I hate driving. I especially hate driving to Corona. All you people who say that the commute is “worth it” are lying to yourselves. Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I actually know quite a bit of people who live in the Inland Empire (IE). Going out there is practically unavoidable, but really – the only part I hate is the drive.
Since Corona and all the surrounding cities in the area of the 91 and 15 freeways are relatively new, most restaurants are void of any character. The place is filled with chain restaurant after chain restaurant, and fast food as far as the eye can see. I can only count three, maybe four times (including this trip) in which I ate at a non-chain restaurant. Everything is marketed towards the white American. And even though that’s what seems to be the majority demographic out there, the place could really stand to shed some chain places.
Anyway, I went to visit a fellow foodie friend out there and was looking for something to eat. After a brief Yelp session, we found El Cangrejo “nice,” which is a mariscos (Mexican seafood) restaurant. The Yelp reviews are all over the map with widely varying experiences. We went in the mid-afternoon so the place was nearly empty, but I found the service to be quite pleasant. I thought the food was pretty good and worth a return visit for some of their specialty dishes.
Just keep in mind, it’s a casual place. The menu comes laminated and in size ginormous. Some of the food presentation depicted on the pictures on Yelp are pretty refined, but we didn’t get that treatment when I was there. So if you’re a visual person, don’t expect much in the presentation value.
At the time, the place was giving free deserts if you share a photo on Instagram and tag/hashtag them. I’m not sure if they’re still doing that promotion, but it’s well worth it. Oh yeah, they have a Sunday brunch too. Not sure if it’s any good, but might be something to try if you live out that way.
El Cangrejo “Nice” – Corona
Chips & Salsa. Eh…it was OK. I’ll have to agree with a lot of Yelpers here in that the chips were close to being on the stale side.
Shrimp Empanadas. I guess I could have taken a better picture, but it’s just an empanada stuffed with chopped shrimp. It’s fried well and tastes delicious!
The sauce for the Shrimp Empanadas. The waitress brought three different sauces and some minced chili on a platter to the table. She asked us how spicy we’d like it and mixed it right in front of us. It’s good stuff. If you know how to make it please get a hold of me and give me the recipe!
Shrimp Ceviche on a tostada. I thought it was pretty good. Had a nice acidic flavor to it. Maybe the shrimp was a bit overcooked.
We had the kiddo with us so we ordered something she could grab and eat with her hands. It is what it is.
I believe these were the Sonora Style Fish Tacos. They were damn good. I would go back just for these. The beans were pretty good, but the rice was a little bland. That green sauce/minced chili in the lower right hand corner was one of the ingredients in the empanada sauce.
I saw the Stuffed Lobster on the menu and thought it sounded pretty interesting. Because we had already ordered so much, I opted for the half portion. It was pretty good if maybe on the tad salty side.
This churro was our reward for taking a photo on Instagram. It was really good. There was a white filling in the middle of the churro that I couldn’t identify. If you know what it is, please fill me in.
I guess this is their take on Flan. Obviously, it’s not the traditional custardy dessert we see bathed in caramel. This one was more cake-like.