Manhattan Beach

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GI Joe Pier-to-Pier Run/Walk

This morning I headed out to Hermosa Beach to take photos of the 3rd Annual GI Joe Pier-to-Pier Run/Walk. Participants run or walk from the Hermosa Beach pier to the Manhattan Beach pier and back again. From what I gather, this run started off as the graduation ceremony for the GI Joe Bootcamp which operates out of Manhattan Beach. Eventually the City of Hermosa Beach asked Joe to make it a community event. It was a bit chilly this morning, so that may explain the low turnout, but the participants all seemed to enjoy the run along the shore.

Back to GI Joe Run Photos

Back to GI Joe Run Photos

Picture Perfect Day

Day 219 of my photo a day project. A good friend of mine, that I had not seen in far too long contacted me and asked if I wanted to hang out. I naturally said yes, and we decided to meet up and go out for a late lunch, early dinner. As I have always spoken highly of Pancho’s in Manhattan Beach, and for some reason I had never taken her there, it was decided that this would be our destination.

In keeping with the theme of the weekend, we took the Night Train out to Manhattan. My photo of the day is of my friend Martina and I, on the Night Train, on the way home from dinner. Great food, great margaritas and great company made for a perfect day.

Day 219 photo of the day

A Relaxed Ride Home

My Favorite Mexican Restaurant

There is absolutely no restaurant that I have been going to longer than Pancho’s Restaurant in Manhattan Beach. When I have out of town guests, Pancho’s is my “go to” place. I was kind of surprised when I saw that my girlfriend had named Pancho’s as her favorite restaurant on one of those Facebook quizzes, since she lives in another state and had only been there two or three times.

The first time I went to Pancho’s was in 1971 or 1972. It was a small hole-in-the-wall joint with a Chinese decor. Apparently they had recently purchased the building and it was a Chinese restaurant before the new owner took over. A few years later they bulldozed the place down, dug a big hole in the sand and made it a two story affair. As you can tell from the photos they really did it up right when they re-opened. Huge, beautiful greenery makes it pretty much impossible to not become one with the environment.

I suspect I have eaten at Pancho’s well over 100 times. Most of the waiters have been there for more than 25 years. I have never left there unsatisfied, although I will admit, I do tend to shy away from the standard combination plates. I can go to Taco Bell if I want a bean and cheese burrito. Any of their “del Mar” dishes are great. The spinach enchiladas are melt in your mouth yummy if looking for a relatively light meal, because they do give you a lot of food.

The best thing about their chips and salsa is that the salsa is just the way I like it. Hot. To me, a salsa should make you sweat under your eyes, and this does the trick. Their Cadillac Margaritas are a little pricey, but if you skip the additional shot of Grand Marnier the price drops and the Margarita still packs a punch. The best kept secret is their Queso Fundido. It is a melted mixture of four different cheeses with artichoke hearts and slices of jalapeno. What is really nice about it is that it may even be better the next day. It is the only dish that I have driven the 12 miles round trip just to get a “to go” order of. It really is that good.

I have read reviews on Yelp and seen the people whining about the cost. I suspect that a fast food joint would probably be better suited to them. Pancho’s provides a great atmosphere, great service and fantastic food. I take pride in the establishments I take my friends to, and Pancho’s has never let me down in the 35+ years I have been coming there. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to try some excellent Mexican food. Muy bien.

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