Sunday, January 29, 2023

Special Quesadilla: A Delicious Twist on a Classic from East Los Angeles County

If you're from East Los Angeles County, chances are you're familiar with the delicious and iconic Special Quesadilla from Mario's Tacos in Pico Rivera. Growing up in Whittier, my family and I would often make the trip to the corner of Whittier and Durfee Ave. on lazy days when cooking wasn't on anyone's radar. And let me tell you, it was always worth the trip.

The Special Quesadilla from Mario's Tacos is a different take on the classic quesadilla, but it's a must-try for any quesadilla lover. The key to this recipe is the special sauce that's slathered on the inside of the tortilla before it's grilled to perfection. The sauce is a closely guarded secret, but I'll do my best to give you a recipe that comes close to the original.


  • 2 large flour tortillas
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (cheddar or Monterey jack)
  • 1/2 cup of special sauce (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup of diced onions
  • 1/4 cup of diced bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup of diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Special Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 1 tbsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to make the special sauce.
  2. Spread a tablespoon of the sauce on one side of each tortilla.
  3. Sprinkle shredded cheese, diced onions, diced bell peppers, diced tomatoes and salt and pepper on top of the sauce.
  4. Fold the tortilla in half, with the sauce and toppings inside.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and place the quesadilla in the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the tortilla is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  6. Remove the quesadilla from the skillet and cut it into wedges.
  7. Serve the quesadilla with extra special sauce on top, if desired.

And there you have it, a delicious take on the classic quesadilla that will transport you back to the days of lazy trips to Mario's Tacos in Pico Rivera. This recipe is not the exact secret recipe from the restaurant, but its my take on an old classic that will give you a taste of the deliciousness that we all love. This is my spin on a classic, the recipe is versatile so make it your own. And remember, even though I am not affiliated or getting paid by Mario's Tacos, I still want to give a big thank you to them for providing such great memories and delicious food. So next time you're in East Los Angeles County, be sure to stop by Mario's Tacos and try their Special Quesadilla. You won't regret it!

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