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Mar 1, 2008 04:26 AM


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.

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  1. 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.

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

      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

        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

          Interesting, and thanks. The trip planner on 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. 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.

        3 Replies
        1. re: 9lives

          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

            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

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

            1. 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

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

                1. re: lergnom

                  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

                    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

                      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...