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Mexicali Restaurants

Mandolino

Mandolino

After a mandatory four week bed rest ordered by Dr. Maya, and another 2 weeks of slow walking, I now felt like a brand new person.

It was time to go out on the town and visit some of Mexicali’s restaurants.

There are two former restaurants that have made significant changes recently in Mexicali – Mandolino and Beijing. It was time to check them out.

Mandolino is Mexicali’s premier Italian restaurant. Everyone told us the food was great – well now it really is!

Mandolino recently changed hands. The restaurant-bar-café has its own very attractive two story building. The various rooms of the restaurant are on the ground floor, and a bar-café is on the second floor.

Unlike times past, at Mandolino we found the place hopping with customers! Its new owner is Christian, a personable and talented chef, who had come from Chile.mandolinomenu

Mandolino's rack of lamb

Mandolino's rack of lamb

Christian had worked in some top Baja California hotels, and felt it was time for him to start his own restaurant, so he bought Mandolino’s from its owners. He has redecorated some of the restaurant rooms, and they are just beautiful and inviting.

The food Christian served was both delicious and eye-catching, in the tradition of all truly modern chefs.

Jim and I both had rack of lamb, and several glasses of the house red wine – the real good stuff from the Guadalupe Valley of Baja California! What a great treat! The menu is filled with seafood specialties, but we chose the lamb – where else could you find lamb in Mexicali? It was medium well done, succulent, and the aroma of fresh herbs brought out the taste of the meat. The focaccia bread was delicious.

Mandolino Bar Cafe

Mandolino Bar Cafe

Mandolino starts to fill up when the elite meet around 9:00pm. Be there or be square.

There are literally tons of Chinese restaurants in Mexicali. It is a little-known fact that Mexicali started its life as a Chinese town. Bet you didn’t know that!

At one point there were 10,000 Chinese living in Mexicali and only 700 Mexicans. Many of the Chinese came to Mexicali to build a section of the railroad, which extends from Mexico City all the way to Los Angeles. Chinese laborers also worked on the vast irrigation system around Mexicali.

Mexicali’s Beijing restaurant is the best Chinese restaurant we’ve found here. They even have Peking duck on the menu! Jim loves his egg foo yung, and egg rolls (which they call Chung Cun in Mexicali). We also ordered the house specialty for the day, which was fried beef rice noodles. We were also served the most delicious iced tea. It had the hint of the Chinese Mandarin Orange or as they call it – “Kum Quat.”  The food was just great.

Many of Beijing’s waiters and the head chef are from Guangdong (Canton), China.  They go back to China for vacation flying from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas, and then direct to China. Who would have guessed you could fly direct from Cabo to China? Now, that is an interesting fact.

Beijing Restaurant

Beijing Restaurant

Beijing Restaurant

Beijing Restaurant

We love our salads.  The best salads in Mexicali can be found at Sinapsis Cafe.  My favorite is the Caesar Salad, along with an iced mocha frappe!  Jim loves his cheese plate, and Matthew goes for the ravioli.

Sinapsis’ cappuccinos are still the best we have found. Seldom do we go by the place without dropping in for some great food, coffee, and conversation.

Sinapsis' Great Salads!

Sinapsis' Great Salads!

“Hey when are we going to go back to Carvao?” asked Jim.

Yes, it is great to be out and about again.

Bon appetite!

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