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Best Carnitas in SF? Farolito or Metate

brian j Sep 16, 2006 07:17 AM

this recent article by Bill Adison in the chronicle has me hankering real bad for a real good carnitas burrito or taco. i want some really tastey, crispy on the outside, shreddy on the inside, carnitas.


farolito and metate are both in his top 20. which of these do y'all think has the best carnitas?

or is there somewhere else in SF that you'd recommend even more?

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  1. psb RE: brian j Sep 16, 2006 07:33 AM

    You know the 24th/Alabama branch of El Farloito
    is <5min ... ~3blocks ... from El Metate, so with
    a $5-6 "research budget" you can easily try both.

    Taqueria Vallarta is another block and a half west on
    24th, so you can try them at the same time.

    1. t
      TheRobin RE: brian j Sep 16, 2006 02:56 PM

      A trip So San Francisco would be my choice.... go to La Tapitia on Grand Ave. Their Carnitas Super Burrito will make you see God!

      Check out what other people are says also: http://www.burritobot.com/result.php?...

      1. Husky RE: brian j Sep 16, 2006 04:05 PM

        La Taqueria's carnitas are superior to any others in the Bay Area.

        1. Robert Lauriston RE: brian j Sep 16, 2006 04:17 PM

          I've had some great crispy carnitas over the years, but I've never found a place that was consistent about that.

          Do these places always have them crispy but not dried out?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            Husky RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 16, 2006 04:28 PM

            I have eaten the carnitas at La Taqueria at least fifty times in the last five years and have never been disappointed. People that complain about the prices at L.T. need to get over the belief that Mexican food has to be inexpensive. Quality costs money no matter the ethnicity of the cuisine.

            1. re: Husky
              Robert Lauriston RE: Husky Sep 16, 2006 04:32 PM

              But is that the style that La Taqueria makes? There are a lot of different ways to make carnitas. Not all are crispy.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                Husky RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 16, 2006 04:34 PM

                They're a good combo of crispy and moist. The flavor is amazing.

          2. a
            Andy Copeland RE: brian j Sep 16, 2006 04:53 PM

            I'm personally a huge fan of the carnitas at La Palma. They're not crispy in the traditional sense, but wonderfully moist and full of porky goodness.

            1. itsolivia RE: brian j Sep 16, 2006 06:02 PM

              La Taqueria has great carnitas. I would also add that Taqueria Castillito on Church and Market has wonderful carnitas.

              1. b
                brian j RE: brian j Sep 17, 2006 01:17 AM

                I got to Metate around 11:30am this morning and unfortunately they weren't ready for me. The carnitas weren't ready yet, and I didn't have time to stick around a half hour for when they'd be done. I had already paid for a taco when they informed me they were out of carnitas, so I settled for an al pastor. It was a good taco, but not great. Carnitas and al pastor are not the same obviously.

                Next I hit up the Tonayese taco truck. They had carnitas. They were good. Not crispy, but definitely shreddy and firm, but tender. Not as good as last time I remember having them, but still tastey nonetheless.

                I wasn't hungry really anymore, but wanted to try one more taco for comparison so I went to La Taqueria. Ordered a crispy carnitas taco with cheese and guac. This was my first crispy taco in SF, and it was interesting. Not what I expected, though. I guess they crisp up the first tortilla a bit then wrap a 2nd soft one around it. I thought the crispy taco portion would be more like a hard taco shell.

                Taqueria's carnitas were not that great. I haven't been here in months, and I coulda sworn the carnitas were more crispy. These were definitely shreddy, but almost mushy and very wet. They tasted good, but the texture was way off. I've heard that they recently got a new chef so maybe that's it.

                I still have yet to find a perfect carnitas taco in this city. Crispy edges, with a fork tender inside... My quest continues.

                1. Atomica RE: brian j Sep 17, 2006 01:55 AM

                  I really like carnitas at Taco Loco (3306 Mission). They don't excel at much else, but the carnitas are great, and they also sell them by the pound.

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