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Carnitas tacos/burritos

nessy Dec 10, 2011 03:11 PM

Where can I get a good carnitas taco or burrito? Take out or dine in. I live in Point Loma, work in North Park. Will go a distance. Just don't send me to Poway....

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  1. chris2269 RE: nessy Dec 10, 2011 04:08 PM

    OK way out of your way but if you find yourself in North County I would say
    Mariscos Ensenada
    1405 S El Camino Real # 109B, Oceanside, CA 92054

    I love carnitas and most of the time they are too
    greasy. This place does it right. Tender, full of flavor, everything carnitas should be.

    I know others will give you great recs closer to you but again if up this way check them out.

    1. Fake Name RE: nessy Dec 10, 2011 05:24 PM


      Dos Brasos on San Diego Avenue, a few blocks north of Washington Street.

      Also Nicos in the Morena district- both top-notch places.

      TIP top.

      1. Josh RE: nessy Dec 10, 2011 10:43 PM

        IMO, the best taco shop carnitas in that vicinity is at El Cuervo in Hillcrest, at the corner of 1st and Washington. It's a family owned and operated spot, and their carnitas has had a good reputation for many, many years. (I was going there for their carnitas back in the mid-'90s when I lived in OB)

        Another good one, though out of your way and a little hard to get, is at a taco shop in the middle of a Clairemont suburb called Maritza's. They only make the carnitas on Wednesdays, and you need to call your order in to reserve some because they sell out. It's quite a generous serving, with good quality accompaniments.

        Super Cocina in City Heights also makes excellent carnitas, as does the place next door to them, Carnitas Estillo Michoacan.

        As for the taco/burrito question - all the above places serve them as a plate from which you can assemble your own. But all except Maritza's will do them as tacos/burritos.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Josh
          nileg RE: Josh Dec 11, 2011 09:53 AM

          Maritza's does make carnitas burritos on Wednesdays. No carnitas tacos though.

          1. re: nileg
            cstr RE: nileg Dec 11, 2011 01:54 PM

            Their carnita's plate has all the fix'ns to make some awesome carnita's tacos and the plate is enough to feed 2.

        2. z
          zmirzlina RE: nessy Dec 11, 2011 07:35 AM

          Carnitas Snack Shack just opened up in North Park this week (I seem to recall this was the former's Vo's Vietnamese Food stand)


          I have not been yet.

          12 Replies
          1. re: zmirzlina
            Fake Name RE: zmirzlina Dec 11, 2011 08:35 AM

            Not only Vo's but a respectable taco shop before that.

            I've been to Carnitas Shack twice, and had four of their menu items- the Eggplant App, the Pork Sandwich, the Carnitas Tacos and the Carnitas Torta.

            Chef Hanis Cavin is a great guy and he's done a very nice makeover of the space. Front counter service is helpful and friendly.

            Bravo for starting something new, and best of luck!

            1. re: Fake Name
              DiningDiva RE: Fake Name Dec 11, 2011 09:39 AM

              Wow, they've only been open since Wednesday and you've been 4 times? Must be good :-)

              1. re: DiningDiva
                Fake Name RE: DiningDiva Dec 11, 2011 12:10 PM

                I've been twice, tried four dishes, and I like the people there.

                1. re: Fake Name
                  JRSD RE: Fake Name Dec 11, 2011 12:50 PM

                  Without asking you to criticize the food, do you think that there is likely to be improvement if they are open for a while?

                  1. re: JRSD
                    Fake Name RE: JRSD Dec 11, 2011 01:30 PM

                    In general,I think more time might help provide more consistent service and food temperature.

                    1. re: JRSD
                      Josh RE: JRSD Dec 15, 2011 01:18 PM

                      Went today, tried the pork rilletes and carnitas tacos.

                      I think these were less successful than the pork sandwich.

                      Couple of things:

                      1) Tacos come w/ guacamole and pico, but they offer no salsa on the side, and have no salsa on hand. That is a flaw, especially when the carnitas are on the dry side.

                      2) Rilletes need to be ordered with toppings on the side. Mine came out buried under mounds of tomato marmalade and pickled onions, which overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the rilletes. Scraping the toppings off helped, but this item feels like it needs more work.

                      1. re: Josh
                        DiningDiva RE: Josh Dec 15, 2011 01:56 PM

                        They've only been open a week. All sorts of things happen the first few weeks after opening. I'm wondering if the misstep with the rilletes isn't more of a training issue in the kitchen rather than a conceptual flaw in the dish. If it's conceptual, that's too bad. If it's training, that will probably fix itself over the next couple of weeks.

                        Did the tacos arrive with the guac and pico on the side or on top of the taco? Really, the best tacos de carnitas come with a little side plate of finely mince white onion, finely chopped cilantro, little lime wedges and a beaker of salsa de chile manzana. If the corn tortillas are of good quality and the carnitas have been prepared properly, you don't need all the extra "stuff". (Yes, I'm a purist when it comes to carnitas <gg>)

                        If you're comfortable doing so, you might want to drop them a line and let them know your feelings about the rilletes. They might appreciate the feed back.

                        1. re: DiningDiva
                          Josh RE: DiningDiva Dec 15, 2011 02:19 PM

                          Guac and pico on the taco, lime on the side. No cilantro or salsa.

                          1. re: Josh
                            DiningDiva RE: Josh Dec 15, 2011 02:41 PM

                            Bummer, that kinda ruins a good taco for me. Makes it more about the guacamole than the meat

                2. re: Fake Name
                  Josh RE: Fake Name Dec 11, 2011 10:30 AM

                  Went on Friday and greatly enjoyed the pork sandwich.

                3. re: zmirzlina
                  wrldtrvl RE: zmirzlina Dec 13, 2011 06:53 PM

                  We just stopped by Carnitas Snack Shack today at noon. It was closed. No sigh of anyone. No sign with the hours they are open. Oddly, we drove right by again at 2:45 and there was a big "Closed" sign in the window facing University that had not been there at noon!?! When is the place open?? Seemed like an interesting menu.

                  1. re: wrldtrvl
                    JRSD RE: wrldtrvl Dec 13, 2011 07:44 PM

                    From their website:

                    Now open from noon to midnight daily, closed Tuesdays

                4. Beach Chick RE: nessy Dec 11, 2011 11:06 AM

                  El Porvenir in Barrio Logan is supposed to have some of the best carnitas ever..
                  Las Cuatro Milpas close by too..

                  Full disclosure..never ever had carnitas but going by my trusty DH and others..
                  Tofu pork tacos and burritos will ONE DAY be the norm and I will be singing and drumming their praises..
                  ; )

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Beach Chick
                    Cathy RE: Beach Chick Dec 11, 2011 11:23 AM

                    El Porvenir is closed.

                    1. re: Cathy
                      foodiechick RE: Cathy Dec 13, 2011 12:44 PM

                      El Porvenir is coming back.


                      1. re: foodiechick
                        DiningDiva RE: foodiechick Dec 13, 2011 12:48 PM

                        Now *that* just might be worth breaking the diet for...

                        1. re: foodiechick
                          Cathy RE: foodiechick Dec 13, 2011 12:55 PM

                          Thank you, foodiechick. I saw the black ribbons (again) on the doors but thought they were closed for good. Great news following a sad situation.

                    2. Fake Name RE: nessy Dec 11, 2011 12:11 PM

                      The best carnitas in town are WAY east in Lemon Grove- Carnitas Urapan. I understand they've moved?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Fake Name
                        DiningDiva RE: Fake Name Dec 11, 2011 12:25 PM

                        Yep, they are now on Spring St. in La Mesa, just before the 125/94. They're where a Los Pinos taco shop used to be. Drove by it last week and it was open. Easier location than Lemon Groove

                      2. j
                        JRSD RE: nessy Dec 11, 2011 12:44 PM

                        I liked the carnitas at Carnitas Las Michoacanas on University Ave in Rolando. I think I saw that they make chilaquiles with carnitas as well.

                        1. Freddie Freelance RE: nessy Dec 15, 2011 07:40 PM

                          Try Porkyland in Hillcrest.

                          1. e
                            elpudge RE: nessy Jun 1, 2012 08:06 PM

                            On weekends, Mercado Internacional down in Chula Vista makes awesome carnitas.

                            They don't sell tacos or burritos but they do sell them by the pound and comes with tortillas and salsa on the side.

                            The carnitas are located next to the bakery inside the market.

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