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Carnitas

b
bamabuilt 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?
Thanks

  1. p
    Problem Child Apr 23, 2007 03:23 PM

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

    2 Replies
    1. re: Problem Child
      susancinsf Apr 23, 2007 10:11 PM

      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:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/45075...

      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
        p
        Problem Child Apr 23, 2007 11:52 PM

        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. Husky Apr 23, 2007 03:33 PM

      La Taqueria at 25th & Mission has outstanding carnitas.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Husky
        p
        Problem Child Apr 23, 2007 03:57 PM

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

      2. nicedragonboy Apr 23, 2007 04:08 PM

        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
          rworange Apr 23, 2007 10:26 PM

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

        2. m
          ML8000 Apr 23, 2007 06:05 PM

          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
            v
            virtualguthrie Apr 23, 2007 06:11 PM

            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
              Gary Soup Apr 23, 2007 07:26 PM

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

              1. re: virtualguthrie
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                Earl Grey Apr 23, 2007 09:24 PM

                What section of the store are they in?

                1. re: Earl Grey
                  l
                  lmnopm Apr 23, 2007 09:50 PM

                  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
                  Eat_Nopal Apr 23, 2007 11:57 PM

                  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
                  k
                  kc72 Apr 23, 2007 07:31 PM

                  the Richmond La Bamba is pretty good also.

                  1. re: kc72
                    Peter Yee Apr 25, 2007 09:29 AM

                    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
                      k
                      kc72 Apr 25, 2007 09:54 AM

                      exactly.. i like my crispy carnitas.

                4. c
                  chemchef Apr 24, 2007 07:45 AM

                  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
                    Gary Soup Apr 24, 2007 07:52 AM

                    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
                      w
                      walker Apr 24, 2007 11:16 AM

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

                  2. Eugene Park Apr 24, 2007 02:09 PM

                    El Taco Zamarano Taqueria on the corner of International & High St. in Oakland gets my vote for best carnitas. They must be eaten with the homemade corn tortillas.

                    1. c
                      cocoaloco Apr 24, 2007 02:25 PM

                      The carnitas at Otaez in Alameda are really good, and generous portions so I have a breakfast burrito the next day!!

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