So what's up people? As many may know, or not, I recently returned from a trip to Mexico about a month ago. While in Mexico, I had the divine pleasure of having some excellent food and dishes that were "to-die-for". Definitely worthy of a blog on it's own but not today.
Anyhow - to prepare for my visit to Mexico, I wanted to sorta get my palette ready. Finding it difficult to find quality and good tasting Mexican food in Los Angeles now-a-days, I decided to have dinner at a Mexican food spot I have heard so much about out in Canyon Country.
So I called some friends up and rolled out there with an appetite. After a 30 - 40 minute commute on the 5 fwy, we arrived to our destination...a spot called Betito's. A little joint found in a small plaza in Santa Clarita.
|The Betitos logo|
Upon entering, we were immediately greeted by a nice looking host and were taken to a nice table in the back area. The place was somewhat packed with young couples, families and older folks as well. A definite good sign. I found the place to be cozy and very charming. The decor? mos def Mexican. The music? Rancheras and playing at a decent decibel level. The place was mildly lit...a perfect setting for any occasion.
Our server immediately brought us our menus and our "servicio", two large plates of "homemade" chips and salsa. The owner, who was also working the kitchen, had the server highly recommend their margaritas. We were like...uhhhh....and before we even decided or had time to think it over, we had a pitcher of margarita and shots in front of us. Who would complain about that?
|Margarita Pitcher and Chips|
Their margaritas were delicious. Strong, but not overwhelmingly strong where all you taste is alcohol. [Albeit, for some that may be all what matters] They were perfectly balanced. Just enough triple sec and you can taste it was made with real lemon juice. The tequila was definitely not their house tequila since it had a nice smooth finish. They were also perfectly chilled which served to be refreshing on a hot summer evening in September. I, personally, am more a beer drinker, preferably dark Mexican beers or bitter beers but I was like "Excuse me Elena (our server), can we please have another pitcher?" haha
Next thing we know, Gus the owner, walks over to greet us and in hand, had a couple of dishes of guacamole he had just made for us. Little did he know, I am a guacamole snob and I measure most, if not all, guacamoles to my very own bomb guacamole. I must say...this one was good. Chill, flavorful, the avocados tasted fresh and topped with cheese. It also wasn't too tomatoey or oniony. Was it better than mine? well we'll just have to leave that for another blog. Granted, I will be bias and it is my blog. haha anyways - the guacamole was good. *thumbs up*
So after a couple of hours of chomping on chips and dipping them in salsa, making beans or guacamole tacos and drinking some margaritas, we decided to order. I decided to go traditional, since the fajitas were recommended and is one of their staple dishes. My counterpart one, ordered the wet burrito, and my counterpart two, ordered their famous Zarapes.
When my fajitas arrived, they arrived sizzling and cracka-lac-kin'. I dove straight into them since they looked delicious and was highly anticipating them. I ordered them with extra onions and extra onions they had. The meat was soft, tender and juicy. The meat juice; not greasy at all. The portions...very generous.
The wet burrito was huge, smothered in red salsa and melted cheese. So huge, I was full just looking at it.
The Zarapes, which are two flour tortillas stuffed with charbroiled steak, pico de gallo and topped with lots of special sauce and sour cream were of generous proportions and served with a bed of rice and beans. I was hoping we all would share but by the looks of everyone quietly eating, it uhhhh...didn't seem like that was gonna happen.
|Wet Burrito en Salsa Roja|
|The Betitos Zarapes|
As I was unbuttoning the top button of my pants, so I can breath, and were wrapping it up at the table, Gus walked over to chat it up a bit with us. I took advantage of the time and managed to ask him a couple questions about the joint. How it opened up and whatnot.
The establishment has been opened for over 28 years now and was opened by none other than mom. The menu is mainly comprised of her own recipes stylized after traditional food from Mazatlán. A city in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico where the family is also from. He said the clientele they have is predominantly made up of loyal patrons who have been coming for years. The restaurant's name, Betitos, is named after his brother and family member who passed away years ago.
It was cool sitting down and chopping it up a bit with the owner. And chef. He says he tries to keep his mom's tradition going. And now I understand and can see why people still come and have remained faithful diners. Aside from the food being good and reasonably priced, you feel very welcomed and also feel at home.
We stayed until the restaurant was nearly shut down, and us being the last people in the joint, Gus kindly offered us a small tour of the kitchen and bar area. The kitchen was pretty impressive . Unexpectedly large and looked spotless after being used all day and night. The bar was cool, small and incognito like and I almost lost myself in it. ;-)
|The Kitchen Area|
|A Section of The Bar|
And during one of the laughing and joking around moments with Gus, I attempted being canny and threw in the question behind the secret of their margaritas and Gus padded me on the back and simply replied: "uhhhhh....Galo, that's a secret man. You liked them, right?" and we both just laughed. Except mine were a combo of hiccups and laughter.
So if ever in the Santa Clarita area and want some good Mexican food, come to Betitos. You will not be disappointed. As mentioned, the prices are good and reasonable, the portions are extremely generous and the service is impeccable. Besides...the waitresses, such as Elena, are nice eye candy and may make your dining experience more enjoyable. Well perhaps for people, guys, like me.
Oh yeah, one thing I also can not leave out and not mention are the chiles toreados or asados. Very good and definitely spiced up our dinner.
|Chiles Toreados (asados)|
So head on over. Have yourself a margarita or two, order you up some food and if you mention my name --- LoveGalo --- to Gus, and only to Gus, he may just hook up something. Hence, just may.
Betito's Mexican Restaurant18902 Soledad Canyon Road
Canyon Country, CA 91351-3381
FUN FACT: Mazatlán is a Nahuatl word meaning "place of the deer."