Imperial Valley has a number of treasures:
Blue Angels annual show (I got to watch them train in the skies above for two weeks, way cool!)
The annual county Fair – a really community-based effort and regionally specific with lots of agriculture and Hispanic culture
Driving the outer roads and seeing “agriculture” happen before your very eyes – sheep grazing in the fields, crops growing, crop dusting planes RIGHT above you and “the smell of money” (or manure) in the air
80º days in early March
Some great people I have met over the years
Outstanding Mexican restaurants and the Special Quesadilla
Now when I visit Imperial Valley, I have two problems – how many times in two weeks can I eat Mexican food? And how many times in two weeks can I eat Mexican food? That may sound like the same question, but it’s not.
The first “how many times in two weeks can I eat Mexican food?” refers to can I make enough time to eat Mexican food as many times as I would like during my two weeks.
The second “how many times in two weeks can I eat Mexican food?’ refers to how many times can I consume tacos and enchiladas and special quesadillas and chips and refried beans and still fit in my clothes without regretting my choices.
So you see two entirely different questions.
One question that never comes up is “will this Mexican restaurant have special quesadillas?” I can find special quesadillas at any restaurant in the Valley.
What is a special quesadilla, you might ask? It is something that is so delicious and wonderful that I can hardly resist passing it up at ANY Mexican restaurant in the Valley.
I have never experienced a special quesadilla a la Imperial Valley at any other Mexican restaurant I have ever been to, and as a Southern California Girl, that is saying a lot!
The special quesadilla is a puffy, crispy, golden pocket of tender, warm, deep-fried goodness that is filled with melted cheese. You can order them with carne asada or pollo or carnitas, but I like the delicate cheese-only version.
The outside of the special quesadilla is not like a normal quesadilla, it’s as though it is made of pastry dough, stuffed with cheese and deep fried. Not just a normal flour tortilla that is pan fried with butter and cheese melted inside.
This concoction is so unique, that this year when I had lunch in Imperial Valley with a friend of mine from San Diego (he lives in San Diego, visits Imperial often and has traveled the world), I ordered the delectable special quesadilla and he was wide-eyed and astounded when it arrived – and hooked on the first bite.
The next time you travel through Imperial Valley (located between San Diego County and the Arizona boarder), stop at any Mexican Restaurant – I like Celia’s, El Zarapé, La Hacienda and a few others – and order a special quesadilla. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
By the way, my mouth is watering already, anticipating next year’s opportunity to savor a special quesadilla.