Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Eat this! 1,001 things to eat before you diet

Okay Taco Nation I should have another review either today or tomorrow but until then here is an excerpt from Eat this! 1001 things to eat before you diet by Ian Jackman.

Jackman hit up the Roast to Go stand at Grand Central Market in his whirlwind tour of the best eats in the US of A. If you eat all 1001 of these things I reckon you're gonna need more than a diet.

Anyways, I have 5 copies of Eat this! to give away. First 5 people to email me with the answer to this taco trivia get a copy.

What is my favorite beverage to go with tacos?

update: the answer is lime jarritos. congrats to the first 5 that answered correctly

From EAT THIS!: 1,001 Things to Eat Before You Diet by Ian Jackman (Harper, July 2007)

The Grand Central Market is housed in the ground floor of the Homer Laughlin Building, an L.A. antique that’s ancient by local standards. (It was built in 1897.) Across from one entrance is the site of the Angels Flight funicular railway which is currently idle. Angels Flight is the scene of a memorably undignified murder in Michael Connelly’s novel of the same name. If you take a stroll, like Rick and I did, you can also check out the curves on the stunning Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry, and swing back down to the market.

The Grand Central Market is noisy, busy, and full of life. It’s packed tight with food stands like El Gaucho, home to Argentine food and ninety-nine-cent empanadas and Sarita’s Pupuseria, specializing in the stuffed tortilla dish, the pupusa, from El Salvador. There are Chinese and Japanese places, a Hawaiian and a Mongolian barbecue stand, Mexican food at Tacos Tumbras a Tomas, Thai food, pizza, kebabs and so on.

Roast to Go has been operating in the market since 1952. The front of the stand is packed with steaming trays of meats for your taco or burrito, many of them tubular and smooth, indicating an intestinal origin. Other specialties are listed as gorditas, tortas, sopes, flautas and tostadas. I had to have a taco—it was on my list—but it hadn’t been even an hour since my massive breakfast at the Original Pantry. There was so much to choose from: roasted pork or beef, chicken, brains, beef cheek, lamb and buche, described as “hog maw,” which is pig’s belly. Meekly, I went for some fried fish.

My Roast to Go fish taco plate was heavily laden, with a substantial slab of battered fried fish and piles of lettuce, onions, tomatoes, hot sauce, cilantro, and queso cotija (salty cheese) resting on top of two corn tacos. I couldn’t eat the whole thing, but it was fresh and good with sharp flavors, and it cost only two dollars. The market seemed full of good deals, like the cheap bananas and other fruit, and more than one stand for dried goods, all manner of chiles, dried shrimp and dried whitebait, and the like. The shopping and the window shopping are good here and the eating is great. At the end of your visit, if you feel like you’ve overdone it with another stop at the taco stand, someone at Jones Grain Mill will check your blood pressure for $1.50.


  1. Lime Jarritos

  2. orange jarritos-


  3. mandarin jarritos

  4. Yep, lime jarritos. Thanks for all the great reviews.

  5. Bandini,

    I sent you an e-mail on this one - Lime Jarritos.


  6. You can also get food at the Hawaiian BBQ place for $2. Pork chops or salmon chunks, a load of rice and broccoli. It's only $2 toward the end of the day when they are trying to get rid of all the food rather than throwing it away. Best deal in town.

  7. mandarin jarritos


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