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May 18, 2009 06:28 PM

Following the Carnitas thread on the LA Board

Chowhounders, please comment on your favorite restaurants in Rosarito or TJ.

Our current fave is Carnitas Los Panchos, on the free road to TJ, less than 1/4 mile past the bridge over the Cuota (Toll Road).

The family has operated the restaurant since 1947.

Prices are small, portions are generous and the leftovers are always great when reheated at home.

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  1. Here is one I have been keeping secret:

    Teresas Restaurant at K38.

    I have been all over Rosarito and Ensenada tasting fish tacos, and hers are by far the best I've had - both individually and in combination with beans and rice. Everything is fresh made, everything. If I could get her to make a chipotle cream sauce and chiffon parsley, it would be over the top.

    There is one small shop in an Ensenada neigborhood that makes great carnitas, but I have to dig up the info. But carnitas is hard to do badly, so most including La Flor are good.


    Cosmo Martes

    3 Replies
    1. re: Cosmo M

      Cosmo, with all due respect: carnitas are really easy to do badly. Greasy, stringy, dried-out and over-cooked carnitas are everywhere; juicy, tender, crunchy-crusted carnitas are difficult to achieve.

      Excellent carnitas are few and far between. I've eaten carnitas all over Mexico, including in Tijuana (although not in Rosarito) and the best I've ever had are at an obscure roadside restaurant outside Zamora, Michoacán. It's 2.5 hours east of my home in Morelia and I make it a regular stop if I'm heading west to Guadalajara or east from Guadalajara. If you're ever going to be in the area, let me know and I'll meet you there. The carnitas will change your life--or perhaps only your opinion, but either way, you'll dream about them!


      1. re: cristina

        I love carnitas and I make my own Coca-Cola Pig Leg. I haven't had bad carnitas in recent memory, so I will defer to your greater experience.

        The place in Ensenada I mentioned has the meat chopped sort of in cubes which are juicy and tender and has a flavorful crust just as you described.

        Perhaps next time you visit that great roadside place you can get a GPS reading and I can place in on Google Earth as the best place on earth for carnitas.


        Cosmo Martes

        1. re: Cosmo M

          Would you share the recipe for Coca Cola pig? If it is carnitas, it isn't what I am looking for. I go a cocina economica sometimes which has wonderful roast pork with gravy. I understand the cook uses coca cola to cook it. I love carnitas, but this dish is braised.