I have been eating out a lot lately.
Zach always insists on keeping the left overs, no matter how unlikely it is we will revisit them at a later meal. I know it is unfortunate, but they usually sit in the refrigerator for about two weeks until they get tossed. But really, what use do you have for 1 slice of pizza, 5 chunks of orange chicken, an ounce of steak, a quarter sandwich, a half baked potato and some soggy salad? You can't eat any one of those things as a complete meal, and any combination of that list makes my stomach churn uncomfortably.
Well, last week we visited the undeniably delicious Dr. Hogly Wogly Tyler Texas BBQ with Zach's family. They boast the most generous portions of solid saucy sliced pork plates I have ever seen topped with three crinkle-cut sweet pickles. The meat is just perfect, and the sauce is tastily tangy. Everyone had leftovers that the waitress packed up by throwing the saucy chunks into clear plastic bags with a knot at the top. More on that later.
The rest of Zach's family's visit was so fun. We always look forward to having them come visit. They planned a whole weekend trip to Seal Beach, which is the most adorable little beach town just south of Long Beach. We stayed just a couple blocks from the ocean.
We rode bikes along the coast down to Long Beach, we visited a huge and beautiful antique shop owned by a blogger that Zach's mom has been corresponding with for a while, we took Stanley to a really great dog beach where he ran longer and faster than ever before and oh yes, we ate and ate!
There were so many really cute local restaurants including Rivers End Cafe (which was right on the beach - best fish tacos I have ever had), Park Bench Cafe (this was an adorable little cafe in the middle of a beautiful park with lots of trails around a small pond) and Walt's Wharf (the last supper of the trip - it was really special, and my halibut dish with black rice was something right out of "Top Chef"). Stanley really liked Park Bench Cafe.
The whole town was just bursting with charm. It boasts the second longest wooden pier in California with a Ruby's diner at the end of it. It was so nice just to stand on the pier and watch the fisherman beside us and the surfers below us. Seal Beach is definitely a place we will be returning to in the future.
Now for all those left overs! What's a girl to do? Zach, Wendy and I were preparing for a night in front of the tube to catch up on the first two "Mad Men" episodes of this new season when I said, "tacos or quesadillas?" They said tacos so I made this:
I would not have normally thought to use BBQ pork in a taco with cheese and pico de gallo, but I had had BBQ chicken quesadillas with similar flavor combinations that were the bomb. I guess you could call it a fusion dish because Mexican style BBQ usually has more of a sharp, spicy or even vinegary flavor (barbacoa) where as the BBQ in these tacos was good ole fashion Texas BBQ with a sweet/tangy flavor. I liked mixing the sweet/tangy BBQ with the traditional Mexican flavors of a slightly spicy pico de gallo, jack cheese, corn tortillas, and lime! I am just now kicking myself for skipping the avocado...that might have been pretty good too! In case you are wondering, I picked up those sweet little restaurant style baskets at Jo-Ann Fabrics...who knew?
Leftovers Tacos (with BBQ Pork) - makes 8 tacos
Leftover BBQ (slice pork, pulled pork, brisket, etc) - you can also make your favorite pulled pork recipe, or you can make mine.
8 corn tortillas (6" diameter)
Pico de Gallo, about 2 cups (you can buy it from the store or make your own by dicing 3 ripe tomatoes, 1/2 white onion, 1/4 C fresh cilantro and 2 seeded jalapeno peppers and mixing it all together)
1 C shredded jack cheese
sour cream and avocado (or Guacamole) for dolloping
Place the meat with all the sauce into a large skillet over med-heat
As the meat starts to warm, start to break it all up with a wooden spoon (for tough pieces, you may need to chop it up beforehand).
Once the meat is heated all the way through and broken up, turn off the heat and place the corn tortillas over the pan to catch the steam (you will be layering them on top of each other, but spread them as much as you can.
Build each taco by placing the meat down first, then the cheese and then the pico de gallo.
Top it off with the sour cream or avocado.
Squeeze a lime wedge over it all.