Home Cookin’- some things I’ve made lately

Roast beef salad with pinto beans, cilantro, and cheddar cheese. Fresh corn.

Roast beef salad with pinto beans, cilantro, and cheddar cheese. Fresh corn.

Chicken tacos: grilled chicken, carmelized onion, cilantro, and chevre. Mexican rice which is just rice cooked with Rotel tomatoes. Black beans, green salad with mixed greens, parmesan, and vinagrette.

Chicken tacos: grilled chicken, carmelized onion, cilantro, and chevre. Mexican rice which is just rice cooked with Rotel tomatoes. Black beans, green salad with mixed greens, parmesan, and vinagrette.

Oven toasted pita with olive oil, white bean hummus with rosemary and garlic, marinated goat cheese, and fruit salad.

Oven toasted pita with olive oil, white bean hummus with rosemary and garlic, marinated goat cheese, and fruit salad.

Green salad with vinagrette, pasta salad with tomatoes, corn, basil, and lemon vinagrette, fruit salad, and blueberry tart.

Green salad with vinagrette, pasta salad with tomatoes, corn, basil, and lemon vinagrette, fruit salad, and blueberry tart.

Green salad with tomatoes and parmesan, pita sandwiches with black beans, cream cheese, and avocado.

Green salad with tomatoes and parmesan, pita sandwiches with black beans, cream cheese, and avocado.

Pita sandwiches with black beans, cream cheese, and avocado.

Pita sandwiches with black beans, cream cheese, and avocado.

Spinach quiche with tzatziki and green salad with white beans, feta, olives, and vinagrette.

Spinach quiche with tzatziki and green salad with white beans, feta, olives, and vinagrette.

White bean hummus, oven toasted pita, green salad with tomatoes, olives, and feta.

White bean hummus, oven toasted pita, green salad with tomatoes, olives, and feta.

Let me know if you want more detailed recipes for this stuff. What have YOU been eating lately?

Two Great Coupons

We went to Jose Muldoon’s last night with some friends and it was super fun. We sat on the patio and I had a veggie taco salad along with (several?!) margaritas. They have a bunch of different kinds of margaritas, unlike some other so -called swanky Mexican restaurants in town. I’ve only ever had their appetizers before, which are fine, but the salad was really good.  And of course the chips are totally addictive.

We call them The Monkees! Our friends at Jose Muldoon's, Colorado Springs

We call them The Monkees! Our friends at Jose Muldoon's, Colorado Springs

Anyhow, here’s a Living Social coupon for $30 worth of food and drinks. It’s good at the downtown location or the Powers Corridor location. I haven’t been to the Powers Corridor one but I heard it’s good. If you go to the downtown one be sure to sit on the patio, it’s really pretty.

Another coincidental Groupon is this one for paint supplies. We have a couple of painting projects going on in our lives this week, so this will come in handy.

These are both really good deals and as always with these deals, you have to buy these coupons today!

 

 

Cafe El Paso–Tex Mex in Colorado Springs

I’ve been on a serious quest for some good Mexican food here in Colorado Springs. I’m sad to say I’ve been having kind of a hard time. Cafe El Paso is really cute from the outside and it got good reviews elsewhere so we went the other night.

Cafe El Paso is “Tex-Mex” which usually doesn’t mean much outside of  Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. But I think the owners are from Texas, so they know what they’re doing.

They have a really interesting menu that includes all the usual tacos, burritos, enchiladas, etc. But they also have huevos rancheros all day long, not just for breakfast, which is awesome. They also have some other interesting dinners that I’ve never seen before.

The decor inside is not that great, I’m sad to say, because the outside is really inviting. Oh well. The food is really good.

We started with some free chips and salsa.

Chips and salsa from Cafe El Paso

Chips and salsa from Cafe El Paso

They have a menu with several different margaritas. This is unusual and good! Most places here don’t have more than one or two kinds, even fancy places that should (Sonterra, I’m looking at you). I ordered the one that the server said was her favorite and thought it wasn’t that great. I’m pretty picky about drink mixes or drinks that taste like drink mixes but that’s just my own personal issue. Anyhow, this one was very sweet and tasted “mix-y”.  But later on in the evening some people at a neighboring table had half a pitcher of theirs left and brought it over to me to finish. LOL. Anyhow, those were made with some fancy tequila and were much better than the one I ordered.
Margarita at Cafe El Paso

Margarita at Cafe El Paso

Linda and me getting our drink on. Actually she's just having water.

Linda and me getting our drink on. Actually she's just having water.

Mike had the special of the day which was some fancy tacos.

Beef tacos at Cafe El Paso- comes with rice and beans
Beef and mango tacos with onions and cilantro at Cafe El Paso- comes with rice and beans
Huevos Rancheros for dinner at Cafe El Paso

Huevos Rancheros for dinner at Cafe El Paso

Too many margaritas and I can’t remember the name of what I got. It was seriously good, tho.

A really interesting creamy chicken dish wirth rice and beans from Cafe El Paso
A really interesting creamy chicken dish wirth rice and beans from Cafe El Paso

So, anyhow, Cafe El Paso has lame decor, decent margaritas (if you order the right one- get the fancy tequila), and really good food!

Vallejo’s Mexican Restaurant, Colorado Springs

I’ve been on a Mexican kick lately. I’ve been dying for some tasty crispy tacos like at Alice’s. But better, and with better decor, and more reasonable hours, and where I won’t be charged for chips.

Last weekend after our shoot, Janel and Jessika and I wanted to go to dinner. I wanted a cheapo taqueria cuz I only had about 5 bucks. I guess I forgot for a minute that I wasn’t in L.A. or Phoenix and that this kind of thing actually existed and was open.

Jessika and Janel at Vallejo's, Colorado Springs.

Jessika and Janel at Vallejo's, Colorado Springs.

We wanted to go to Salsa Latina but they’re not open on weekends. Of course they’re not. Why would they be!? I mean, no one wants to go out to eat on weekends or anything. This sucks because their menu looks exactly like what I wanted. Then we went past El Taco Rey which I knew wouldn’t be open and of course wasn’t. I’ve only been there a few times and I know Mike doesn’t like it that much, but I wanted tacos, dammit! Anyhow, what’s with these people being closed on weekends? The owner of Salsa Latina is the son of the owner of El Taco Rey, so I guess not liking money is genetic.

So, since these places weren’t open on a Saturday night at dinner time, we went over to Vallejo’s at 111 South Corona Street. Just a few blocks east of El Taco Rey.

It was terrible.

The service was OK — the waitress was very nice. But that’s where the goodness ended.

First of all, this charging for chips thing is ridiculous. Why be so damn cheap? These chips were so clearly store bought, it wasn’t even funny. Seriously, I think they’re Tostitos or something. Four bucks for this? I was insulted. And I wasn’t even paying for dinner.

Charging for chips is greedy and wrong.

Charging for chips is greedy and wrong.

Everything was really expensive. And no spilt plates!

Everything was really expensive. And no split plates!

You’d think since it was so expensive they’d take credit or debit cards. You’d be wrong. But they do take personal checks. Personal checks? Is this 1950?

No credit cards, but yes personal checks!

No credit cards, but yes personal checks!

These three tacos were $7.75.  No rice, no beans, no nothing. The shells were store bought and the tacos, while not weird or disgusting, were at best elementary school cafeteria quality. I was having flashbacks to a public school 1st grade lunch where I was horrified and obviously scarred for life as I watched one of the girls eat her taco from the top instead of the side. YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!

Cheese tacos from Vallejo's, Colorado Springs
Cheese tacos from Vallejo’s, Colorado Springs
I usually stay away from meat at places like this but Jessika braved the chicken tacos.
Chicken Tacos from Vallejo's, Colorado Springs

Chicken Tacos from Vallejo's, Colorado Springs

Janel had some bean combination thing that was like a million dollars and equally forgettable.  Look at that lamely small portion of rice and beans, which cost extra.

Bean combination plate with rice and beans a la carte.

Bean combination plate with rice and beans a la carte.

I do love to eat tacos on weekends, so please tell me some good places (preferably taqueria style, not restaurants) that are open on weekends.

Vallejo's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

El Poblano in Colorado Springs is yummy and has pupusas!

Ever have a pupusa? They’re really popular in L.A. They’re delicious! I haven’t given them much thought since being here but recently we were driving down Circle and saw a big sign that said “pupusas” in front of a restaurant called El Poblano at 908 N. Circle Dr.  Then I started thinking about them again.

The first time we tried to go they looked open but were actually closed. The handwritten sign on the door said they were at the “banko.” No kidding. Banko.

But the second time we had good luck.

El Poblano, Colorado Springs

El Poblano, Colorado Springs

It’s a smallish place with a couple of tables. You order at the counter and they bring it to you.
The interior and menu at El Poblano

The interior and menu at El Poblano

We started with some tasty chips and salsa.

Chips and salsa at El Poblano, Colorado Springs

Chips and salsa at El Poblano, Colorado Springs

Beef burrito at El Poblano, Colorado Springs

Beef burrito at El Poblano, Colorado Springs

And now for the pupusas. They were great! And since they’re the only people in Colorado Springs who make them, that’s even better.

Cheese pupusas from El Poblano, Colorado Springs

Cheese pupusas from El Poblano, Colorado Springs

I also got a side of rice and beans

I also got a side of rice and beans

So, anyway, El Poblano is highly recommended. The burrito was good, at least as good as any other place like this in town, and they have pupusas! Oh yea, and they also have Mexican Coke in a bottle.

Please let us know if we’re missing any other pupusa places in Colorado Springs.