April 23, 2001 PROBE

April 23, 2001

QUESTION: Could you please settle a matter between my boyfriend and me? He was born and raised in Yuma and I in Brawley.

When I was living in Brawley I could swear I once read in PROBE that carne asada started in Holtville. He thinks it was in Yuma. Please set the record straight!

I am thrilled about your new Web site! We live in the Los Angeles area and it was driving me NUTS not knowing what was going on down there! Now I get a dose of home town news with my lunch every day. Thank you. — Expatriate, North Hills

No wonder you started thinking about carne asada if you were reading our newspaper on your lunch hour. Welcome to


This is exciting for us, too. Now that we know that folks anywhere in the world can tap into PROBE, we're going to try harder. The I.V. Press site is getting 100,000 "hits" a month.

The term "carne asada" is just a way of saying "grilled meat" in Spanish. Folks in Mexico have been grilling meat for a long time.

If you order "carne asada" in a Mexican food restaurant in Northern California or the Pacific Northwest, you likely will get a piece of broiled sirloin steak.

Order it at a Mexicali taco stand and the cook will throw thin slices of beef on a hot grill, turning it rapidly until its "done," and tuck it into a hot tortilla.

But we think you hunger for tangy, spicy Imperial County-style carne asada. Since you are a former Brawleyite, you may be salivating for Bobby Gallegos' version.

We believe and have written that carne asada estila de Imperial County was created by Felix Soto in El Centro.

Soto operated a custom cut and wrap meat business. Finding himself with a surplus of skirt steaks, he sprinkled the meat with spices, soaked it in a marinade of equal parts lemon juice and water, topped off the pan with sliced onion and orange or lemon slices.

Soto said he first ate carne asada cooked over sheepherders' campfires in Sonora. Soto ended his meat-cutting career at the Star Lite market in Calipatria.

HERE'S ANOTHER HIT! — I don't know if you will accept my letter. I read the newspaper online.

I lived in Plaster City and went to Westside School until I moved 34 years ago. Now I live in La Paz, Baja California Sur.

I would love to hear from my old classmates. I recall the Derricks, the Johnsons, the Westmorelands — Nostalgic, La Paz

OK, PROBE readers, if you remember Vicky Ayala, you can reach her by e-mail at or write to her at Cuauhtemoc #1765, Colonia Los Olivos, La Paz or call her at 011 52 112 27659.

INSURANCE AGENT FOUND — My name is Hortencia Ruiz and I own Ruiz Insurance in El Centro.

I need to get in touch with my client so she can pay her premium. My phone number is 353-9458. — Agent, El Centro

Thank you. We expect your client's daughter will get in touch with you.

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