Best of Asbury [NJ]


I’ve been there a few times. It is good. Every time the tables filled with Hispanic families, so that is a good sign for me.
I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico and never found restaurants in the US that serve the food that I like there. But, that’s ok.

(Jeff) #86


(Retired !) #87

There is a lot of regional variation in Mexican cuisine, much more than you see in the US.

This is somewhat reflected in US foodways. For example, on the Jersey Shore most migrants are from Oaxaca, so we see a lot of Tayludas on local menus whereas else where in the US you would see Tostadas. Oaxaca is also famous for it’s moles, it’s the land of seven moles. Black, red, green, pink and a few others I have a hard time remembering.

California, especially LA and southwards, has a lot of Baja influences. Carne Asada, fish tacos, shrimp burritos, ceviche, clams, spiny lobster. Baja is famous in Mexico for its seafood. In Mexico, Baja is famous for Baja Med, which is a new fusion cuisine based on US California influences.

In the central US (Texas to Illinois and Nebraska) you see a border cuisine called Tex Mex. It’s based roughly on the cuisine from Nuevo Leon (Monterrey) and Tamaulipas. Cattle ranching, dairy, cheese, pintos, flour tortillas, fajitas (arrachera al carbon), baby goat.

So chances are, unless you are spending lots of time in Mexico City (which has immigrants from all over Mexico) that you are getting a particular regional cuisine. If you know where you were eating in Mexico, that will make it easier to find what you are looking for here. And depending on where you live in the US, your local “Mexican” restaurants may tilt in on direction or another.

Also, a lot of Mexican cuisine depends on fresh local ingredients that are not generally available in the US. For example grasshoppers are popular in Oaxaca as a taco filling, but you won’t find these on the Jersey Shore.

This is a subject you can research forever, as Rick Bayless pretty much does on his TV show ad nauseum before we end up in his kitchen making the El Gringo version.

Here is a quick state by state guide to the different Mexican states:


NotViking. Thanks for all the regional information. Most of my Mexican food experiences have been “off the beaten” path since I’ve been all over birding. I like a lot of the simple food. My favorite is Plain queso fundido with fresh made tortillas and some kind of salsa other condiment. Never have found anything as good here. But, I will say that US Mexican restaurants are usually on my list.

(Retired !) #89

Queso Fundido or Queso Flameado is a perfect example of a regional Mexican dish.

It comes from the northern border state of Chihuahua, across the border from El Paso, and is based on a cheese made by German Mennonite migrants from Prussia which is called queso menonita in Mexico.

Queso Menonita, also called queso Chihuahua, is famous in Mexico for it’s easy melting and buttery taste. You can order it online, but Mexican markets around here should have it.

Queso Flameado started out as a campfire dish (like smores) and is similar to a Swiss fondue. A lot of times in Mexico it is flavored with Chorizo.

You would probably have better luck finding a good Queso Fundido or Flameado in the central US than around here. But you have to be careful since a lot of US versions have been influenced by the Velveeta and Rotel version which is on every table in Texas.

While we in the US like to think of ourselves as a country of immigrants, Mexico is too. The Mennonites came by way of Canada in the 1920’s. And tacos al pastor originally are Lebanese from the early 1900s. The “pastor” refers to shepherds, not priests, and the meat was originally lamb on a spit, like gyros or shawarma.


Did you know that some Mennonite farmers open their farms to tourists so they can see the cheese making, see their animals and have a meal?

The best Queso Fundido I’ve ever had was in a small village near the Colima Volcano. And even though it is considered regional I’ve found it all over Mexico. My first time ever was in the Yucatan and then it wasn’t on the menu. The person I was with knew to ask for it.

(Retired !) #92

Yep. My family is from Michiana so I am pretty familiar with Mennonites and their farms.

The dish is popular all over Mexico, and can be made with local cheeses as well. But it started in Chihuahua.


I’ve lived in Houston 60 years and have eaten Tex-Mex all over town from mom and pops to east end barrio and high end places and have never seen queso flameado passed off with Velveeta and Rotel.

Queso flameado is generally served on fresh flour tortillas with chorizo or a vegetable mixture or shrimp.

Velveeta and Rotel is served in a lot of places as chile con queso to go with the free chips and salsa that everyone serves.

The rest of the country may pass this off as queso flameado but it’s not down here. I’ll google restaurants from the Midwest and Northeast when I see it listed as a Tex-Mex place and what they serve is laughable.

Oh, burritos and chimichangas are not Tex-Mex, I never saw them when I was growing up but they have crept their onto menus. You won’t catch me ordering them.

(Retired !) #94

Ding, Ding, Ding, we have a winner ! It seems we found where you need to go birding next time if you want to find queso fundido/flameado in the US:

(Retired !) #95

When I said every table I meant family tables as well. It’s impossible to be invited to a football game anywhere in Texas without running into “queso” made with Velveeta and Rotel. I don’t think most people outside of Texas make the distinction between this and Flameado.

(Retired !) #96


Indeed, not a mighty Texans game goes buy without the Wifeacita whipping up a batch of queso, but we, nor do the restaurants down here confuse it with queso flameado.

The Wifeacita is first generation Mexican American growing up in the Rio Grande Valley 10 miles from Mexico and never heard of chile con queso until she hit gringo Houston.


Yes, jcostiones

Queso fundido should not be confused with Chile con queso. An entirely different dish.

(Retired !) #99

Well we all agree on that.

But if you read the Wikipedia article it does confuse the issue, calling Chile con queso a version of Queso Flameado.

It also clearly refers to Velveeta & Rotel as Tex Mex, even though I don’t think you will find either of these things in Mexico.

Which is why I posted it.

And why you have to be careful when ordering this in the US.

(Retired !) #101

Please note that the two of you don’t actually agree on the name of the dish, since one of you calls it Fundido and the other Flameado.

But it’s the same dish.

(Joon) #102

It’s the most popular Mexican restaurant in Asbury, you’ll see plenty of Mexicans and gringos alike. I don’t think their food is necessarily much better than the others in the area, but it’s solid. The biggest thing is that hey have the best restaurant experience. It feels like what people would expect out of a Mexican place more so than the hole in the wall-ish places we have mostly around here.

(Retired !) #103

Thanks for your response.

So food is on a par with Long Branch?


I agree, almost everyplace in Houston calls it flameado but it’s the same as fundido.

(Retired !) #105

The 1933 model…


(Junior) #106

A post was split to a new topic: Sitting Duck - Long Branch, NJ