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By day, he was Don Diego, society fop living the good life in Alta California.

By night? He was mask on, sword drawn, out there saving maidens, robbing the rich, bringing justice to the poor. The name?


So Don Diego was Zorro? I never knew this till I came to Casa Don Diego (1199 3rd Avenue, at Oxford Street, Chula Vista, 619-426-6131) to watch Mexico play France in the last World Cup.



The bar

Pablo Peña, the owner, tried to explain it to me over the din as everybody went crazy (Mexico won). What a game! But also, what food deals.


Pablo Peña

This is an old-line Mexican eatery, with a lot of hand-flapping of tortillas, good social bar, occasional mariachis, brick arches, red and orange walls, carved red rafters, and a pretty good mural of a guy whacking away at agave, the plant tequila comes from.


The food? I didn’t do it justice that time, because, well, the game. But what I had was a great deal, one of the “Amigo” daily specials, from 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

It was the picadillo, a kind of ground-beef-and-veggies combo with rice and beans...


The picadillo

...plus soup of the day or a small salad, and a soda, all for $6.65.

What I remember most: the soup of the day. Ex-cellent tortilla soup. Beef, chicken stock, ranchera flavor, corn, cheese balls, and crunchy fried tortilla strips criss-crossed over the top. I’d go back for just that.


And guess what? Called today. Prices are holding.

Plus the Sunday champagne brunch (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.) seems like a great deal.


I swear I’m taking the beautiful Carla this Sunday, if we have enough of the, you know, do re mi. Because yes, it costs $13.45 each. But for that you get a choice of 13 items, and -- two or more adults -- a bottle of champagne. If it’s just you, you get three glasses.


Main eating area

And Sundays, you always get big families having a good time. Plus, want Carla to see I can be as good a fop as that sword-swishin' Don Diego.

P.S. Today, Friday, half price fish and chips, around $5.50. And every day except Sunday, breakfasts, $3.95.

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