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Best hole-in-the-wall Mexican in SD

On another message board a couple of years ago someone said the best Mexican food in San Diego was some little place "near a bridge." The Coronado bridge? Any idea what this might be? I don't remember the name of the restaurant. Of course, alternate suggestions for best Mexican are welcome.

Recommendations for other places are needed, too. We're coming to SD with our two teens and are willing to try anything, especially things that we can't easily get in NYC such as great Mexican or restaurants on the water or with a view.

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  1. My guess is they were talking about someplace in Barrio Logan, which is underneath the Coronado bridge. Probably Porkyland, Los Quatros Milpas or Chuey's. All of those have their supporters and detractors here.

    If you want great Mexican home style cooking, there's Super Cocina on University near 36th. Not the greatest neighborhood and it's order cafeteria style served on styrofoam, but it's great food. Another good choice is El Comal, on Illinois just north of University, it's a sit-down restaurant with table service and a bar.

    1. Mexican near a bridge sounds like Las Cuatros Milpas in Barrio Logan, within view of the Coronado bridge. Pretty ordinary Mexican food and I have yet to figure out why people line up out the door for it. Super Cocina at 37th and University in City Heights is also hole-in-wall dining and way, way better. Fruitilandia, 2 doors down from Super Cocina does nothing but Mexican style fruits. Carnitas Uruapan in Lemon Grove, which is about as far off the beaten tourist path as you can get, is good, as is El Por Venir.

      El Comal on Illinois north of University is a good option as is Mayahuel (for mole) on Adams Ave. right around 30th.

      Mama Testa, El Cuervo aren't exactly hole-in-the-wall but they each do decent Mexican. La Posta #8 serves up a pretty good carne asada burrito.

      Where are you staying and will you have a car, none of these places is easily reachable by rapid transit and would be an expensive cab ride.

      1. Hole in the wall near the bridge= El Por Venir. 4 tables.

        The Entire Menu:
        -Burritos:Carnitas, chile rellenos, beans beans w/rice or w/ cheese
        -Chorizo and eggs, Machaca, Chile con carne, pork/beef tamales
        -fresh made tortillas.

        1786 National Avenue 92113 619-702-2445
        Mon-Sat 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

        (The beans are made with the grease from the pork carnitas. Best carnitas ever)

        1. For San Diego Mexican try the following:

          Las Quatros Milpas (Barrio Logan) -- pork burritos, beans and rice
          El Cuervo (Mission Hills) - carnitas
          Tacos El Gordo (Chula Vista - H St.) -- great Mx. street tacos
          Alberto's, Nico's, Albeirto's etc. -- carne asada burritos

          For sit down Mexican try:

          Cheuy's (Barrio Logan)
          Guadalajara Grill (Old Town)
          Fidel's or Tony's Jacal (Solana Beach)

          2 Replies
          1. re: wanker

            Chuey's has gone *way* downhill once it became a nightclub/dance floor dominant last summer.

            1. Good food and great view are mutually exclusive except in very rare cases.

              Try the west end of Imperial Avenue for a real adventure. Try the taco trucks, try the booths at the Farmers Market building, try the birria de chivo at Birrieria La Nortenita, the tamales from the cart on the corner and tacos from Tacos el Rico.

              Super Cocina gets high praise here on this board and for good reason. Try it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: deckape

                Thanks for the great suggestions. We will have a car and don't mind driving for good food!

                I understand that great views and great food don't always coincide but we'll accept food that's merely good if the views are spectacular or if the overall experience (such as eating on the beach) overrides less than stellar food. I know that's often heresy to chowhounders but one of the reasons we're coming to SD is for the beach, the views, etc. So what should we try?

              2. Las Quatros Milpas is probably one of the best hole in the wall taco shops off Crosby street and I-5 South, underneath the Coronado Bridge..their Carnitas is the best...really all of it.
                We are blessed in SD for having some of the best tacos shops in the world..
                Have a great time..make sure you have a fish taco while you are here too..
                The Brigantine restaurants throughout SD have the best seafood happy hour...fish tacos $2 and there are some of the best.
                I am not a fan of Chuey's..do like the Roberto's in Del Mar/Solana Beach
                Love the chicken burrito or the chile relleno at Fidel's..
                Everyone here has given you some great tips!

                www.brigantine.com

                1. I think the place you're remembering is El Porvenir Tortilleria. It's just a little hole in the wall in Bario Logon, but they have the most wonderfully delicious carnitas and chili relleno burritos made with hand formed tortillas. Haven't been in a couple of years, and hope they're still around. This place was a real gem. (Here's some links to past posts about El Porvenir: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/88315 and http://www.chowhound.com/topics/82306 .

                  )

                  -----
                  El Porvenir Tortilleria
                  1786 National Ave, San Diego, CA 92113

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: David Kahn

                    Yes, it is still there. Blogged on mmm-yoso in December.

                    (It is one of the replies above, BTW)

                    1. re: Cathy

                      Oh yes. So sorry I missed it. Glad to hear they're still around.

                      1. re: David Kahn

                        ...and nothing has changed...OK, maybe prices- I remember when the tamales were 60¢ and now they are $1.10.

                        {This was where we went for our wedding anniversary. We both wanted this food more than anything else on that day.}