Nostalgia-Wrapped Lunch with Don Chido
Flashback 20 years to when I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted without a care in the world. During THAT time (so long ago it feels like a fairytale), I cultivated my palate curiosity and savored, enjoyed a good meal when I could get it. Luckily, my best friend Denise ALSO loved eating well and we traveled throughout Mexico looking for the very best. This was the early 90’s and today as I ate one flavor-packed meal with my mother at the brand new Don Chido, a collaboration of Chef Antonio Friscia & RMD Group, I was transported to my time passed in the megalopolis of Mexico City.
The decor is bright, hip fun and “Mexico proud” with plenty of creative hints of traditional stylings splattered with Mexican modern reminiscent of Luis Barragan. 90’s latin pop music traverses the airwaves for the lunch crowd — think Mana or Miguel Bose or Thalia and Luis Miguel. Then out comes a Don Chelado with my choice of draft beer and lo & behold a Negra Model0 rimmed with tajin and lime juice hit the spot.
Warm summer day screamed seafood for lunch so the ceviche was the first up. (Can you visualize the tears of joy welling up?) The seabass ceviche was perfect, a wonderful balance of acid, just the right hint of sweet and refreshing flavors. I don’t generally enjoy when chefs use mango with my fish but I noticed that this ceviche was different in that the size of the mango chunks were cubed much smaller than I usually encounter. The mango did not overwhelm the flavor of the ceviche and I was very pleased. Memories of a tiny beach town on a then unfettered, undiscovered pueblitita called La Ticla flood back with this dish. DEFINITE must have.
There was something that certainly caught my eye and it was “Tommy Gomes’ Catch of the Day” and for SURE I had to have it since I am such a big fan of Catalina Offshore and Mr. @fish4sale himself. Fresh roasted veggies, expertly cooked sea bass and fluffy rice were delightful to share. AND thank goodness I shared because as a grand finale I had to know what the buzz was all about with the churros. OMG THE CHURROS!!! These are NOT your
Del Mar San Diego County Fair churros! These are light, airy pillows of cinnamon goodness that melt in your mouth only made better by the addition of a pot of cajeta and chocolate pudding. I don’t know HOW I’m gonna have enough room for tonight’s dinner at Chef Chad White’s NEW Comun SD in East Village! (Anyone have a treadmill I can use?)
My mother is a fantastic cook and fantastic cooks appreciate food that is made with love. Here at Don Chido in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, you can find love with each bite.
Coming back for the whole fish next time or perhaps the slab of wood piled with meats and vegetables. Pictures coming soon… I promise but don’t blame me if you salivate all over your keyboard!