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A cure for breakfast boredom

Mexipino is here to remind us how delicious combining cultures can be

A breakfast hash combining Mexican, Filipino, and American cuisines
A breakfast hash combining Mexican, Filipino, and American cuisines

Most breakfast menus tend to be long reads, just not very interesting ones. You’ll find an entire section dedicated to all the predictable variations of eggs, meat, potatoes and toast. Another to pancakes and waffles. Next come the omelets, the chilaquiles (if you’re in San Diego), and several versions of eggs Benedict (if you’re fancy). It gets boring, but it always works.

Place

Mexipino Craft

1660 Broadway #14, Chula Vista

Nevertheless, a new spot in Chula Vista offers a fresh spin I can’t stop thinking about. While it doesn’t abandon the morning comfort of eggs-plus and coffee, Mexipino Craft does follow through on the promise of its name to combine Mexican and Filipino influences, using them to subvert the classic American breakfast

The Mexipino breakfast sandwich is made on a concha sweet roll.

The concept’s anything but far-fetched. The histories of Mexico and the Philippines have been entwined over 500 years due to shared Spanish colonialism. Beginning in the 16th century, galleons made annual passages between the two. Sailors from both ends of the Pacific often ditched their ships to pursue opportunities in the opposite places, and even more often brought their appetites with them. As a result, modern-day Mexican culture can credit its fondness for mangos and coconuts to Filipino influence, while tens if not hundreds of thousands of Pacific Islander immigrants, going back a dozen generations, contributed to the mestizo ancestry of La Raza.

So, probably the most accurate way to put it is that Mexipino Craft works to continue the fusion of Mexican and Filipino cuisines. And the humble strip mall restaurant takes this work seriously. While its breakfast plus lunch menu covers a great deal of ground, even the conventional Mexican, American, and Filipino dishes prove earnestly made, both in preparation and presentation, whether chilaquiles or traditional Filipino breakfast of crispy bangus (national fish of the Philippines) served with eggs, garlic rice, and tomatoes prepared with soy-sauce derived finedene sauce.

I couldn’t resist trying the restaurant’s signature Mexipino hash: skillet cooked potatoes topped with a cultural kitchen sink of ingredients: black beans, rice, avocado, queso fresco, achiote-seasoned chicken, ham, longanisa sausage, and ube, the Philippines’ famous purple yam.

Plus eggs, of course. Everything came served, piled high on a platter, topped with a pair of over-easy eggs and a sprig of cilantro. Every bite seemed to offer different flavor combinations, most striking when the mildly sweet, the longanisa sausage and ube contrasted the salty ham and soft, starchy potatoes. I managed to eat roughly half of the $14.25 breakfast before boxing up the rest to take home.

A return customer at the neighboring table ordered my second choice, the $13.95 Mexipino breakfast sandwich. This almost provocatively pairs spam with smoked prime beef, finishing the sandwich with eggs, avocado, and chorizo. But the first thing I noticed before my fellow diner quickly devoured it, is the sandwich is made on a concha, the shell-like pan dulce of Mexican bakeries. It looked fantastic.

As did the ube jam crepe, the fried adobo chicken and waffles, and the pancakes made with lechera, the sweet condensed milk used to make dulce de leche. The sheer breadth of breakfast offerings at Mexipino Craft demands multiple visits.

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A breakfast hash combining Mexican, Filipino, and American cuisines
A breakfast hash combining Mexican, Filipino, and American cuisines

Most breakfast menus tend to be long reads, just not very interesting ones. You’ll find an entire section dedicated to all the predictable variations of eggs, meat, potatoes and toast. Another to pancakes and waffles. Next come the omelets, the chilaquiles (if you’re in San Diego), and several versions of eggs Benedict (if you’re fancy). It gets boring, but it always works.

Place

Mexipino Craft

1660 Broadway #14, Chula Vista

Nevertheless, a new spot in Chula Vista offers a fresh spin I can’t stop thinking about. While it doesn’t abandon the morning comfort of eggs-plus and coffee, Mexipino Craft does follow through on the promise of its name to combine Mexican and Filipino influences, using them to subvert the classic American breakfast

The Mexipino breakfast sandwich is made on a concha sweet roll.

The concept’s anything but far-fetched. The histories of Mexico and the Philippines have been entwined over 500 years due to shared Spanish colonialism. Beginning in the 16th century, galleons made annual passages between the two. Sailors from both ends of the Pacific often ditched their ships to pursue opportunities in the opposite places, and even more often brought their appetites with them. As a result, modern-day Mexican culture can credit its fondness for mangos and coconuts to Filipino influence, while tens if not hundreds of thousands of Pacific Islander immigrants, going back a dozen generations, contributed to the mestizo ancestry of La Raza.

So, probably the most accurate way to put it is that Mexipino Craft works to continue the fusion of Mexican and Filipino cuisines. And the humble strip mall restaurant takes this work seriously. While its breakfast plus lunch menu covers a great deal of ground, even the conventional Mexican, American, and Filipino dishes prove earnestly made, both in preparation and presentation, whether chilaquiles or traditional Filipino breakfast of crispy bangus (national fish of the Philippines) served with eggs, garlic rice, and tomatoes prepared with soy-sauce derived finedene sauce.

I couldn’t resist trying the restaurant’s signature Mexipino hash: skillet cooked potatoes topped with a cultural kitchen sink of ingredients: black beans, rice, avocado, queso fresco, achiote-seasoned chicken, ham, longanisa sausage, and ube, the Philippines’ famous purple yam.

Plus eggs, of course. Everything came served, piled high on a platter, topped with a pair of over-easy eggs and a sprig of cilantro. Every bite seemed to offer different flavor combinations, most striking when the mildly sweet, the longanisa sausage and ube contrasted the salty ham and soft, starchy potatoes. I managed to eat roughly half of the $14.25 breakfast before boxing up the rest to take home.

A return customer at the neighboring table ordered my second choice, the $13.95 Mexipino breakfast sandwich. This almost provocatively pairs spam with smoked prime beef, finishing the sandwich with eggs, avocado, and chorizo. But the first thing I noticed before my fellow diner quickly devoured it, is the sandwich is made on a concha, the shell-like pan dulce of Mexican bakeries. It looked fantastic.

As did the ube jam crepe, the fried adobo chicken and waffles, and the pancakes made with lechera, the sweet condensed milk used to make dulce de leche. The sheer breadth of breakfast offerings at Mexipino Craft demands multiple visits.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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