cinema Domo Imax , which shows predominantly art-house movies. See, Mexico isn’t just about the beaches!

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Parque Nacional Sierra San Pedro Mártir

To experience Baja Californian wildlife at its very best then a visit to this national park can’t be missed. The flora and fauna is home to bobcats, deer and bighorn sheep, but make sure to look UP, since this is one of only six places in the world where the almost-extinct California Condor is being reintroduced into the wild. As well as keeping your eyes open for this stunning bird, you can wander through pine-scented air beneath the impressive conifers. A great and magical escape.

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So there you have it – some of the amazing sights to behold if you ever do head to Baja California. But if you can’t spring for a ticket just yet, don’t worry – a visit to use, with margarita in hand and a quesadilla to munch on, is almost as good…

 

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A glass with lunch at El Camion? Wine not…

Here at El Camion, we are famous for our cocktails, but did you know that we also do wine?? Sometimes (most of the time), a lunch out calls for wine, but unfortunately a bottle of the red or white stuff isn’t always appropriate to order, especially if you’ve got to head back to the office or if you’re being trusted to pick out a birthday present for your partner’s grandmother, or the like. Luckily for you, we serve a great selection of wines by the glass, so you can enjoy a lunchtime tipple, without swinging from the office lights by 3pm.

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White wines

Our white wines pair exceptionally well with Mexican food, as they complement the light spices and flavours of the cuisine, without being too overpowering.

Our house white wine is Viura Pleno, Bodega Brana Vieja, from the Navarra region in Spain. This area has been making wine since the ancient Roman times, so they’ve pretty much got it down to a fine art. This wine is made from 100% viura grapes, which are known for their versatility and are the primary ingredient in white Riojas.

Tastes like: Bright, straw-yellow in colour, it tastes clean and crisp – a bit like green apples or citrus fruits, with floral notes.

Goes well with: As it’s so easy-drinking, this wine goes well with most dishes on the menu, especially chicken, fish or salads, and at just 12%, it’s a great option for lunch. Try it with a Grilled Fish Ensalada or Grilled Chicken nachos.

Prices: £19/bottle, £5/glass

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Our second white wine on the menu is the Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Puerta. This is a Chilean wine from the Central Valley, the largest and most productive wine-making region in South America. Made in a 100% sustainable winery, it is organic, meaning it is good for the environment and not too bad for you, either.

Tastes like: At 13.5%, this wine is full of flavour and is bursting with tropical fruits, like passionfruit, mango and peaches. It also has a herbaceous dimension to it, with a persistent, refreshing finish.

Goes well with: Sauvignon Blanc is one of the only white wines that pairs well with sushi, so any seafood dishes are good, like the Grilled Fish Tacos. The herbal notes also make this wine a good pairing with any dishes made with coriander and fennel, like the burritos and the ensaladas.

Prices: £23/bottle £6.50/glass

Grilled Fish Ensalada

Rosé wines

Our rosé is the Pleno Rosado, Bodega Brana Vieja from Navarra in northern Spain, made from 100% Grenache grapes. Grenache, or Garnacha, as it is known in Spain, is a red wine grape grown extensively in France, Spain, Australia and America. It is one of the most widely distributed grapes in the world, down to its versatility both in the vineyard and the winery.

Tastes like: With an intense strawberries and cream aroma, Pleno Rosado tastes like strawberry and raspberry fruits. Although it is dark in colour, it is light and crisp on the palate and it lifts flavours with its refreshing acidity.

Goes well with: As an ideal accompaniment to ethnic cuisines, fish and poultry, this wine is great with Mexican food. It’s a fantastic match with any of our dishes that are made with black beans – why not try it with a Yucatan Beef Tostada.

Prices: £21/bottle £5.50/glass
In our next blog, we will explore the red wines on our menu. Enjoy your lunch!