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Coronado street taco wars: Costa Azul steps up to the plata!

Getting on-the-spot tacos on Orange Avenue just got easier – on Taco Tuesday

Carla – here for hair – is late. I’m standing outside Bay Books when I hear “Tacos! Tacos! Tacos!”

Then a silence. Then “Tacos! Tacos! Tacos!”

I head south and here’s this feller Ferrer holding a hand-painted sign.

“Los Tacos Aqui.”

None

Look beyond him, and here’s a whole taco stand set up through the sidewalk patio railings at Costa Azul (Costa Azul Grill & Rotisserie, 1031 Orange Avenue, Coronado, 619-435-3525).

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Ferrer’s buddy, the chef Miguel...

None

None

Miguel

...has set up a hot plate, a blue-cloth table, volcanic molcajetes filled with red and brown and green salsas, limes, radishes, onions, cilantro, lettuce, the whole taco bag of tricks.

None

None

None

None

“Two for $3.95,” says Mary Ana. She’s a Costa Azul staffer. “They’re all on corn tortillas. Really good.”

I trust her. She’s the one told me about La Ermita, one of my greatest taco finds ever in Tijuana.

None

Miguel and Mary Ana

“The best,” says Gennaro. He’s loading up four carne asada tacos with the fixings. “Here every Tuesday.”

None

Gennaro

None

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Gennaro's four carne asada tacos, eight bucks' worth

"Carne asada? Carnitas? Chicken? Or today I have chorizo. Good flavors,” says Miguel.

He tosses a little chunk of chorizo on the hot plate. The smoke smells spicy.

You can see: people are kinda surprised to hear Ferrer shouting out “Tacos! Tacos! Tacos!” here in the land of Admirals and rico-suaves. Amazing what having the food right here on the street does to people. They stop, readjust their radar, start remembering other days, other places.

Whatever, crowd’s gathering. I need to say what I want quick.

“Okay, two, chorizo,” I say.

None

My smokin' chorizo

None

The grilled result

It’s Mary Ana who passes it to me. Just because she’s between me and Miguel, through the smoke there.

"The green,” says Miguel, when I ask him which salsa’s best for chorizo. “It’s a little bit hot. Tomatillo, serrano chili, and avocado. We peel it and blend it right here.”

So I pile on onions, cilantro, the green avocado salsa, and top it all with a squirt of fresh lime.

None

The final result

Ah. Mm. Ooh. Lawdie. What a great combo! The tart salty chorizo pork and the light sparky salsa.

Was the day when Villa Nueva, a block north, did this. The charcoal, the smoke, right on Orange.

Haven’t seen it lately.

Looks like the taco party’s moved south, one block.

Miguel says they’re open from five till ten. So hey, still time, muchachos, muchachas!

Or, next week?

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“My interests lie happily elsewhere.”

Carla – here for hair – is late. I’m standing outside Bay Books when I hear “Tacos! Tacos! Tacos!”

Then a silence. Then “Tacos! Tacos! Tacos!”

I head south and here’s this feller Ferrer holding a hand-painted sign.

“Los Tacos Aqui.”

None

Look beyond him, and here’s a whole taco stand set up through the sidewalk patio railings at Costa Azul (Costa Azul Grill & Rotisserie, 1031 Orange Avenue, Coronado, 619-435-3525).

None

Ferrer’s buddy, the chef Miguel...

None

None

Miguel

...has set up a hot plate, a blue-cloth table, volcanic molcajetes filled with red and brown and green salsas, limes, radishes, onions, cilantro, lettuce, the whole taco bag of tricks.

None

None

None

None

“Two for $3.95,” says Mary Ana. She’s a Costa Azul staffer. “They’re all on corn tortillas. Really good.”

I trust her. She’s the one told me about La Ermita, one of my greatest taco finds ever in Tijuana.

None

Miguel and Mary Ana

“The best,” says Gennaro. He’s loading up four carne asada tacos with the fixings. “Here every Tuesday.”

None

Gennaro

None

None

Gennaro's four carne asada tacos, eight bucks' worth

"Carne asada? Carnitas? Chicken? Or today I have chorizo. Good flavors,” says Miguel.

He tosses a little chunk of chorizo on the hot plate. The smoke smells spicy.

You can see: people are kinda surprised to hear Ferrer shouting out “Tacos! Tacos! Tacos!” here in the land of Admirals and rico-suaves. Amazing what having the food right here on the street does to people. They stop, readjust their radar, start remembering other days, other places.

Whatever, crowd’s gathering. I need to say what I want quick.

“Okay, two, chorizo,” I say.

None

My smokin' chorizo

None

The grilled result

It’s Mary Ana who passes it to me. Just because she’s between me and Miguel, through the smoke there.

"The green,” says Miguel, when I ask him which salsa’s best for chorizo. “It’s a little bit hot. Tomatillo, serrano chili, and avocado. We peel it and blend it right here.”

So I pile on onions, cilantro, the green avocado salsa, and top it all with a squirt of fresh lime.

None

The final result

Ah. Mm. Ooh. Lawdie. What a great combo! The tart salty chorizo pork and the light sparky salsa.

Was the day when Villa Nueva, a block north, did this. The charcoal, the smoke, right on Orange.

Haven’t seen it lately.

Looks like the taco party’s moved south, one block.

Miguel says they’re open from five till ten. So hey, still time, muchachos, muchachas!

Or, next week?

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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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