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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen - Orange



141 South Glassell
Orange, California 92866
Open 7 days a week
11am - 11pm
Phone: 714.633.3038
Fax: 714.633.3344

www.gabbimex.com

You might be wondering why there is a picture of a blank wall above. The picture is there because that is what you will see when you are looking for Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen. There is no sign above the door, but there are plenty of people inside. These are the lucky people that have discovered the hidden gem that is Gabbi’s.

I recently visited Gabbi’s for lunch to sample their seasonal squash blossom items. In attendance were CZ from Orange County Mexican Food and a food writer from the LA Times. Make sure to look for the write up in this Thursday’s LA Times (5/22/08). It will be in a special pull out section called “The Guide.”

After we were seated, we received some tortilla chips and salsa. The chips were warm and crunchy and had the perfect amount of salt. The salsa tasted really fresh and had just a little bit of spice. I could have eaten a lot more of these chips, but I didn’t want to spoil my appetite.


Since we were here to sample their new seasonal offerings, we ordered three items for all of us to share. The first item was the Tropical Quesadilla ($10.00) that was served with mangoes, plantains, pineapple, cilantro, roasted peppers and queso Oaxaca. The second item was the Enchiladas Flor De Calabassa (squash blossom enchiladas $15.00). The third item was the Quesadillas con Flor De Calabassa y Queso Cabra (squash blossom quesadillas $9.00).

The items arrived at our table and were all beautifully presented. Pictures were taken by all, and then we dove in. The first item I tried was the squash blossom quesadilla. The first thought to enter my mind was, “My god, these tortillas are delicious.” I knew they must be made fresh on the premises. My suspicions were confirmed later when I walked by the kitchen and saw them cooking fresh tortillas on a large spinning grill. The quesadillas were fantastic. The delicate flavor of the squash blossoms melded perfectly with the saltiness in the cheese. Yummy.



Next up was the tropical quesadilla. I’m not usually a big fan of tropical fruit, and the thought of it in a dish that I usually consider to be savory was throwing me for a loop. I took a bite and was happy that I did. The medley of fruits inside this quesadilla perfectly matched with the cheese to create a harmonious flavor of yum. The guacamole that was served with the quesadilla had a spicy kick to it and made this dish even better.


Finally I tried the squash blossom enchiladas. Inside the enchiladas were corn, pasillas, caramelized onions, chicken and cheese. It was all topped off with a roasted red-pepper chipotle sauce. They were crowned with slices of fresh avocado. They were wonderful. I was truly impressed with all three dishes.


For dessert we all agreed to share a Flan ($7.00). This is one of CZ’s favorite desserts here. At the last minute I decided I also wanted to try the Coconut Tres Leches Cake ($9.00).

The flan arrived and it looked amazing. A perfectly firm, silky smooth flan was sitting in the middle of a pool of pinkish guava sauce. It was topped off with Gabbi’s signature “G” made out of what I think was a fried tortilla. The flan was really good but I really wanted to try the Tres Leches.


The Tres Leches cake was served with banana gelato and had a few berries on top. I took a bite and I nearly fell out of my chair. An explosion of coconut flavor brought a tear of joy to my eye. The cake was soft and perfectly moist. I was in heaven. This is the best tres leches cake I have ever had. I immediately announced that I wanted one of these cakes in “giant” size for my next birthday. Just when I thought this dish couldn’t get any better, I tried the banana gelato. It was served in a florentine cookie bowl. It was smooth, creamy and full of fresh banana flavor. The cookie bowl was crispy and delicious.


Overall I was extremely impressed with this restaurant. Everything I tried here was fantastic and full of flavor. I’m already planning my return trip so I can order about a dozen more of those Coconut Tres Leches cakes.

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