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By Steven Li on 2007-05-03

May 03, 2007


In the past few weeks or so I’ve been craving Mexican food nonstop, the way some pregnant women crave for pickles and ice cream…only I’m not pregnant, just hungry.

A few miles away from the Claremont Colleges is Los Jarritos, home of my favorite nachos. Granted, I rarely each nachos and am by no means an expert on the subject, but how can you…

…not love this?! You’re staring at a hefty “small” order of nachos with barbacoa ($3.75). Pick from toppings of carnitas, carne asada, steak picado, or barbacoa, but there’s nothing like the barbacoa, warm tender beef, shredded so that little effort has to be expended when you bite into a crisp freshly fried chip smothered with refried beans, spicy green chili sauce and cheese all around. It’s like the best feeling in the world, a myriad of textures, light crunch of the chip, an almost buttery creaminess to the beans, the touch of chili to brighten your tastebuds and some sort of greasy perfection to be found in the blend of barbacoa and melted cheese.

If you’re particularly hungry, the enchilada style burritos ($4.90) are a daring feat. It’s comes to the table, tremendous in size, “too big!” you might complain, “there’s no way I can finish this!” But watch your words, cause you WILL. I like carnitas with all of rice, beans and cheese in my burrito, probably because I’m so indecisive, that I just give up and say, “put it all in!” Doing it “enchilada style” takes the burrito one step up, smothering it in your choice of a mild red chili sauce or a spicier green version. Go with the green. On a bad day, it will be just a tad spicy, but one a fine, fine day, the green sauce will send you up in glorious flames. More cheese melted on top and a side of salad and passable mound of rather bland guacamole. This is a knife and fork affair. Slice off all your mouth can take in one go, make sure that piece is well smothered in hot, smoky chili sauce and slide it into your wide-open mouth with gusto. Don’t take your date here. Take your best friends, the kind who won’t mind when you talk with your mouth full or have rice stuck between your teeth.

Here’s an enchilada style burrito with the red sauce. Notice the bits of rice on the outside? When more than one person orders an enchilada burrito on the same table, the make little markings on each burrito so that the waiter can distinguish between the innards. Rice on this, some carne asada on that…good idea, no?

The tacquitos (2 for $1.95) aren’t worth your time given the wide range of more appetizing options (think menudo, machaca buttiros and chiles rellenos ;). They’re decent, but nothing worth writing home about unless you take great interest in lifelessly filled flour tortillas, removed from the frying pan just a bit too early.

I didn’t sample any of the taco dinner set ($6.45), which came with two tacos, rice and beans, but my dining companion finished a good portion from this monster plate.

Note: any entrée at Los Jarritos is bound to keep you full for a good two hours, so come hungry! However…true to my word, no meal ends without dessert…which is why we make Bert ‘n Rocky’s our requisite dessert stop after any visit to Los Jarritos.

On my Thursday visit, it was a scoop of peanut butter chocolate (bottom) and another of the cherry dark chocolate chip. The cherry is my current favorite, generously studded with sweet, huge, cherry halves and rippling thin shards of dark chocolate. The ice cream is a pale pink, and a pleasant sight to look at, if I do say! If you’ve been following along, you’re probably familiar with my weakness for this ice cream shop in the Claremont Village. It grew to be such an addiction that there was a point where I went once everyday. However, a quickly expanding waistline put my obsession to a light rest, and now it’s just three times a week. You know how some people get their morning coffee? I get my afternoon scoops J

After our Saturday visit, I had the tin roof sundae (bottom) and the root beer. Root beer?! Yes! It was the most interesting flavor I’ve had from Bert ‘n Rocky’s – tasted exactly like root beet, except with the fizz replaced by a cold creamy texture. It paired perfectly with the tin roof sundae, a simple vanilla with roasted peanuts and waves of soft fudge.

On these Los Jarritos & dessert trek, I always find myself alone at Bert ‘n Rocky’s while the rest of the gang heads across the street to Kiwiberri. I have to buy my ice cream then take it over to Kiwiberri and sit on their pristine white tables while everyone else partakes in overpriced frozen yogurt with the obligatory toppings. Don’t they know how much more fun and exciting ice cream is? We have variation, a million flavors, you can have a sundae, and milkshake…all these choices, and you chose FROZEN YOGURT?

Sigh. My mom always told me that I was a bossy kid growing up :)

Los Jarritos
3191 N. Garey Ave
Pomona, Ca 91766
(909) 593-7012

Bert ‘n Rocky’s
242 Yale Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 625-1852

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