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Apr 23, 2007 12:02 PM


I heard rumor of the best carnitas in the bay area. Rumor has it they are from a place in Berkeley and only prepared one day a week. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

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  1. No, but IMHO, Axtlan Taqueria in Oakland has the best carnitas that I've ever tried.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Problem Child

      really? I have been known to eat the carnitas at Axtlan: it is the closest taqueria to my office and the carnitas plate is one of the better items on the menu, (which isn't saying that much) so when my boss drags me there every now and then, that is what I get. But best in the bay area? I don't even think they are the best in Oakland....what do you like about them?

      I've been sort of secretly hoping for jury duty after reading the post below by Felice:

      but somehow I never get called, or spend it on phone call, which is no way to expand one's chow horizons...

      1. re: susancinsf

        Maybe it's my personal taste, but I like their crispy parts, which I can never find almost anywhere else. Tastewise, I feel that it's well seasoned (I like salty), and yes indeed, the best item compared to everything else they sell.

        I usually either get them as the plate, somehow they're not as good in a burrito, or with their Nachos.

    2. La Taqueria at 25th & Mission has outstanding carnitas.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Husky

        I've tried La Taqueria's, somehow I still prefer Axtlan's version.

      2. one day a week? sounds like an urban legend. If you find out where, please let us know...I love carnitas.

        1 Reply
        1. re: nicedragonboy

          Many of the Mexican markets only make carnitas on the weekends.

        2. One day a week sounds like a sit down place...sort of like Juan's Place, a place that has rotating specials. (I doubt it's Juan's) Any way, if you find it, yeah, everyone wants to know.

          BTW, my pick for Carnitas is La Bamba in Mountain View. LA, SF, Oakland, haven't had any better anywhere...and they're really cool there. Example: I don't like sour cream so they double the guac, no charge.

          8 Replies
          1. re: ML8000

            Topic swerve.... the carnitas @ Trader Joes are great, better than most taqueria's. Just break 'em up and fry 'em up, add a little salt... I like to make little tacos w. em, cilantro/onion and a little salsa, cheap and amazingly good, oh yeah, don't forget the lime.

            1. re: virtualguthrie

              Since we're on convenience market carnitas, has anybody tried those at Costco?

              1. re: virtualguthrie

                What section of the store are they in?

                1. re: Earl Grey

                  They are in the refrigerator cases (at least in Richmond) - the low ones near the meat dept. They aren't bad - passable when you need a fix.

                2. re: virtualguthrie

                  I kind of like TJ's carnitas and will be using them for a Cinco de Mayo party (shhh don't tell anyone).... but they certainly aren't great. If you reheat them just right, frying & steaming them a little with a bit of orange juice & some jalapeno pickling juice they are very decent... but certainly not great. If they are better than your local taquerias then you need to change zip codes, pronto!

                3. re: ML8000

                  the Richmond La Bamba is pretty good also.

                  1. re: kc72

                    As are those at the Mountain View La Bamba. I like that they toss them on the grill so that you get crispy bits as well as juicy bits. Some places just chop up watery pork and toss it in the taco. Caramelization is such a nice thing.

                    1. re: Peter Yee

                      exactly.. i like my crispy carnitas.

                4. I've had very good, not excellent, carnitas at both Cancun Taqueria and Picante. In my opinion, the carnitas are one of the better items at both of those places.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chemchef

                    Cancun recently added carnitas to their Market St. menu. They're good enough to have drawn me away from my habitual al pastor.

                    1. re: Gary Soup

                      I tried the carnitas at Cancun on Mission at 19th and did not like it -- left over half. I vote for La Taqueria.