When you’re in Moab, Utah, it’s probably best to be as Moab as possible. This might mean crazy mountain biking, death-defying humvee riding or long hikes. Or it could mean a meal out at Miguel’s Baja Grill, a Mexican restaurant right in the middle of town. But it’s not enough to simply go to Miguel’s – the key is to eat Miguel’s M.O.A.B. (Mother of all Burritos).
Scottsdale and breakfast go together like peas and carrots. Well, assuming those peas and carrots are nowhere near me. But having breakfast near me is good, so it became time to check out Ncounter in Scottsdale, its third location after presumably finding success in Tempe and Phoenix. I’m not sure what the “N” stands for, but the rest of the name is descriptive of the ordering style of the restaurant, so that made sense.
Once again, I found myself at one of the Phoenix area’s seemingly endless supply of breakfast/brunch spots. This time it was a place called Scramble in Scottsdale. Scramble is one of those places where you order at the counter, which is all good and well until there’s only one person at the counter with a line out the door and a bunch of empty tables inside. But I digress, as even with that wait to order it probably took just as long to get my food as it would have if I had sat down and ordered at the table.
I love old school greasy Mexican places. The types that have been around from years, have a stable menu and don’t try to introduce something crazy to the menu (I mean I like those too, but there’s a special place in my heart for the former). Ajo Al’s in Scottsdale is one of those old school places. Maybe it hasn’t been around since some of Phoenix’s older spots, but it opened in 1986, which is like 100 years ago in Arizona years.
As with most breakfast places in Southern California, there has to be some sort of Mexican influence. Dawn Patrol in Santa Barbara is no different. So as I stood in line waiting to place my order, I had plenty of time to think about what to get. Like many breakfasts before, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the Breakfast Burrito.
A lot of the time, a burrito is just a burrito. Fillings vary in quality and variety, but they are generally the same basic thing. Not so much at Burritos La Palma in El Monte. These burritos came straight from Jerez, Mexico and if you didn’t know any better you might think of them as enchiladas. Burritos La Palma specializes in birria and so that’s what I got.
Tacos tu Madre was blowing up all over the social media a few months ago with amazing-looking burritos that seemed to represent a new level of delicious fusion. Thus, I had to give the place a try and had my best opportunity when out in West LA. They were out of a couple things, but this didn’t impact what I had in mind. There are a number of options and they are all available as a burrito, a taco or a bowl.
In Los Angeles, there are supposedly really only two breakfast burritos. One is at the Corner Cottage in Burbank and the other is at either of the two Lucky Boy locations in Pasadena. I visited the newer location on Walnut Street and vowed to take down the “Famous” burrito (it’s literally the name of the burrito).
MB Post (or Manhattan Beach Post to some) has long been a spot I wanted to get to. Two years in Pittsburgh derailed those plans temporarily, but I was glad to find out upon my return to the West Coast that MB Post had not shuttered after a brief trendy phase. This meant that it was truly a place worth visiting and we decided to make a “Bangin’ Brunch” (their words) out of it.
In LA, the word Rodeo usually means one thing: a shopping street in Beverly Hills. Sometimes it means another random street on the west side and occasionally it means the thing with cowboys and stuff. Almost never does it mean dinner, unless you happen to find yourself strolling along Sunset in Echo Park and stepping into the first divey Mexican place you can find that just so happens to go by the name of Rodeo.