I must say that I’m so lucky to have a family that is very supportive of my blogging. Not only do they read my posts regularly but they also help me out in my research. Today’s discovery was found by my mom who noticed a review in the local paper. My aunt then accompanied me to try it out. So what the heck am I talking about anyway? Why it’s del Tomate – an Argentinian/Italian restaurant in Tustin, CA.
Tustin is one of those sleepy communities that I just love. It’s got a quaint downtown and a bevvy of historic homes that are just right for gazing upon and dreaming – “someday I’ll live in a house just like this but I’ll change the color and add a little trim, maybe plant a garden…”
Del Tomate is located in a small shopping center on First Street. We arrived on a midweek day at approx. 11:30 hoping to avoid the lunch rush. We had the whole place to ourselves which gave us plenty of time to peruse the overhead menu – you order at the counter. I was curious about the bread as they listed three kinds – French Bread, Argentinian-style Hoagie, and Argentinian-style Soft White Bread. The staff was very friendly and showed us the differences – French is a baguette, Hoagie is a sweet roll, and Soft White is the largest, thinnest slice of white bread I’ve ever seen. And they were all homemade! Man, if I had trouble deciding before…now it was almost impossible.
Finally, I chose the Pebete – hoagie with butter, prosciutto, and provolone cheese ($7). My aunt went for the Tostado – toasted soft white bread, ham, cheese and butter ($5.50). We each tried an Empanada as well – chicken and spinach ($1.60). For a drink we both opted for water (no charge).
First off, the water! Holy Cow! This was no boring old tap water. It was flavored with mint and citrus (orange or lemon, not quite sure). So refreshing…I would take it over a coke any day.
Soon our Empanada’s arrived.
Now, we have a family friend who makes the best Empanadas in the world. So, unfortunately nothing is going to compare. That being said, I really enjoyed the chicken Empanada. It was very flavorful – the spinach one was ok.
Then came the sandwiches.
Just look at that Tostado! It’s huge! Enough for two meals – for $5.50!!!!! What a deal! And how did it taste? MMMMMMMM! It was heavenly. Bread slightly toasted, cheese nice and melted, and ham heated just enough to warm my tummy…the perfect comfort food. And let’s not neglect the Pebete. It was also quite good but my heart belongs to the Tostado.
Although I really enjoyed it, I made sure to eat only half of my sandwich because of the pastry case. Oh, did I not mention the pastry case? It was at the front counter and was choc full of delicious looking homemade desserts. Although I try to eat healthy, I knew I just couldn’t resist it. But remember what I said about avoiding the lunch crowd? Well, it certainly arrived. Every time I looked at the counter there was a line out the door. So as soon as I saw a break I leapt into action and bought a few cookies.
The white cookies are called Alfajores (2 small for $1.50) and are filled with caramel and dipped in coconut. They are melt in your mouth good. The other is actually two merengue cookies glued together with dulce de leche (price ?). Dulce de leche? How about dulce de licious!
All in all, it was a great meal at a bargain price. Thanks mom for the awesome suggestion!
137 W. 1st Street
Tustin, CA 92780
open 9am – 9pm Tues-Sat, 8am – 3pm Sun, closed Monday