The Neglected: A Weekly Roundup of My Writing Through Other Mediums!

Wasapeni!

No, this is not the name of a street-punk band I am starting up…introducing a new column I am starting to keep you all posted with my incessant pursuit of professional food + music writing stardom.

On Tuesday, June 14th. The Alhambra Source published my story on El Vaquero Restaurant, a restaurant that specializes in Tortas Ahogadas located in Alhambra.

torta ahogada money shot
A Torta Ahogada at El Vaquero Restaurant

(taken from my piece)
“What exactly is so special about it? Well, it’s literally a torta ahogada (“drowned” torta). Just imagine a Mexican torta sandwich if it had tripped and accidentally fell into a pool of delicious — albeit ridiculously spicy — smooth salsa of fresh tomatoes and toasted chile de arbol (which literally translates to “tree chile!”) The rest is simple: stuffed with a scant layer of refried beans and freshly-braised carnitas, topped with a prodigious handful of thinly sliced pickled onions, then finally dunked, sauced and smothered in a whole lot of that signature salsa…”

Continue reading that post here!

And today, OC Weekly published two stories of mine.

First of all, I woke up to an email from my music editor to break in Rob Zombie’s new Woolite commercial. Yup! Check it out for yourself. I described it as “a short 30-second’er but its so intense, it feels like the buildup for a gruesome torture scene from his classic “House of 1,000 Corpses” that is about to unravel. Even the whispering clincher of “save them” sent chills down my spine but thank god I had some Woolite for the back of my muscle shirt! ”
Click here to check out what else I had to say…haha.

And last but not least, my self-reflection dissertation on the OC Weekly internship I took over the semester. If you are considering taking an internship anywhere, this piece is a mandatory pre-requisite. Consider it the glossy pamphlet for taking an internship I never had.

“An internship is defined as “an official or formal program to provide practical experience for beginners in an occupation or profession.” Well, that is true. And yes, I wouldn’t trade the experience I have gathered since the beginning of the internship for anything in the world!!! But we must also be rational and real, especially in times like these–it is also a costly self-investment that must be entered into with abandon or not at all…hey, just like cooking and love!

….An internship is defined as “an official or formal program to provide practical experience for beginners in an occupation or profession.” Well, that is true. And yes, I wouldn’t trade the experience I have gathered since the beginning of the internship for anything in the world!!! But we must also be rational and real, especially in times like these–it is also a costly self-investment that must be entered into with abandon or not at all…hey, just like cooking and love!”

Continue reading the rest of the piece here!

Well, there you have it! Stay tuned for some Glutster.com original content real soon! I promise, until then, have a good weekend and party hard!

Letters to The Glustster: What Do I Really Think of Orange County?

Hi, I’m a complete stranger who saw you on TV. Also I grew up in the OC. Santana to be exact, and I’ve had a nagging curiousity. Whats your impression of Orange County? I’m curious to know how a person from L.A. would digest a land such as Orange County.
– Most Curiously, Caro

Hey Carolina,

Its so crazy that the travel channel still airs that Bizarre Foods episode! haha.

OC is just…well, Orange County! Up to this recent internship I scored at OC Weekly, I used to take it EXTREMELY for granted.

When I was kid, I used to help my older brother with furniture delivery (my dad used to have a shop that had a lot of clients in Anaheim), so I fondly remember devouring countless bowls of Mos 2 Teriyaki chicken bowls as my delicious reward for breaking my back.

Before the internship, things that popped up when I thought of OC were delicious little plates of Bahn Beo in Little Saigon and even more delicious metallic plates of southern Indian food that I would scarcely ever bust the mission for. I was so sequestered only covering L.A! haha.

I highly admire that punk rock is still kept alive out there, and practiced by youth and older veterans alike. It is treated with the same respect as other genres in venues as well. I also admire that there are smaller sub-cuisines of regional food that can’t be found in L.A.

So slowly but surely, I am getting used to “La Naranja” (as my editor Gustavo Arellano calls it! jaja)

Hope I didn’t bore you and sorry for the lag, been so absolutely freaking bonkers-busy.

Salud!

New Beginnings, My Epic Saveur Zacatecas Piece Featured In May Issue & Writing About Food/Punk Rock For OC Weekly

I Am Here

So, it has been an absolutely RELENTLESS last month for me.

To start off, I have recently experienced some pretty antagonistic life realizations lately. Well, I will just say I underestimated the imminent reality of transience in life. Things that once were, will not always be. “Con tiempo…todo se acaba, nada es eterno en el mundo, ni teniendo un corazon, que tanto siente suspira por la vida y el amor” (Antonio Aguilar). But I can not let that stop me in my tracks now, not after all I have accomplished…on my own.

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A Prickly Pear Blossoms No Matter What (photo courtesy of Foto Martien on Flickr)

Like countless rancheras, punk rock anthems, gangster veteranos and Descartes have told me, one must “Conquer yourself, rather than the world [homie]”. Alcabo, “uno viene a este mundo solito, y pues, mejor ser solito que mal acompañado. Asi no me meto en compromisos, ni me dejan mal parados.”

Nonetheless, I am happy to say I am finally taking school seriously again, yup, twelve units of educational hell at Pasadena City College. Finally tackling the general ed. classes that I put off for so long, so if anyone out there wants to tutor me in math, feel free to drop me a line because I need the help. And whatever already, I am majoring in Journalism/Communication and will transfer to USC, there I finally made up my mind.

Also, proud to say I now happily call Gustavo Arellano mi jefe! Yup, the fellow Zacatecano, life mentor, role model who writes “Ask A Mexican” is now my editor. I scored this sweeeet (yes, even if unpaid) Internship at OC Weekly in Costa Mesa. Got my own pinche cubicle and everything! Ahh raaaza! As if it couldn’t get any better, I cover food and punk rock events. Thank you universe for smiling at me. I just finished writing my first print “weekend pick” for their calendar section on the freaking Dickies and Adolescents show next week in Long Beach. I will also be covering shows too, so its going to be nice to write about my first love in life too. I am already covering the Punk Rock Picnic and PUNK ROCK BOWLING FESTIVAL IN VEGAS!).

Here is a rundown of the food pieces I have written for them so far:

Announcing Stick A Fork In It’s First Intern: Javier Cabral, a.k.a. The Glutster!

Free Tickets to Aquarium of the Pacific This Saturday for First 100 People Who Dress ‘Cheesy’

What NOT to Do While Recording a Cable TV Food Show (and How to Score One Yourself!)

‘I Used to Be a Vegan’ by Zion I & the Grouch: Vegan Underground Rap, Yo!

Suffice to say, this new schedule is bad ass, and my energy, passion for it is not going anywhere. Even if I have to drive all the way to Costa Mesa and then back to P.C.C for a night class on the same day, yes that is almost a four hour commute by the way. Umm, unfortunately, I can not say the same for my wallet and ass; $20 a day and numbing.

Also, I am freelancing (unpaid again) for The Alhambra Source, so be on the lookout out for them. Here is an article I have written for them already.

From high school misfit to The Glutster, via Wahib’s

And now for the biggest news! *fast punk rock drumroll with base drum please….

I have finally finished the my epic piece for Saveur Magazine!. The Mijos Journey will be out on newsstands across the world in the last weeks of April and whole month of May! Extremely happy to say that I worked my ass off for a to compile a 4000+ word narrative on visiting the beloved ranchitos of my parents beautiful home state of Zacatecas for the first time. It was a journey of getting to know my roots through food, it comes complete with 20+ family rancho recipes, including, are you ready? My mom’s world famous Menudo (as made famous on the Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern: Los Angeles). All this, within a week and a half.

todd snapping quesadilla
Saveur Executive Food Editor Todd Coleman Snapping Away At My Mom’s Enchiladas

This piece is a huge milestone for not only myself but for my family, to painstakingly distill the ancestral recipes of my deep rancho roots and have them up there with the other great cuisine in the world is a life accomplishment for me. Saveur flew my mother and I out to Zacatecas last year and issued us one of the best food photographers in the world to come along for about a week…it was a turning point. I still can’t still quite fathom everything is actually happening. This will also help to finally show my family better understand what it is exactly that I do in my career, and it is not “just me on the computer.”

la familia
My Mom, My Aunt Marta and My Tia Margarita: Making Cheese in La Yerbabuena

I am planning on having a “Reading Party” somewhere so stay tuned to find out where, thank you all for reading me and inspiring me to keep on going. Salud!