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Carnitas

c
Carty Mar 1, 2008 04:26 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnitas

I spend a lot of time in the San Jose area and have converged on some hole in the wall Mexican restaurants with carnitas that I find myself dreaming of when I am not there.

Can I get a fix in Boston? Requirements: accessible via T, cheap, authentic, has beer or BYOB. Not a taco or burrito w/ carnitas in it, but a carnitas plate featuring just.

Love Angela's but it is not very 'porky'.

La Verdad has it on the menu, is it any good? Not really in the 'hole in the wall' spirit.

Any help appreciated.

BTW if you are in the Silicon Valley check out Maria Elana's in Alviso and Don Pedro's on Post St. in Downtown San Jose. Carnitas to die for.

  1. f
    Food4Thawt Mar 4, 2008 05:17 AM

    El Sarape in Weymouth Landing has great carnitas as an app. but it's not pub trans accessbile. Worth the trip tho.

    http://www.elsarape.com/

    1. foodscience Mar 3, 2008 06:04 PM

      El Pelon has a fantastic carnitas burrito (great hot sauce as well).

      1. t
        treb Mar 2, 2008 04:07 PM

        Unfortunately, you'll have to back to the left coast, nothing here comes close. I was in SD last week, best around.

        1. t
          tamerlanenj Mar 1, 2008 03:08 PM

          Many people swear by the carnitas and campechanos at Romano's Pizzeria in Roslindale. Don't be fooled by the fact that it's a pizzeria: people go there for the mexican, which is outstanding.

          4 Replies
          1. re: tamerlanenj
            l
            lergnom Mar 2, 2008 07:27 AM

            I think the tamales at Romano's are their best thing. Not too big, right consistency, good flavor.

            1. re: lergnom
              a
              autopi Mar 2, 2008 09:54 AM

              my recollection of romano's is that they were much better than you would think, just walking by, but not necessarily a destination for mexican. certainly nowhere near the level of angela's for instance. probably a notch below lupita, in my estimation. still, good for what you can get in boston.

              addendum: my last time there was prob. 9 months ago, so they may have changed and/or my recollection may not be the most reliable.

              1. re: autopi
                l
                lergnom Mar 2, 2008 03:41 PM

                To be clear, Romano's isn't a "restaurant." And I agree it's not destination food, but it's nice to pick up a reasonably sized tamale or two.

                1. re: lergnom
                  a
                  autopi Mar 2, 2008 06:30 PM

                  so i think we agree in our assessment of the chow at romano's. i am a bit confused by what you mean in saying it's not a restaurant, though; what else could it be? i mean, it's not a *fancy* restaurant, but still... it's got tables & chairs & loud TV's (if i remember correctly), napkin dispensers, all that stuff...

          2. l
            lergnom Mar 1, 2008 11:53 AM

            The best carnitas plate I've had around here has been Anna's.

            1. 9
              9lives Mar 1, 2008 08:17 AM

              Qdoba in Downtown Xing, which I think is very poor has something that sounds like carnitas on the menu. I can't recommend it.

              Burrito Express on Bedford St..sort of between the back of Macy's and Chinatown has them occassionally as a a special but they mostly do chorizo or al pastor for pork items..still worth a trip for you.

              Real carnitas are very time consuming to make..basically pork confit..and most places here just can't sell enough to make it worthwhile.

              To torture you..and me..:), here's some photos of a real carnitas place..Unfortunately, not very convenient.

              http://flickr.com/photos/61246842@N00...

              3 Replies
              1. re: 9lives
                aquariumtown Mar 1, 2008 09:31 AM

                felipe's in harvard square has carnitas, not the best you've ever had but probably good enough for a fix. definitely better than Qdoba, just on principle. very accessible by T, but no beer.

                1. re: aquariumtown
                  c
                  corduroy79 Mar 1, 2008 03:35 PM

                  agreed, as a former bay area resident, felipe's makes a decent plate of carnitas. way better than anna's which is very hit or miss imo

                2. re: 9lives
                  Sgt Snackers Mar 2, 2008 01:52 PM

                  We make a pretty darn good carnitas at home by throwing a pork shoulder in the pressure cooker with some spices and OJ for 30 minutes. Sounds cheesy but it works incredibly well, and definitely satisfies the need for a fix - Google "carnitas pressure cooker" to get some recipes.

                  Around Boston, I'll concur with the Tacos el Amigo rec - though the tacos de cabeza there are the highlight for me.

                3. finlero Mar 1, 2008 06:17 AM

                  This is a pretty good compilation from about a year ago:

                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/362336

                  NB Considering its inside-the-128 locale, Taqueria el Amigo in Waltham is almost absurdly not pub-trans accessible, but general board sentiment seems to say it's worth a pilgrimage.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: finlero
                    BarmyFotheringayPhipps Mar 1, 2008 12:19 PM

                    No, it's entirely possible to get to Taqueria el Amigo via the T -- bus routes 70 and 70A go from Central Square out to Waltham. Get off at the Willow Street bus stop (I checked the MBTA map, there is a stop there) and walk less than half a mile (about six blocks) down Willow Street and there it is.

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                      finlero Mar 1, 2008 12:42 PM

                      Interesting, and thanks. The trip planner on mbta.com told me it was nearly a 20-minute walk from the closest stop. Then again, it also told me it loved me, but it wasn't *in* love with me, so I should have known better.

                  2. z
                    Zatan Mar 1, 2008 04:46 AM

                    Anna's Taqueria has carnitas, either in taco/burrito or on plate with beans, rice, etc. I have not had so can't comment on quality.

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