Diamond Head nachos – Bongo Johnny’s

Diamond Head nachos - Bongo Johnny's
Chicken, refried beans, pepper jack/cheddar shred and scallions on tri-colored tortilla chips with pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole. $9.95
Bongo Johnny’s, Palm Springs CA

This was a huge plate of nachos, but they weren’t anything special. I guess the multi-colored chips were supposed to elevate it but that didn’t really happen. It was pretty standard nachos, and dare I say a little on the bland side.

Mountainside, Palm Spring Aerial Tramway.

Carne asada – El Mirasol Cocina Mexicana

Carne asada - El Mirasol Cocina Mexicana
Mexican style, thin cut beef steak seasoned, broiled and served with guacamole, refried beans and rice. $14.95
El Mirasol Cocina Mexicana, Palm Springs CA

Mmm, this was SO good! The beef was nice and tender and had great flavor. They advertise the cut was “thin”, but they’re actually pretty substantial. Yes please!

Random building, Mt. San Jacinto
Random building, Mt. San Jacinto summit.

Carne adobada – El Mirasol Cocina Mexicana

Carne adobada - El Mirasol Cocina Mexicana
Broiled and marinated pork steak with a spicy and distinctive flavor, with rice and refried beans. $14.50
El Mirasol Cocina Mexicana, Palm Springs CA

I’ve never had carne adobada before and it tasted great! I loved the deep flavor of the marinade combined with the charred pieces from the broiler. Yummy!

Ranger station

Ranger station, Mt. San Jacinto hike.

Tacos al pastor – Chilango

Tacos al pastor - Chilango
Two corn tortillas filled with marinated pork, cilantro and onion. Served with caramelized onions, salsa, and rice and beans. $7
Chilango, San Francisco CA

Yuck, I did not enjoy this! The al pastor marinade the used was way different from anything I’ve tasted before. It was way too vinegary and super strong tasting. Even drenching the tacos in salsa didn’t really help. I don’t think I’ll ever order this from Chilango again.

Rice and beans - Chilango
Rice and beans.

Emerging Prunus tree
Emerging Prunus tree with pink flowers, Dolores Street.

Beef enchirito – Taco Bell

Beef enchirito - Taco Bell
A warm, soft flour tortilla wrapped around seasoned beef, hearty beans, diced onion, real cheddar cheese, and tangy red sauce. 360 calories, 17g fat
Taco Bell, Palm Springs CA

The enchirito is another one of my favorite Taco Bell items probably because it’s SO saucey and cheesy! It goes down so easily during that late night “fourthmeal”, lol!

Nachos supreme – Taco Bell

Nachos supreme - Taco Bell
Crisp, freshly prepared daily tortilla chips covered with seasoned beef, hearty beans, warm nacho cheese sauce, diced ripe tomatoes, and reduced-fat sour cream. 430 calories, 23g fat
Taco Bell, Palm Springs CA

OK, this is why I’m definitely NOT a foodie. I love me some Taco Bell after a night of partying, lol! I always drench my nachos supreme in a bunch of Fire sauce and go to town!

Pulled pork sandwich – Big Jake’s Island BBQ

Pulled pork sandwich - Big Jake's Island BBQ
Topped with homemade bbq sauce, served with coleslaw and baked beans.
Big Jake’s Island BBQ, Captain Cook HI

This was ok. I wish they would have at least toasted the bun. Since they didn’t, it got soggy pretty quickly from the bland(ish) bbq sauce. Hmm…

Black sea snails
Black sea snails, Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park.

Half rack BBQ rib plate – Big Jake’s Island BBQ

Half rack BBQ rib plate - Big Jake's Island BBQ
Served with rice, coleslaw, and baked beans. $18.95
Big Jake’s Island BBQ, Captain Cook HI

This was pretty good. The ribs were tender and juicy, but I wish the bbq sauce had more flavor and punch. It tasted kinda flat. The plate was quite substantial though which I needed after our kayaking adventure. You’ll notice that the pic is kinda foggy – that’s because my iPhone fell into Kealakekus Bay (see story below)!

Kayaking in Kealakekua Bay

We spent a wonderful morning kayaking to Captain Cook’s Monument, watching spinner dolphins frolicking near us, and snorkeling around the State Park. On our way back to the pier, we noticed that a rather larger couple had capsized their kayak in the middle of the Bay and were having difficulty getting back in. After some time, the woman was able pull herself back into the kayak only to immediately fall back out. So we paddled to them and noticed they were clearly exhausted from multiple attempts to reboard their vessel. They had lost all their snorkeling gear and were just trying to stay afloat at that point. So we decide to rescue them. David, who was in the rear of our two-seat kayak, grabbed hold of their kayak with the couple in tow, leaving myslef with the only free arms to single-handedly paddle four people and two kayaks back to the pier! Needless to say, this took a LONG time and great amount of effort.

When we finally reached the pier, the couple was helped up by some of the guys working the kayak rentals and I pulled myself back onto the pier. As I did so, my iPhone that I had wedge into my life jacket for easy access to take photos and video of the dolphins, broke loose and dropped straight down into the Bay! Argh! I immediately dove down after it and finally located it at the bottom after multiple attempts. My poor baby! It still turned on, the lens was wet (hence the foggy pics), but I was worried that the damage would slowly reveal itself. When we got back to the hotel, I put my iPhone in a bag of rice that we picked up at Costco and forced myself not to turn it on for an ENTIRE night (this was really hard for me, lol)! The good news is that the iPhone still works and I still have it today. The camera lens eventually dried out. The bad news is that the WiFi connectivity got fried, but thank god I have unlimited data. Lesson learned: No good deed goes unpunished!

Tacos Chava’s – Chava’s Restaurant

Tacos Chava's - Chava's Restaurant
Beef, bell pepper, onion, tomato, and mushroom. Served with rice and refried beans. $8.75
Chava’s Restaurant, San Francisco CA

Ugh, this was the first time I’ve been here and I wasn’t impressed. The beef was super chewy and the whole thing just had a weird flavor. You should never name a dish after your restaurant if it isn’t very good. 😦

Tortilla chips and salsa - Chava's Restaurant
Tortilla chips and salsa. These chips tasted old and were stale, ew.

Corn tortillas - Chava's Restaurant
Extra corn tortillas.

Super burrito al pastor – Taqueria Cancun

Super burrito al pastor - Taqueria Cancun
Marinated pork with rice, beans, cilantro, salsa, onions, cheese, avocado, and sour cream. Served with corn totilla chips. $6.50
Taqueria Cancun, San Francisco CA

Wow, this place is a mad house at 2 AM! I was in desparate need of food so I stumbled into this joint for a large, delicious burrito. I’m pretty sure it was good, I think… Lol! The intercom announcing the order numbers is REALLY loud, but I supposed that’s necessary at that hour. 🙂

Super burrito al pastor - Taqueria Cancun
7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2010

The Monkeybutts, Sunday Streets Mission
The Monkeybutts! I thought this was quite the band during Sunday Streets in the Mission. They were playing in front of the SF Library Mission Branch to the delight of many kids and parents.

Pollo burrito – El Farolito

Pollo burrito - El Farolito
Grilled chicken, rice, beans, salsa. Regular $5.25
El Farolito, San Francisco

I’m dumbfounded by the extreme popularity of this place! I would say that most people are too drunk after hours to realize what they’re eating or care about the questionable service, but I’ve also seen this place packed for early dinner.

The last time I ate here, my food was good but the time previous it was super salty. Again, this chicken burrito was SO salty it gave me a major headache! I’m convinced the food is on par with nearby taquerias or even below them which begs the question of why they’re so popular. The service is a completely different issue. The cooks seem to be running a mile a minute but the cashier, who also acts as the expeditor, is inevitably slow and inconsistent. I’ve had major waits for food that seems to come out willy-nilly.

I get that this place is a no-frills, no-nonsense taqueria but at least serve consistent, non-salty food and get it out in a decent amount of time. I’m over it.

San Francisco themed mural, 21st Street
San Francisco themed mural, 21st Street. Is that supposed to be Boyz II Men? 🙂