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Juanita Juanita, Sonoma - disappointed

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I've read very good reviews for quite a while of Juanita Juanita on Arnold Drive in Sonoma but for some reason or other never stopped there until lunch today. I ordered one thing, the al pastor super tacos (with sour cream, avocado, etc.). It was a large plate of attractive food, definitely a knife-and-fork endeavor, and a quite fair size for the $6.50 price, but the nicely-large chunks of pork were dry and pretty tasteless. I made the best of it by adding their very good green salsa. It had none of the rich, full, flavor I've had with al pastor at other places.

So I'm asking for other experiences of this place. Was this a one-off thing, or are there better things to order, or what?

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  1. Juanita Juanita has been there for years (at least 12), and is well established with a very loyal following. You owe it to yourself and to Juanita to try it again. When I used to work in Sonoma, we would send out weekly for dozens of tacos and they were amazing! It was such a treat. But to be fair, I havent been been there in 5 or 6 years so I hope they arent slipping. Even though you were complaining, your description made my mouth water!

    1. We are regulars at Juanita Juanita (for takeout) and had dinner several times this summer - I think it's very good, my eco-minded teen is happy because they recycle their cooking oil to biodiesel fuel, but I find the service for takeout unfriendly: always takes longer than they estimate on the phone, and the woman who seems to be the manager doesn't crack a smile.

      1 Reply
      1. re: goingoutagain

        Rudeness does seem to be a constant there.

      2. I was surprised when I found out the al pastor was much more like carnitas than the al pastor I've had elsewhere. (In Sonoma County al pastor it tends to be different at each restaurant, taco stand, or taco truck.) I thought it was great. I'm a fan of carnitas and thought it better than most.

        On the whole, I enjoy Juanita Juanita. The food ingredients are high quality and the atmosphere and staff enjoyable.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ATusler

          Don't tell the owner the beer is flat. She'll kick you out on your butt because you are "power tripping" her! As a local, I'l never go there again and will never recommend it to any of our out of town friends. The business owner needs to take some lessons in customer service and just plain kindness. The rude service outweighs anything positive about the food. Go to Los Primos on Hwy 12, Excellente!

          1. re: ATusler

            "In Sonoma County al pastor it tends to be different at each restaurant, taco stand, or taco truck."

            I don't think I have found a place that makes authentic Al Pastor (vertical spit wtih pineapple on top) anywhere in Sonoma County. It should be noted... the Mexicans in Sonoma County.. tend to come from places where Al Pastor is often unheard of... and if it is... they are certainly not reknown for it.

            Puebla, Mexico City, Morelos, Uruapan.... those are the areas that tend to put out stand out Al Pastor.

          2. link

            A previous brief report.
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/20745

            There was another one-line mention that the chorizo was good.

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            Juanita Juanita
            19114 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476