Search This Blog

Saturday, August 17, 2013

VW Bus Night in Encinitas (and damn good tacos later!)

There are a lot of locals who don't know about the special charms of Encinitas, a beach town north of San Diego.  It's like an old photo from the '60's, a flashback that somehow has been updated just a bit to straddle the lines between nostalgia and current.  Woodies driving along old Highway 101, bands playing surf music at the beach, nothing too unusual about that in this town.  During the summer the hot rods come out on the monthly classic car nights and there are the usual suspects - 50's Chevy's, classic muscle cars, deuce coup roadsters, it's a shot right out of American Graffiti.  But last week featured VW buses, some refurbished beyond their original glory.  Let's take a look.

Pretty dang simple inside.  How did we move from this to the dashboards of today which look like they came from the space shuttle? 
Wow, not sure any VW bus had an engine this clean back in the 60's! 
Perfect!  Love the pop out front windows.  Lexus, you need to do this!
It's hard to tell if this is a hobby or a lifestyle.
All we need now is some Grateful Dead music. 
And when it's time to go camping, how about doing it in style with this teardrop trailer?  Yes, that's a TV in the back.  There's one inside, too!

But now I'm hungry and while there are plenty of cool places to eat in downtown Encinitas I decided to go to my favorite hole in the wall Mexican restaurant called Don Chuys in Solana Beach.
Let me first warn you.  This is not Casa de Bandini, the blandest of the gringo-ized Mex restaurants favored by those who miss El Torito.  No watered down margaritas, either.  In fact, when they say this is a perfect margarita it really is perfect.  No sweety flavor, this sucker punches back with the tequila and Grand Marnier.

As for the food, they have plenty of Mexican dishes you won't find in a corporate Mex restaurant but I love the basic beef taco plate.  It's a lot harder than it seems to make the perfect beef taco but Don Chuys kills it.  The shell is crunchy but not Corn Nut hard, and the beef is simmered to a spicy tenderness and packed so full that it's hard to bite into without losing half the filling.  And the rice and beans are totally unlike a lot of Mexican restaurants where they're more filler or decoration than edible (Casa de Bandini, I'm talking to you!)  These sides are so delicious that I guarantee you will eat every last bite, even if it means instant regret as you roll yourself to your car.

So if you find yourself landlocked in San Diego, do yourself a favor and take a trip to Encinitas to check out the coolest North County beach town.  And then stop in at Don Chuys for some tacos.  And let me know what you think!

Adios Amigos,

Local Wally


Boyd Garth said...

My grandparents live in signs San Diego and they love the weather. and my grandmother needs less stress, so that helps

john patinson said...

I simply want to tell you that I am new to weblog and definitely liked this blog site. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have wonderful stories. Cheers for sharing with us your blog.
Rat Rod