Sunday, March 6, 2022

Off The Beaten Path at Mexicali in Recess Food Alley

When it comes to Mexican food, few names come top-of-mind. One name in particular stands out, triggering nostalgic memories with their specialty quesadillas, burritos and tacos. It was the OG, long before the term was even coined. Take a flavorful trek off the beaten path to Recess Food Alley for a tasty reunion with Mexicali...

First opened way back in 1993, Mexicali was a dream project for siblings Gonzalo, Dennis and Francesca Mabanta who missed the vibrant San Francisco-Mexican cuisine of the Mission District. Twenty-nine years later and now with more than thirteen branches in the metro, Mexicali remains the undisputed OG with its San-Francisco-Mex inspired offerings. And you can find it at Recess Food Alley in Little Baguio. Hungry? Then, read on...

Located at the heart of Little Baguio in San Juan, Recess Food Alley is an innovative hole-in-the-wall dining concept offering value-for-money comfort food for dine-in, take-out and delivery. The casual neighborhood vibe gives Recess Food Alley a unique and welcoming casual character... 

...with its eclectic off-the-beaten path style. Suddenly, you're transported to another far-away place even without leaving the metro.

Inside Recess Food Alley, the wide selection of tasty offerings takes you to the streets of the Middle East, Bangkok and the famed Mission District of San Francisco...

...with the wide array of tasty selections like the Tacos, Burritos, Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Nachos and Chimichangas from Mexicali, the pioneering local homegrown brand for San Francisco-Mex cuisine. No other name comes close to the sumptuous and the original burritos and tacos we all loved from Mexicali.  And you can relive those moments and experiences with Mexicali right here at Recess Food Alley.

Your flavorful reunion with Mexicali's all-time bestsellers begins with the Beef Enchiladas (P 289), soft corn tortillas generously filled with savory beef draped in a mild red chili sauce laced by sour cream paired with Mexican Rice and a side of green salad. One look, and all the memories start coming back.

Flavor and value for money combine for a satisfying meal with the Beef Enchiladas, and one bite just brings back all the fond memories and good times. After twenty-nine years, Mexicali hasn't skipped a beat consistently maintaining the quality and flavors of their specialty dishes.

From the soft flour tortilla to the savory beef filling, the subtle sharpness of the red chili sauce tempered by the sour cream and the fluffy and moist Mexican Rice, the Beef Enchiladas hits all the right notes. Other options at Mexicali include Chicken (P 319), Grilled Vegetables (P 254) and 3-Cheese (P 369).

The famous Chili Dog (P 210) made with Australian beef and topped with chili and cheese brings the Mission District vibe with layers of rich and savory notes enjoyed in one bite.  

Served with homestyle potato wedges, the Chili Dog is a hearty feast in itself. Each bite delivers a fresh snap from the juicy hot dog followed by the savory notes from the chili and creamy finish of the cheese in a play of textural contrasts and flavors. As a meal or snack, you can't go wrong with the Chili Dog by Mexicali. 

The equally famous Carnitas Quesadillas (P 249) is another nostalgic dish from Mexicali with soft flour tortillas filled with tender and juicy roast pork and cheese. Delicately grilled for that lightly crisp outer layer until the cheese melts, these quesadillas pack serious flavors. Think of it as the Mexican version of the grilled cheese sandwich. The soft and crisp tortilla is the perfect vessel for the juicy roast pork and melted cheese, and each bite just makes you go for another.

Did you say Nachos?

The Mexicali Nachos (P 144/P 362) topped with sour cream, jalapeƱos, olives and chili sauce brings a whole lot of good vibes to the table. Crisp and crunchy with layers of contrasting flavors from the different toppings, once you start with these nachos you just can't stop. 

The Grilled Chicken Dinner (P 283) with Mexican Rice and side salad is Mexicali's take on a winner chicken dinner. Grilled low and slow, the tender and juicy chicken with charred edges teases the palate with its rich and savory notes with just a hint smokiness pairing well with the Mexican Rice. It's one meal you can enjoy any time of day at Mexicali.

Did you say more Nachos? Like I said, once you start you just can't stop. Pick from Solo (P 144) or Sharing (P 362).

Change up your snacking game with the Chili Cheese Fries with soft and delicately crisp fries slathered in chili and cheese. Now's a good time to have that ice cold beer.

No dining experience at Mexicali is complete without the specialty burritos, after all, this is what started it all. The Pollo Asado Burrito (P 239) with tender grilled chicken is always a satisfying meal with beans, vegetables, Mexican Rice or French fries, fresh tomatoes, onions, cheese, sour cream and guacamole. It's the classic Mission District style recreated by Mexicali, and for over 29 years the benchmark for all other burritos. 

The delicate flavors of chicken combine with the other ingredients for a flavorful burst, and you get everything in one bite. Served with nachos and salsa, it just doesn't get better than this. Other tempting Burrito options include the Carnitas or roast pork (P 258), Carne Asada or grilled steak (P 289), Grilled Vegetables (P 264), Soyrizo or homemade vegetarian chorizo (P 266) and Mexcian Ground Beef or picadillo (P 219).

Time for tacos. The Combo 2 (P 220) is a light yet hearty meal with two Ground Beef or picadillo tacos in traditional crisp taco shells served with garlic dip and chili sauce. That crunchy and savory bite, works all the time. 

More tacos? The Street Tacos quartet with Carne Asada or grilled steak, San Francisco-style Pork Sisig, Pollo Asado or grilled chicken and Baja California Fish Taco is a must try at Mexicali. Each variant offers unique flavors from the savory richness of grilled steak and pork sisig to the light and delicate notes of the grilled chicken and breaded fried fish.

Topped with onions, tomatoes and lettuce, be sure to add a generous drizzle of garlic and chili sauce. These four Street Tacos may look deceptively light, but all combine for a pretty solid meal. 

The Baja California Fish Taco stands out as a refreshing and tasty alternative to beef, pork and chicken with its light, fresh and clean flavors. Have all four with an ice-cold beer to complete that Mexicali vibe right here at Recess Food Alley.

Dessert? Mexicali has that covered too. The ornate and indulgent Butterscotch Pie (P 149) recreates the flavors of a bygone era from a cherished family recipe. A crumbly crust holds the sweet butterscotch filling crowned by meringue for that perfect sweet ending at Mexicali in Recess Food Alley. Looking for a dish you've missed at Mexicali? Find all your favorites with a quick scan of Mexicali's menu...

...including their selection of vegetarian offerings. Twenty-nine years and counting, the menu at Mexicali remains just as good as the first time you tried it. Consistency in quality and flavor along with that unique Mexicali vibe keeps the brand relevant and in tune with the times in this new normal.  

Burritos, tacos, enchiladas, nachos and chimichangas. Since 1993, Mexicali remains one of the rare and enduring brands in the metro's ever-changing culinary landscape. Yet comfortingly familiar flavors have stood the test of time. And now you can experience all the dishes you love once more with a flavorful trek off the beaten path at Mexicali in Recess Food Alley...

Mexicali is located at Recess Food Alley, 19-B General Vicente Lim Street, Little Baguio, San Juan or call 0921 856 1684 for inquiries. You can also visit their FB Pages at and for more updates.

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