Published on January 7th, 2013 | by Kaela Miltimore0
The Blind Burro Preview: A First Look
The Blind Burro: New Baja Coastal Cuisine in the East Village
Having grown up in Arizona, with an abundance of Hispanic influence, I’ve eaten plenty of Mexican food. I’ve had the traditional Mexican, the taco shop grub, even Mexico City style cuisine. I thought I’d tried it all until attending the opening of The Blind Burro in East Village. This food is different. You won’t find California burritos or rolled tacos here. From the mouthwatering mole, to the good for the soul Pozole, you’ll swear this food was straight from your Nana’s kitchen.
The Blind Burro’s Executive Chef, Sara Polczynski has conceived a menu full of exciting and inspired dishes, heavily influenced by the traditional food served on the streets of the Baja. The menu showcases Mexican cuisine with “a modern flair” and emphasis on fresh, local seafood. Polczynski, a San Diego native, is experienced in cooking true, authentic Latin cuisine, and spent the last few months honing in on her skills during a culinary journey through Baja Mexico under the guidance of Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless, who is noted for his genuine Mexican dishes in the U.S.
Good Time Design Team has once again created a rustically unique atmosphere at The Blind Burro. The ambiance is that of a dimly lit, urban bar with rugged industrial accents, reminiscent of a restored historic cantina. Complete with framed art made from shucked oyster shells, and walls adorned with tequila bottles and cinder blocks, it’s the perfect hideaway to go after a long day to enjoy a stiff drink and a light, yet comforting meal.
At the opening, we were quickly seated and served house made chips and salsa.
This salsa brought me back to my childhood, spending summers by the pool with fresh homemade salsa made from tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno and cilantro, accompanied by a good amount of mouth puckering lime juice and salt. The flavor was simple but so fresh, with a decent amount of heat. During happy hour you can order a salsa flight to accompany their house salsa for $3 bucks, which I highly recommend.
To start off, we ordered the Sonora Queso Crisp. A great appetizer to share with the whole table since it is served precut like a pizza. The queso oaxaca was warm and melted on top of the thin, crispy tortilla, with diced tomatoes and rajas (poblano peppers) sprinkled about, and topped with crumbled queso cotija and pureed avocado guacamole. The rajas added little bursts of flavor and heat, and the beautifully pureed avocado added a creamy freshness to the rich cheese.
For the main dish:
- Jalapeno Popper Tacos: These bad boys were served on a plate with finely pulled chicken, triple chili cheese sauce, queso panela, and roasted jalapenos all piled high onto two, hand crafted corn tortillas. Did I mention these tacos were topped with bits of crunchy and savory chicharrones?! It was love at first bite.
- Mole Chicken Tacos: Hole Mole these were fantastic. Perfectly succulent chicken, smothered with the most complex mole I have ever encountered. This dish is a must try, especially if you have never tried or even heard of mole.
- Pozole: Another childhood fave of mine. Perfect for a rainy day or to soothe a tired achy body. This stuff is like medicine for the soul, and on this particularly gloomy winter night it was just what I needed. This hearty soup was beautifully presented in a gorgeous bowl with all the adorning ingredient choices laid out for your choosing; cilantro, lime, chopped onion and radish, dried oregano. You can really make this soup your own. The Chicken and hominy were perfectly tender, and the broth packed a ton of flavor. This dish has qualified as one of my new favorites.
- Churros: Served with a crème anglaise sauce. There is no denying these were delicious, just a tad sweet for my taste.
- Chocolate Pecan Cajeta Tart: A rich chocolate ganache on top of a layer of crunchy pecans with drizzled dulce de leche caramel, and vanilla bean ice cream, topped with Florentine cookie, which I believe was made from toasted sesame. A very unique and decadent dessert. I would recommend above all the others.
Our experience at The Blind Burro was delightful. Service was exceptional, and our server was quick to offer suggestions. The food was simplistic, yet the complexity of the flavors and possibly unfamiliar dishes makes for a truly unique dining experience. In San Diego it’s easy to find Mexican food, but next time you get the craving, skip the greasy hash brown breakfast burro and instead check out The Blind Burro.
The Blind Burro
639 J Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Neighborhood: East Village