As a Southern California native I am quite spoiled. The weather here is for the most part mild, I live in an affluent area where the beach is only minutes away and I also get access to some of the most delicious Mexican/Latin American food stateside. I have made the mistake before of trying Mexican food in places like London, where I was severely disappointed albeit entertained by what some define as “Mexican” (there was an iguana wearing a sombrero at the host stand). Across the street from my doctors office in Dana Point is Buena Vista Market, where one can find the familiar spices, meats, and products associated with Mexican cuisine. Walking through Buena Vista reminded me of traveling through Central America; The smells and atmosphere had a spirit about it that was reminiscent of past adventures and unforgettable meals. In the back corner, next to the produce and butcher were some tables and a little take away. Many people love Latin American food and try their best to recreate it every day, while others look to places similar to this Francisca restaurant to enjoy the flavors that have become accustomed to love.
The food is hearty and rustic, giving your stomach more than it’s fill of flavor and substance. I remember being told by my good friend (and chef) Mario that Mexico’s finest cuisine was always about the slow cooking.
- Marinated Carne Adobada
- pickled veg
Carne Adobada is meat (in this case, beef) marinated in chili, garlic, paprika, and other spices. The flavors of the carne are big and bold especially with pickled peppers and carrots. The mayo and avocado did a great job tempering those flavors. You could taste the spice and time that went into making this meat, it’s the texture and flavor that comes from a heavy hand and patience. It took a moment to process what I had just eaten; It took me back to walking the humid cities of the Yucatan, drained from the atmosphere and sweat. You really need something this rich and heavy to get through the day. Maybe another trip to Central America is in the works…
Buena Vista Market
34065 La Plaza
Dana Point CA 92629
Sun – Mon: 7AM-7PM