Went to El Zacatecano today for lunch and found it closed. The sign on the door said that Jose and Maria had closed the place due to health problems. The restaurant is for sale. Sigh. The sign says that maybe they will reopen in September. I hope so, and I hope that they get through whatever health problems there are. Still, I am disconsolate.
On a happier note, the folks from Tacos Lucy--my favorite 8th street taco stand--have purchased El Zarape, also on 8th. Once my favorite Mexican restaurant in town, Zarape has gone way downhill since Pepe sold it. However, I've had three meals there under the new ownership and have been very happy. Their chicken, still grilled outside, is as good as ever. I had some chili rellenos made with whole poblano chilies stuffed with shrimp and cheese that were served just with sauce and no breading. Outstanding Chile flavor. An unusual and tasty variation on an old standard. Today I had mantaralla, a traditional fish dish of the Sonoran Desert, made from dried salted sting rays that are soaked to reduce salinity and then cooked with mixed veggies. Their version was very flavorful, but perhaps a little saltier than I would like. While I have not had the menudo or birria de chivo at the new location, I always thought that Tacos Lucy's versions were about as good as you could get in Yuma. In any case, I think 'hounds will find El Zarape serving some of the tastiest and most authentic Mexican food around.