Declare Cal-Mex the state food, eat at Mi Ranchito

The capitol of Cal-Mex cuisine?

Gustavo Arrelano of the LA Times says ‘Cal-Mex’ food should be declared the state cuisine. Agreed!

Arrelano recommends visiting Mi Ranchito, among other places, as a way to “inspire Californians to explore their state one delicious bite at a time.”

Arrelano visited Stockton in July. He must have been totally smitten with the Steak Ranchero, the likes of which he’d never eaten. This is the second time he’s mentioned it.

“You must visit different regions to grasp the nature of our foodways,” he writes. “Swing through the Central Valley and order Steak Ranchero, the region’s favorite Cal-Mex entree. Go visit Mi Ranchito in Stockton and feast on huge combo plates with a side of chicanas, an appetizer of sauteed steak and vegetables found only in Northern California.”

Arrellano also bulls-eyes one of my pet peeves: San Francisco’s conceit that it invented cuisine based on fresh, local food.

“The California cuisine pioneered by Alice Waters, Wolfgang Puck and others was important, because it taught urban and suburban diners that the best food is the freshest, healthiest and most local, and that fusion food can be fun. But let’s be honest: all they did was ape the farmers and immigrants who’ve eaten like that for generations, but never got book deals out of it.”


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