manuel’s original el tepeyac cafe / east la – los angeles, ca
Here’s my first post of our Los Angeles eating adventures! Come back all week for a new look at another “Eating in LA Adventure”!
Jake and I have an X-Box Live friend that lives in Florida. Chris came out to visit us last summer and recently came back out to San Diego to visit us again last month (he not-so-secretly wishes he lived here). We decided to take a little trip up to Los Angeles to meet up with another friend and to scout out some good eating spots while we were up there. We totally plan out where we’re going to eat ahead of time for our vacations, it’s true. I always scout the area online to make sure we get some good eats while taking a trip. I’m sure the time will come where we just go someplace far away to try new foods. Jake will see something on TV and will want to go there to visit just to try that food. Me? I want to go to Idaho and visit the Idaho Potato Museum and see the world’s largest styrofoam potato. I bet they sell something potatoey and delicious nearby. Hey, we all have our secret goals in life. Don’t judge.
All three of us are fans of Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel. After Jake and Chris both really wanted to try this crazy, insanely large burrito at this place called Manuel’s Original El Tepeyac Cafe. This was our first stop once we got into LA, even before we checked into our hotel that day since we drove up in the morning and went here for lunch. It was a Monday afternoon and we encountered no traffic (*gasp*), easy parking and no wait for a table. This is the kind of LA that I can deal with!
This is the outside of the cafe. It’s not very big inside, there’s a bunch of tables pushed quite near each other and a long bar next to the kitchen for seating. We only got a few things to share and here’s one of them:
Chips and Guacamole! Not sure the price on these since we just said, “Chips and Guacamole” and didn’t specify a size. The pricing varies on 1/4 size order, 1/2 order and full size. No idea what the above is supposed to be. These chips tasted a little different than chips from other restaurants – they were quite thick and tasted really fresh. They had a good crunch of them and weren’t too oily or greasy. Very good chips.
We also got a plateful of guacamole! Look how green this guacamole is! It has little bits of tomato and cilantro in it and the perfect amount of seasonings. Very creamy and delicious.
And here it is…. the Manuel Special Burrito ($18.90). We got the Machaca burrito for out inside meat. This burrito is made to feed 2-4 people – you can’t pick this sucker up, either. You have to eat it with a knife and fork! They even have bigger burritos to serve a larger number of people (I think 6-8). Luckily we got the “smaller” burrito. I had to convince the boys that getting the larger burrito would be a bad idea. Luckily they listened to me.
The burrito also comes with a sauce on top, but we asked for it on the side. It’s a mixture of tomatoes, peppers, onions and other spices. Jake didn’t like it and I didn’t even touch it. I don’t really like sauces on top of my burritos.
The inside of this very filling and delicious burrito has a combination of the machaca, beans, rice, cheese, guacamole, and sour cream. One side of the burrito seemed to the “rice side” while the other side was the “bean side” with the meat down the middle. The machaca was very tender and flavorful and melded very nicely with the burrito’s other ingredients. I wouldn’t mind having this again, but in a smaller size!
We portioned the burrito out into three pieces. Hahaha, as if I could eat that much. Above is my portion.
Annnnd that’s how much I was able to eat. Not even 1/4 of my share! To be fair, I did eat a bunch of those chips and was eating the chips with my burrito portion. The boys were troopers and finished their portions. It was a ton of food and our waitress asked if we wanted to box up the leftovers to go. When we declined, she was shocked! We explained that we didn’t know if our hotel had a fridge in it or not and didn’t want to bother taking it. She loosened up again with our explanation. Phew!
If you’re ever in East Los Angeles and want a great meal, definitely check out Manual’s Original El Tepeyac if you get the chance! The place has been around forever and serves up some mighty good grub to fill your belly with.
Manual’s Original El Tepeyac
812 N. Evergreen Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Monday & Tuesday: 6AM-8:00PM
Wed., Thurs. & Sun: 6AM-9:45PM
Friday & Saturday: 6AM-11PM