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Dec 12, 2007 02:11 PM

Broken hearted in San Diego...

Yet another of the few quality mexican food joints in SD has changed hands. Pico Rico (always was a stupid name) on Miramar Rd has changed hands and is now some nondescript taco shop called Super Oscar's. Gone is the birria, the fabulous chile rellenos, the albondigas in chipotle sauce, the chicharones en salsa verde and a very good mole poblano...

Those of you who visited Pico Rico's know how really good this place was, the rellenos were worth facing Miramar Rd traffic on their own.

It just breaks my heart. Adding insult to injury this is, coming hot on the heels of the ownership change of my favorite little birrieria in the city and the mortal blow of the loss of Chilango's.

I'm just wrecked.

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  1. Bummer, this was on my lunch rotation for over a year. Also comming on the heels of the Liars Club closing. I'm not sure how much more disapointment I can take.

    9 Replies
    1. re: stevuchan

      I had this place on my mind - I was going to ask for an update - thank you deckape and thank you stevuchan for discoving this place. :( Well, more impetus - to find as of yet - undiscovered gems.

      1. re: kare_raisu

        Kare and Steve, I have a place I go to occassionally that serves fantastic Mexican food with all the variety you could ask for. I'd go more often but it's quite off my beaten path so it's a special Saturday morning treat for me and my wife when we just gotta have a fix.

        Anyway, the Farmers Market building on Imperial Ave just east of I-5 is chock full of small sit-down food stalls that feature a full range of quality, authentic (I hate to use that term) Mexican dishes. There's a seafood joint, multiple guisaderias, some taco stands and it's jam packed with locals and their families. It's really quite a scene. It's like being in Mexico without the border line to deal with.

        The food is nothing short of fantastic and the aromas are to die for. It's an adventurous part of town but much less threatening than it used to be years ago. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for the genuine tastes of Mexico.

        Oh, I almost forgot, the Escondido swap meet is now on my circuit as well both for the food and the produce. Fantastic stuff!

          1. re: deckape

            Thanks for the tip deckape and I am glad you like the swap meet in Escondido. Please Report back next time you are up there and update us! Great to have another friend on the SD Mexican front.

            A little sleuthing last year on imperial ave.:

            1. re: kare_raisu

              Thanks for the link. The birrieria on Imperial, La Nortenita, rapidly turned into my favorite little secret. Josefina, the cocinera and owner, made a fabulous, clean and flavorful birria - no bones or chunks of fat and an unusual peppery finish. It was a little bit of bliss for me and my wife, both of us birria freaks. Again, it broke my heart when I visited with a pal to show it off and found that the place had changed hands and Josefina had moved to Texas. The birria, which gave away the change, was, well, awful.

              For any of you that get down to Ensenada on occasion, I highly recommend Birrieria Guadalajara, just a couple blocks off of Lopez Mateo an a couple of blocks south of Hussongs. Fantastic restaurant that serves birria de chivo, borrego and de res.

              There is a taco truck that parks behind a Mexican market and carniceria called Victors that makes a very, very nice birria taco. It opens at 6pm nightly, I believe, and is just a few blocks west of Super Cocina. Just across the street is a taco stand called El Poblanito (if I remember correctly) that makes a very, very robust and rustic birria that is exceedingly rich.

              The Farmers Market on Imperial is just fantastic. A couple of blocks east, just to the right of the SDPD station there is a taco truck that parks in the lot of a restaurant called La Fachada(?). The tacos are first rate street tacos (lengua, birria, buche, seso, etc) and the restaurant serves a very nice birria.

              So, there you go, some of my secret spots. I wish La Nortenita hadn't changed hands, it's a great disappiontment. The tortillas this woman made were unbelievable, thick, rich and muy sabroso. The tortillas, a bowl of birria and a bottle of manzana was my favorite Sunday morning treat.

              1. re: deckape

                The SF 'hounds sent me off south with a all-day chowdown crawl of giant porportions. We feasted on the food of the Yucatan all over SF:

                In the same vein, I think it would be awesome to rejuvinate the SD Chowhound community by possibly coming to the Farmers Market on an early Saturday or Sunday Morning for a Chowdown and hitting up as many of the vendors as possible. I can still taste the tortillas the women pressed out fresh for me there. Thoughts on this anyone?

                My next goal is to find a Yucatec restaurant in SD. I have tried google maps - putting in so many terms of frequent maya restaurant names -to no avail. I even read a Yahoo en espanol question page which asked for Yuctatec restaurants in TJ - but no one knew of one.

                Please join the SDchow group if you have not already deckape.
                Anyways if your passion is birria de chivo- you need to hook up with me and Leucadian.

                1. re: kare_raisu

                  I think that's a great idea - as long as it's after the holidays. You should definitely send an email through the Yahoo group!

                  1. re: Alice Q

                    Agreed. I had forgotten about that place. And I've been working just down the street, come to think of it. Tomorrow I will scout it out.

        1. Too bad about Pico Rico. I remember when originally reading the review by stevuchan I think the place had just gone through an ownership change. Seems like the "new" owners called it quits pretty soon (I think that was about a year ago).

          I thought PR was a good lunch stop occasionally but I haven't been there for a few months now. I liked their carnitas and pork in the green (salsa verde?) sauce from the steam table but their rice and beans were nothing special. Also it seems like the carnitas was a little inconsistent. Sometimes it would be fatty and tasty, other times dry and bland.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mliew

            Yep, rice and beans weren't worth a whit but the rest of it could be sublime, my favorites being the relleno and the lengua en salsa rojo and the albondigas. I have no idea what the regular menu items were like, I couldn't get past the steam table.

          2. And Deckape, if you are going to be in Escondido, stop into Kennedy's Karne at 1760 E. Valley Pkwy. They have been making EXCELLENT marinated carne asada meat in the Imperial Valley forEVER and finally put a shop up here. (Their chorizo is pretty good, too!) Pay the little bit extra for the better quality meat - it is so tender and tasty!