Mexican Food

My Love for Mexican Food is About to Get Real! #MizMeliz @DelRealFoods

Posted on May 16th, 2015 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Foodie Reviews, Product Reviews

Del Real Party In A Box Giveaway Featuring Fresh, Authentic Mexican Foods

Imagine my delight when I received news from Del Real that I could host a give away on my blog for a Party in a Box! (Disclosure)

I recently resolved to not do any more posts on my blog for free and to limit advertising that wasn’t beneficial to me or my own brand. But, I never said I would not work for food! Del Real offered me some free samples and a great gift for one lucky reader, so I am going for it. I don’t even need to wait for the samples to be delivered. I have tried Del Real Foods and I liked it.

I saw this commercial on TV around Cinco de Mayo. It cracked me up!

I love Mexican food, the kind we have here in Los Angeles, that is. I know it isn’t the same as they have in Central Mexico. Or, at least that is what I have been told, I have never been there. I don’t eat it because I am Mexican. (I am “mostly Mexican” by heritage.) I do eat it because my parents liked it and we ate it at home quite a bit. That is because my Dad loved it. It is the same reason my kids love Filipino food. Their Dad loves it. Homemade food and certain foods from restaurants are comforting to us and remind of us of good times.

“Del Real Foods is a family-owned Mexican food company based in Mira Loma, California. Del Real Foods offer authentic taste using the freshest ingredients, most of which are locally sourced. Gluten free and trans fat free, Del Real Foods are cooked over an open-kettle.”

I admit it, I don’t know how to make good Mexican food. I can make a few things the way my Mom made them. She had a deep dark secret that I found out when I wanted to learn how to make her best dishes for my family. Her recipes were not handed down from her mother, or even my father’s mother. She confided that she used the suggested recipe on the side of the can of sauce that she bought at the market to make her enchiladas, and her taco recipe was from the can of beans. (Don’t laugh at me!) I can relate, moms do what is necessary to make things easily as well as wholesome for our families and friends. There is nothing more authentic than that, right?

My mom gifted me with some authentic recipes and the love of foods from the South Western United States since she was from a small town near Albuquerque, New Mexico. My mother, my grandmother, aunts and cousins made sopapillas, carne adovada, green chile stew, posole, cabalacitas, and stacked enchiladas with red or green sauce made from the New Mexico chile (a variety of Capsicum annuum – peppers grown throughout the state of New Mexico.) These foods are family favorites, yet vary quite a bit from the flavors of Mexican food made in California.

Del Real makes it simple to get fresh tasting Mexican food on our table so we can enjoy it quickly and easily. Like the commercial in the video above, you can make it in minutes (and you might not even need hands.)

“Designed to satisfy all palates and promote healthy eating, Del Real Foods refrigerated products offer authentic taste, using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients and cooked with traditional methods for an enhanced dining experience among family and friends.

Del Real Foods refrigerated products include Carnitas, Barbacoa, Tamales, Seasoned Shredded Beef, Shredded Chicken and much more.”

http://www.delrealfoods.com/

You have a chance to sample the flavors, because Del Real is allowing me to give away a grand prize “Party In A Box” featuring Del Real highlights like carnitas, tamales, pork al pastor pupusas and the newest delicious addition: the Al Pastor Taco Kit. The grand prize Party In A Box will also include a Del Real picnic cooler basket, as well as a Del Real blanket. It’ll make for a great fiesta or spring picnic!

Everyone knows I have a little love affair going with tacos! I really like Baja style tacos like the ones at my favorite restaurant, solita’s Valencia. I love making tacos, too. The way I learned how to make them involves frying the corn tortillas in oil to to make the shells. All the fresh ingredients are prepared and served in a separate serving dish and everyone makes their own taco. It takes time to prepare all that stuff. So, I am really intrigued by the El Pastor Taco Kit that Del Real makes. I will definitely try them.

I did a little research on the company and I was so pleased with what I learned. Most importantly, I feel like I can relate to Del Real‘s message and beliefs…and they have a great sense of humor! Del Real Foods products are based on the following pillars:

●      Authenticity: the family strives to create deliciously simple products based on traditional recipes infused with Mexican culture and bold colors. Prepared in an industrial, home kitchen, the products will provide comfort and familiarity.

●      Healthy People: cooked with a safe open-kettle method, the products are made with the freshest, ingredients, most of which are locally sourced. Once prepared, they are ready to enjoy. The products are also gluten free and do not contain any trans fats.

●      Healthy planet and better communities: the company has adopted sustainable initiatives including wastewater management and recycling to help the environment. Del Real Foods has also sponsored local sporting events and made donations to local communities to contribute to their improvement.

For more information, and to find the nearest retailer, visit: http://www.delrealfoods.com/

Find them on Social Media @DelRealFoods on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

TWEET THIS FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THE PARTY IN A BOX:

My Love for Mexican Food is About to Get Real! #MizMeliz @DelRealFoods @MizMeliz

On Thursday, May 28, 2015 I will search the hashtag and phrase “My Love for Mexican Food is About to Get Real! #MizMeliz” and choose a winner randomly. I will give the contact information (Twitter handle) to the folks at Del Real so they can reach out to you and get the party in a box to you right away. Check back here and see who the lucky winner will be.

I will give you an extra chance to win – if you leave a comment telling me a story about your love for Mexican style food. I look forward to your responses!

This post was written for the purpose of introducing you to Del Real Foods, quotes and photos are used with express permission. All opinions are my own. I was not paid for this post, however I was offered some free samples to taste the products and a special offer to give away a Party in a Box from Del real Foods to one lucky reader. See my disclosure for more details on why I post articles like this on MizMeliz.com.

Note: Anyone who shares this post on social media will automatically be entered to win as long as the title of the post is in the body of the share…this includes all shares with the title of the post in it.

This post contains affiliate links. Please support MizMeliz.com.

The TACOS at Solita Margaritas and Tacos in Valencia TALK TO ME! @SolitaTacos

Posted on November 19th, 2014 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Foodie Reviews

These tacos and cocktails rock! They also talk. Seriously, they cheered me up when they said, “Eat, enjoy, relax. We are here for you!” (Disclosure)

Maybe it wasn’t actually the tacos talking. I haven’t flipped out that far, yet. But I wasn’t feeling well when I went to the media preview at the new Solita restaurant in Valencia last week. I couldn’t pass up such a wonderful opportunity to sample some amazing food and drinks prepared by the extraordinary Author and Chef, Deborah Schneider. I couldn’t disappoint my hubby either, he was really looking forward to sampling the Baja style menu items. I would never let down my wonderful blogging friends, Carolyn and AJ, who recommended me to the PR firm organizing this event. I am glad I went because the restaraunt was fabulous, inviting, comforting, warm and spoke volumes to me. Yes, the owners, chefs, servers, and fellow diners spoke to me. They said, “Eat, enjoy, relax. We are here for you.”

I went away with the sense that I will be back again soon, hopefully feeling better, with the knowledge that I will be comforted and treated especially well, like family at Solita’s.

solita

solita Tacos & Margaritas Brings Authentic Baja-Style Mexican Cuisine, 

Craft Cocktails (and 40 Tequilas) to Valencia!

  There is a new resto on my list of faves! It’s the Baja-inspired, chef-driven Mexican cuisine of solita Tacos & Margaritas coming to Valencia on Tuesday, November 18, 2014.

 The story behind solita Tacos & Margaritas involves a trio of restaurant-industry veterans and some serious Mexican-food cravings. While living in San Diego, co-founder and Operations Director Matt Baumayr fell in love with Baja’s casual roadside restaurants he discovered on frequent surfing trips south of the border. “Everything is fresh and local,” he says. “They order just enough food to last the day.”

It all started when…”Baumayr brought one of his close friends, his former boss and mentor, Rich Howland, who had started the RA Sushi concept, down to Baja to explore the food scene further, and the pair decided to find a way to bring the experience back across the border. A little research led them to ¡Baja! Cooking on the Edge, one of the first English-language cookbooks highlighting the cuisine of the region. And by sheer coincidence, it turned out the author, Deborah Schneider, lived less than a mile from Baumayr’s home.”

How Chef Schneider became the Baja Taco Queen:

“Originally from Toronto, Schneider left a job as an editor to pursue her cooking dream more than 30 years ago. She worked as a cook on private yachts in the Mediterranean and Florida before settling in San Diego and beginning her chef career in earnest, working her way through San Diego’s best kitchens. In time she became the first female chef at the Grant Grill and was the first (and only) female Executive Chef in the Hilton hotel chain at the four-star Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. For several seasons, she oversaw eight kitchens and more than 200 cooks running the dining program at the Del Mar Racetrack during thoroughbred race season.”

“No matter what you are cooking, in the kitchen, you talk about food and what your grandmother used to make,” Schneider says. “So I learned about authentic Mexican food by cooking next to Mexicans.”

I am all about finding life’s passion in all that we do. It turns out that Mexican food became Chef Schneider’s true passion. She has now published a total of five cookbooks, including Baja! Cooking on the Edge (a Food & Wine Best Cookbook choice), Williams-Sonoma’s Essentials of Latin Cooking, The Mexican Slow Cooker and Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta, which was nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award. (Schneider’s sixth book, Salsas and Moles, comes out next March.)

Photo Credit:  Moretti Photo

Photo Credit: Moretti Photo

…and the Rest is History!

Baumayr and Howland convinced Schneider to quit her day job, and the trio opened SOL Cocina in Newport Beach in 2009. That led to a second location in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the first solita Tacos & Margaritas in Huntington Beach last December.

“With solita, we wanted to reinvent the neighborhood restaurant,” Baumayr says. “We wanted to build a great restaurant with quality food where you could still walk out the door full (and with a buzz) for twenty bucks.”

 

Photo Credit:  Moretti Photo

Photo Credit: Moretti Photo

Authenticity is the Key to Success

From the Copa de Frutas to the Horchata Cocktail, everything is fresh, inviting, warm, and wholesome. At solita Tacos & Margaritas, nearly everything on the menu is grilled or smoked over oak, giving it the deep, rustic flavor that distinguishes authentic Mexican food. “It’s real flavorful, but simple. It’s very traditional flavors without any unnecessary bells and whistles,” Schneider says.

It is All ABOUT THE TACOS!

Tacos are the main attraction, with 11 choices for fillings, ELEVEN!

These are my faves:

  • Wood-Grilled Ancho Chile-Rubbed Chicken
  • Red Chile Beef ‘Borracho’ made with Chihuahua-Style Oak-Smoked shredded beef cooked in beer-spiked red chile salsa
  • Pork Carnitas cooked with Coca-Cola
  • Crispy Fried Fish Taco
  • Mushrooms with Garlic & Epazote complete with exotic mushrooms sautéed with fresh epazote, red chile and garlic
  • pan roasted Chile Tofu with firm pressed tofu with ancho chile, garlic and red chile rub

Oh heck, just try The El Primo Taco Taster Plate and you can choose four tacos to sample!

For Burrito Lovers

Any of those fillings can also come in a burrito, quesadilla, enchilada, rice-and-beans bowl or a Panzón, which is sort of like a Mexican calzone: a large flour tortilla stuffed with fillings, folded in half and cooked until crisp on the comal.

Family Style Appetizers

There are plenty of shareable Antojitos as well, including made-to-order Yellowtail Ceviche Tropicale, which is both sweet with bits of tropical fruit and hot with fiery chiles. The best-selling Grilled Corn Elote with butter, chipotle salsa and cotija cheese is served with flair, with servers slicing the kernels off the cob tableside.

 Schneider likes to combine that dish with the Queso al Forno, a bubbly combo of Mexican cheeses with green onions and Serrano chiles in an iron cazuela served with both corn and flour tortillas. “If you mix the corn into the cheese and then dish it out on a tortilla, it’s really tasty,” she says.

 If You are Still Reading This, just get in your car and drive over there!

Solita’s has the traditional stuff, and off the hook specialties, too:

  • Chile Relleno con Queso with roasted poblano chile stuffed with Mexican cheeses fried in a fluffy egg batter, on fresh tomato ranchera sauce with crema, cotixa cheese and avocado
  • Wood-Grilled Wild Fish, served with lime butter and avocado salad, with only local seasonal fish.
  • Oak-Roasted Chipotle Chicken Salad with Bacon & Jalapeño and the Grilled Carne Asada & Esquites Salad
solita - Deep Fried Ice Cream

Photo Credit: Moretti Photo

 

Don’t Forget to Save Room for…

The desserts! House-made Churros come with cinnamon sugar and chocolate dipping sauce, while the Deep-Fried Ice Cream is a scoop of vanilla with a crunchy corn flake-coconut coating served with nutella, dulce de leche and chocolate sauces.

 

So, make the trip to Valencia to experience all that solita Tacos & Margaritas has to offer, because the city coined “Awesometown” just got a lot more awesome…Mexican style!

*This week the restaurant and bar are open for dinner only.

 Solita Valencia is open from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm Sundays through Thursdays and 11:00 am to 11:00 pm Fridays and Saturdays. (The bar is open until midnight or later daily.) For more information, please visit www.solitatacos.com or call solita Tacos & Margaritas directly at 661.291.1399.

My hubby and  I received a free meal at the preview and were each gifted with a goody bag, a few copies of Chef Schneider’s books, and some samples. I really loved the restaurant, the food, and the location. I can’t wait to go back! All opinions in this review are my own. I was not asked and it was not required of me to write about my experience, however, I am happy to do so. All facts and quotes in this post are directly from the press release sent to me by Lawrence Moore & Associates Inc.

Come back to MizMeliz.com and read my review about the bar at solita Tacos & Margaritas.

It might be because of their great Skinny Margs that made me hear Baja calling me!

Photo Credit:  Moretti Photo

Photo Credit: Moretti Photo