Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





What I Ate: April 17, 2009 (McDonald's, El Guero Canelo)

Posted 17 April, 2009 at 11:22pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

We drove from Los Angeles for the Las Cruces, New Mexico today. I decided to stop for lunch (and a driver change) at Blythe, California (the last town in I-10 before you reach the Arizona border). We stopped at the McDonald's there and I ordered a Filet-o-Fish and a Big Mac.
McDonald’s Big Mac

The thing that surprised me the most about the meal was that the Filet-o-Fish was properly constructed! The cheese was squarely in the center of the bottom half of the bun, the fish patty was placed correctly on the cheese (not halfway off the sandwich) and the tartar sauce in the middle of the patty. This is the first time in years that I've had a Filet-o-Fish that wasn't completely off-center (and when that happens, there's no fixing it because the partially melted cheese acts as a strong glue keeping the fish and the bun in strict spatial relationship to each other). Tina laughed that I had to go all the way out to Blythe to get a Filet-o-Fish I was satisfied with.
McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish

Tina had Chicken McNuggets but didn't finish them, so I ate her last two and we shared a large sweet tea.

For dinner, we found ourselves in Tucson, Arizona where we went to El Güero Canelo (2480 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ‎ - (520) 882-8977‎) which was recommended to us that afternoon (while we were crossing the California/Arizona border) by a friend from High School who is a faculty member at University of Arizona (whom I haven't spoken to in almost 15 years - the internet is amazing).

We ordered a few items to try: tacos, caramelo (a carne asada stuffed quesadilla), and the Sonoran hot dog that they had prominently on display.

The hot dog almost owned me after having a near 1,000 calorie lunch. Inside the bun is a bacon wrapped hot dog with beans, grilled onions, fresh onions, tomatoes, mayonnaise, mustard and jalapeno sauce. It was quite tasty, but I'm not sure I'd do it again.
El Guero Canelo - Sonoran Hot Dog

The tacos and caramelo are served plain - you fetch your own toppings from a topping bar (containing a couple different salsas, radishes, and other appropriate condiments). We had tried both a pollo (chicken) and carne asada (grilled steak) taco.
El Guero Canelo - Pollo Taco
El Guero Canelo - Carne Asada Taco

The flavor of the tacos is fairly light but the meats were tender and flavorful. I enjoyed the tacos, but what I really liked was the carne asada caramelo. The warm, melted cheese with the carne asada just hit the spot.
El Guero Canelo - Carne Asada Caramelo

Another thing I like about El Guero Canelo is that there is a sense of history there. In the parking lot is their original taco stand where they started the business. It's a far cry from their current impressive building. Inside the building is also their very first refrigerator. As a pack rat who doesn't like throwing anything away, I appreciate that they kept part of their past and are sharing it with their customers.
El Guero Canelo - Original Stand
El Guero Canelo

5 comments to What I Ate: April 17, 2009 (McDonald's, El Guero Canelo)

Terry, April 18th, 2009 at 4:41 am:

  • Las Cruces,

    Dicks Cafe, Green Chile Cheeseburger and fries. They are great

Michael Chu, April 18th, 2009 at 6:49 am:

  • Unfortunately, I won't be eating in Las Cruces… my next food stop will be somewhere near Fort Stockton, Texas.

Andrea, April 18th, 2009 at 11:38 am:

  • Oh no, not the McDonalds in Blythe! My husband and I have regularly stopped there during drives from Phoenix to L.A. (there aren't many choices during that long drive). Every time we've been there, the line has nearly been the doors, usually with senior citizens complaining that the prices on the breakfasts are "highway robbery."

    And my egg mcmuffins have always tasted a bit off…but I'm glad you had a good experience there! :)

Michael Chu, April 18th, 2009 at 7:57 pm:

  • Well, the experience wasn't entirely positive. There was a line (except 5 minutes after we got our food the place completely emptied out) and Tina kept saying her McNuggets tasted funny and she lost her appetite after the eighth one.

Scott, April 18th, 2009 at 7:59 pm:

  • Just because you brought up old people and McDonald's, I just have to tell this quick story: I was in a McDonald's, waiting in line. The old man at the counter was demanding his potato salad and the roll. He thought they were trying to rip him off by giving him french fries. He was convinced that McDonald's meals come with a potato salad and a roll. I'd love to live in a world where a Big Mac came with potato salad and a roll. :-p