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Mexican supermarket to buy fresh carnitas

cycler15 Oct 24, 2006 09:30 PM

I'm looking for a Mexican supermarket to buy fresh carnitas. Hopefully they'll also throw in fresh tortillas, salsa, etc. Basically I want to my buy the stuff to make my own tacos. Anyone know of a good place near North Hollywood? Maybe Van Nuys area since that is predominantly Hispanic?

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  1. ozzygee RE: cycler15 Oct 24, 2006 09:43 PM

    These stores are excellent for just what you're looking for:


    1 Reply
    1. re: ozzygee
      sel RE: ozzygee Oct 24, 2006 10:20 PM

      I like all the meats that are cooked at Vallarta as well as the salsa roja, freshly (machine made) tortillas, telera rolls for tortas, guacamole, both types of flan (regular and napolitano), 3-leches cake is not the best but pretty good..., lots more!

      The newer and larger stores are a culinary adventure that's a lot cheaper than a trip across the border!!!

    2. DiveFan RE: cycler15 Oct 24, 2006 09:58 PM

      Aside from the zillion small Latino markets everywhere, some larger chains have prepared carnitas. The Gigante market at 9710 Woodman Ave. in Arleta isn't too far from you. Big Saver at 3000 N. Broadway or 2619 N. Figueroa St. in LA is a little further.
      Certainly search the county health rating site at http://www.lapublichealth.org/rating/ for more options.
      I think Das Ubergeek would have some ideas for your 'hood :-).

      1. j
        Jwsel RE: cycler15 Oct 24, 2006 11:41 PM

        In addition to the Vallartas, there is Carniceria Don Juan, located on Vanowen a half-block east of Coldwater. It's a small grocery store/butcher store with a small taqueria. They will furnish you with carnitas, tortillas, rice and beans. They also have very good salsas, particularly the salsa verde, in their refrigerated case.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Jwsel
          Das Ubergeek RE: Jwsel Oct 25, 2006 01:41 PM

          The carnitas are better at the Vallarta on Victory and Ethel; the salsas are better at the Don Juan you mentioned. There's also Carnitas Michoacan on Vanowen and... uh... Hazeltine, I think -- it might be Woodman but I'm almost positive it's Hazeltine.

          The salsa at Don Juan isn't so much better that I'd make two stops, though -- go to Vallarta. A pound of carnitas, a tub of rice, a tub of beans, 18 or 24 tortillas (depending on who's giving it to you), salsa, and carrots/jalapenos in escabeche will run you $10. Grab some avocadoes, onions and cilantro from the produce aisle (four medium Hass avocadoes were $1 the last time I needed avocadoes), and some horchata or whatever your favourite fruit flavour is from the aguas frescas bar, and you're good to go.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek
            cycler15 RE: Das Ubergeek Oct 25, 2006 05:59 PM

            That's exactly what I was looking for. I'll have to give it a try... thanks everyone.

            1. re: cycler15
              cycler15 RE: cycler15 Nov 10, 2006 10:02 PM

              Went the Vallarta last weekend. What a bargain! The woman actually gave me 1.3 pounds of carnitas. Guess she was too lazy or it was too busy so she just gave me extra after weighing it. Plus she gave me 36 corn tortillas. Great deal for $10.

        2. ladius RE: cycler15 Oct 25, 2006 04:04 PM

          I've never tried the carnitas at Vallarta or other Mexican markets but the carnitas at Ralphs are pretty good! They don't give you tortillas or other stuff tho.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ladius
            Das Ubergeek RE: ladius Oct 25, 2006 06:19 PM

            Ralphs carnitas can't hold a candle to the carnitas at Vallarta... their chickens are OK.

          2. Dommy RE: cycler15 Oct 25, 2006 04:41 PM

            For me, it's all about Cinco Puntos in ELA on Lorena and Cesar Chavez... that is home to me... :)


            1. a
              alskii RE: cycler15 Oct 25, 2006 07:00 PM

              I agree 100% with you Dommy! Cinco Puntos is it! Love their salsas also.

              Another place in No Ho nobody has mentioned is a little market on the southwest corner of Laurel Cyn and Vanowen called "La Flor de Micheocan" (spelling???) Decent Carnitas and all the fixin's. It got my attention because it has the same name as the famous carnitas restaurant in Rosarito Mex.

              1 Reply
              1. re: alskii
                Das Ubergeek RE: alskii Oct 25, 2006 07:34 PM

                La Flor de Michoacan. It's not related to the place on Av. Guerrero and Av. Juarez in Playas de Rosarito.

              2. monku RE: cycler15 Oct 27, 2006 04:04 AM

                El Giro Gallo with locations in Panorama City and San Fernando. They're specialty is carnitas. You can get the family special: 1 lb. carnitas, package of corn tortillas, rice, beans and salsa for $9.99. Enough to feed 3-4 people.


                1. s
                  schuylar RE: cycler15 Nov 10, 2006 10:19 PM

                  Grand Central Market in downtown. There from the various taco stands, cooked meats can be purchased by weight. I usually look around first for the one stand with the best looking selection on that particular day in terms of freshness, less fatty, etc. With the meat, you can get salsa, chopped onion and cilantrol and even lime wedges for a little extra. And if you're still hesitant to head downtown, consider this - in the same market, there's a fresh tortilla stand! Try the blue corn tortillas. All very reasonably priced for the fresh, authentic quality.

                  1. o
                    Ollie RE: cycler15 Nov 15, 2006 11:48 PM

                    Actually, has anyone ever tried this product @ Costco? When I tried a sample, I was impressed, but I reluctantly thought...microwave carnitas? When I need my carnitas fix, I pop one in the nuker, Just as good a Vallarta for lean pulled pork! If at times not better!


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ollie
                      cycler15 RE: Ollie Nov 16, 2006 12:20 AM

                      I've also tried that from Costco. It's actually pretty good. The trick is when you need to reheat it, cover the bowl with a wet paper towel to keep it moist.

                    2. Will Owen RE: cycler15 Nov 16, 2006 03:56 AM

                      King Ranch on Huntington Drive in Monrovia offers carnitas from their live-food deli. I have yet to try them, but they smell awfully damned good. And the folks buying them by the bucket are not the country-club set...

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