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CARNITAS -- craving... who has best in NOVA?

I love carnitas, and have been craving the real deal. What restaurant in Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria, Fairfax, NOVA has the best?

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  1. Your best bet is probably Guajillo in Arlington.

    1. El Paso Cafe in Ballston does a nice version.

      4 Replies
      1. re: bylinemjf

        I work in Ballston. Where is El Paso located? Would love to give it a try!

        1. re: rHairing

          It's on Pershing just west of Glebe, same neighborhood at Ravi Kabob. I wouldn't call it Ballston, though.

          1. re: Steve

            that would be the Buckingham neighborhood. a little too far for a Ballston worker's lunch unless you drive.
            What about Taqueria Poblano for carnitas?

        2. re: bylinemjf

          I'll pass-o on El Paso because of la cucaracha crawling up the wall behind me last time I was there. No big deal, apparently, to the staff!

        3. I second Taqueria Poblano. I was just there yesterday and everything was really good, and authentic! If you do so, definitely try the Duck Carnita- totally addictive!

          2 Replies
          1. re: AnneBird

            Del Ray or Lee-Harrison? recent posts have been panning the LH outpost

            1. re: Jamie D

              yeah, we haven't been there in a while for just.... poor everything -- it is so close to our home, yet....so far away for return visits!

          2. hi everyone! any news on the carnitas front?

            2 Replies
            1. re: alkapal

              As an experiment a month or so ago, I got a package of carnitas from the Trader Joe's heat-and-eat meat section and I thought it was pretty good. Kind of like the Carolina BBQ from Harris Teeter that folks have been talking about here lately - if you don't have the inclination to make it yourself, it's not a bad substitute.

              I've had the duck carnitas taco at Taqueria Poblano and enjoyed it, but there isn't really enough meat in there to make a judgment.

              1. re: MikeR

                I agree, I've had good luck with TJ's carnitas - the chunk of shoulder not the pre shredded stuff. I warm it until soft, then break it apart into a frying pan in crisp it up until golden. Not as good as the best, but a nice option.

            2. Surprisingly, the carnitas fajitas at On the Border (a chain, I know) are actually really good. Aside from the chips, salsa and margaritas, it's the only thing I really like there. It's a great fix, in a pinch.