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Carne Asada Burrito - San Diego Dish of the Month - March 2013 Edition

It won by a shred...CARNE ASADA BURRITO

There were 42 comments on the voting thread. 8 voted for CAB, 7 voted for Corned Beef. The rest of it was filler (beans & rice?)

This so forth and eat Carne Asada Burritos for 31 days and post back what you find.

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  1. I feel that the extra vote to 8 by me, over the Corned Beef, was the unselfish vote that I needed to do, to ensure the happiness of our beloved Fakey's love of the CAB!

    Fakey had to endure a myriad of gooey cheesy globs of chile rellenos...heaven for this Tofu Soy Princess.

    May you all enjoy your Carne Asada Burritos!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Beach Chick

      Very depressing, off to rehab..

    2. Hopefully we can actually find some decent places until the february fail....

      1. I'm thinking of stopping by O'Brien's this afternoon for an early happy hour, so if the mood strikes I may have to start this thread off right with Fakey's favorite joint.

        3 Replies
        1. re: RB Hound

          We should all add Fakey's Fav to our rotation this month so we can judge for ourselves if the hype is fakey.

          1. re: Island

            I've been to Super Serge's plenty of times before, and it is as good of a CAB as I've had anywhere in San Diego.

            1. re: RB Hound

              Remember- while the food is excellent, it's the service and ambiance that makes the Super Sergio's experience unique and memorable.

        2. I call El Sol and Tacos El Panson.

          1. 8 comments so far and not one of them is a review of a CAB

            You guys are a hoot.

            3 Replies
              1. re: DiningDiva

                It's only 3/1, give us some time. I love me some CAB.

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  Come on, you know that CABs before last call dont count!

                2. Herding cats I tell you...that's what I'm doing here, herding cats.

                  Good thing I'm a cat person ;-)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    We are more like duck-billed platypi.

                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      Oh sure...... leave no room for common sense, just hammer down those CAB's till you drop!! Meow!

                    2. So...
                      Since I don't eat Carne Asada, can I use my DH as a taster by proxy?

                      6 Replies
                        1. re: Beach Chick

                          So if DH, doesn't die or get sick..... you're vote is good? I used to have a 'test cat' for those things, if it lived, I was good to give the food a try.

                        2. Please allow me to introduce you to last night's dinner and my favorite CAB for over 20 years. Cue the eye rolls and flame on because it's from Alfonso's of La Jolla.
                          Nothing inside but yummy carne asada surrounded on the outside by a really tasty ranchero sauce with cheese that begs for a side of rice (sloppily added after pic) to soak up every drop. Margs on the rocks complete my perfect meal. CAB is my go to at Fonsies; never tried anything else other than the Mercedes shrimp quesadilla which is my second choice in the rare event that I want a change. When Mr and Mrs Island return from a month in the islands this CAB is what we crave.

                           
                          12 Replies
                          1. re: Island

                            I mean no offense. And I appreciate participation in the thread. I think it's great you've found something you like in an unexpected place.

                             
                             
                            But that's an enchilada.

                            1. re: Fake Name

                              It could be a "wet" burrito though, right? ( asked humbly to his Highness the CAB Overlord, lol).

                              1. re: Fake Name

                                Nope it's not. Wet burrito perhaps, but not an enchilada. It's not small, soft or soaked. I've also had it without the sauce around it, but prefer it with my side of rice.

                                1. re: Island

                                  I know the place well. I know the man well. I live less than 200 yards away. I'm sorry to yuck your yum, but the carne asada he serves is the most overly salted dish I have ever tasted. Maybe the tortilla and sauce on the wet burrito drowns out the MSG somewhat.

                                  1. re: foodiechick

                                    Perhaps, but I don't get salt bomb from this and it doesn't change my opinion. We like what we like and isn't it great we all have that option?

                                    I also second what our resident Beach Chick wrote in the the last Dish of the Month thread:

                                    "Dahlings. . We should always remember to never ever yuck somebody's chile relleno yum. . ."

                                    I think the same holds for CAB or whatever else is on the menu in the future. I don't need to know how the sausage is made if you catch my drift. Plus I think the goal is to report on what we're actually sampling this month, not in the past.

                                    I look forward to hearing about what everyone tries.

                                    1. re: Island

                                      You have taken my minor "flame" far too seriously, I'm certainly not trying to change your opinion. I'm only sharing my 2-cents FWIW.

                                      To quote Senor Fakey: "I mean no offense. And I appreciate participation in the thread. I think it's great you've found something you like in an unexpected place." Ditto.

                                      He is far more eloquent than I.

                                      1. re: foodiechick

                                        "He is far more eloquent than I."

                                        Yer durn tootin.

                                2. re: Island

                                  Enjoyed this exact dish on my first date with the spouse in 1981 at a price of (I think) $5.99. It followed a gin and tonic on the patio at the La Valencia.

                                  1. re: eatemup

                                    That's funny Eatemup because just a few years later I was there on my first San Diego date with my future spouse! We both had the CAB and it's still a favorite of his, although the $5.99 is long gone of course.

                                    1. re: Island

                                      His theory, I presume, was that he could take you to a nice part of town, walk around a bit, enjoy a satisfying (albeit cheap) meal, and perhaps you wouldn't catch on to his frugality (frugleness?). Smart man you married.

                                      1. re: eatemup

                                        Ha, was that your plan?
                                        Nope my suggestion since I was living here and he was in Orange County at the time. Margs probably cost more than the food! However we were newly employed "kids" with university loans to pay back. Ahhh student poverty, good times when when life was so simple!

                                3. Just ate the CAB at Mexican Fiesta on India just south of Beech. Across the street from my place of employment. Extreley popular at lunch, not open for dinner. No seating. To go only. I have always like the char-grilled taste of the beef used in their CAB and appreciate that the guacamole is very chunky and well-seasoned. The flour tortilla is so-so. And the price is right. Actually, there was a time when I and many of my carb-counting colleagues would buy the CAB and use the tortilla as a plate--just eating the insides....

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: wrldtrvl

                                    I haven't worked downtown in a few years, but when did Mexican Fiesta get rid of their little adjunct outdoor dining area?

                                    1. re: phee

                                      We may not be talking about the same place. The Mexican Fiesta I am talking about is on India, just south of Beech. I have worked across the street since 1996. I honestly never saw an adjunct dining area, not even plastic chairs placed outside. There is a parking lot to the north, and, but for a gap of maybe 8 feet, a large high-rise office building to the south. Mexican Fiesta itself is in a very small, almost shack size, stand-alone building...

                                      1. re: wrldtrvl

                                        You're absolutely right. I was thinking of Taco Express on State. Close, but no cigar. ;)

                                        1. re: phee

                                          Yeah, those two places are about 2-3 blocks apart.

                                    2. re: wrldtrvl

                                      LOVE this place. I both lived and worked within a five minute walk for a good long while. So good and so cheap. Between Mexican Fiesta and Mixon Liquor & Deli, I was kept well fed if I didn't feel like cooking.

                                      1. re: Violatp

                                        Another Mixon fan! I used to go there all the time when I worked downtown, and still do when I get over there during the week. Great sandwiches!

                                        1. re: phee

                                          Aren't they? Such great taste and quality for the price. And the people who work there are awesome.

                                    3. Went to the Mothership of Taco Shops...Super Sergio's, for the famed and beloved Carne Asada Burrito.

                                      DH, was my taster by proxy.
                                      He thought the Carne Asada Burrito was excellent...lots of good quality meat with guac and pico de gallo sauce.

                                      He rated it a 9+ * out of 10 and felt it could of just used a little salt/seasoning but overall he said that Fakey is the man on his knowledge of the beloved CAB!

                                      I had a cheese quesadilla and that was one hot mess of cheesy goodness...their red salsa is quite good.

                                      Took pics but they came out all whacked on the droid and we didn't bring the tablet with us or camera..

                                      So there you have it...Super Sergio's rocks it.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                        Uh-oh.

                                        If the place you went had good quality meat, you may have visited the wrong place...

                                        PS: Check your email- I need a LV recce....

                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                          Please tell us about your experience with the lush ambiance and table side service.

                                          1. re: cstr

                                            We went through the drive thru and then decided to park next to the car wash...there was a huge divot in the area where you order..the gal who took our order was super nice and the total was $9.16 which is a good omen..lucky numbers for both of us..
                                            We ate in the gorgeous lush concrete patio...it was fine.
                                            After a run at the CBS, it was a perfect ending..

                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                              Ah yes, consistency in food and service, something I really appreciate. Now tell the truth, did you sample some of DH's CAB?

                                              1. re: cstr

                                                Sample the CAB..no way, no how brown cow..

                                        2. CAB at Chipotle.

                                          Had not been to Chipotle for what probably was 5 or 6 years.

                                          Big hefty sucker (probably a good solid 1.5 lbs), with lots and lots of rice, very little beans but pretty good guacamole, and beef that was fit for an AARP denture patient.

                                          If I was going to run a marathon this would be my weapon of choice the night before.

                                           
                                          6 Replies
                                              1. re: Fake Name

                                                They offered quinoa too, but I declined.

                                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                                  Other than the texture (it was smooth, I like mine chunky), it tasted clean, a bit citrusy and sufficiently guac-y.

                                                2. re: ipsedixit

                                                  I don't know how to respond to such apostasy.

                                                3. Lots of comments regarding Super Sergio's. Does the one on Convoy measure up?

                                                  I'll try that one this week.

                                                  Jim

                                                  3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Fake Name

                                                      There's one at 1631Sweetwater Road and one at 6905 Paradise Valley Road

                                                  1. Carne asada burrito at Mexican Fiesta.

                                                    All things considered I think I would've preferred one of their burgers instead.

                                                    Gratuitous, wind blown, bad pictures below.

                                                     
                                                     
                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                      When I took a quick glance at the blurry burrito photo, I actually thought it was an albino wolf jumping out to try and eat me.

                                                      1. re: karaethon

                                                        LOL...One Eyed, Horned beaked Albino Moray Eel..with a yellow wrapper around its cute little neck and brown teeth that could use a little white strips!

                                                        1. re: karaethon

                                                          I'm going to go home now ... and play with my toys by myself ...

                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                            Think of it as artistic chow expression.

                                                      2. Went to the legendary Super Segio's tonight and the ambiance of dining under an awning between 2 drive thrus is quite special.

                                                        The CAB is excellent and gets high marks for the taste of the beef but the salsa was not as good as my favorite Aldabertos in Point Loma. There was more beef than guac and pico at SS, but the tortilla was not as good as A.

                                                        So while SS is on the list of great CAB spots the edge for me still goes to Aldabertos.

                                                        However with better hot sauce SS could take over. I'll bring some Tapatio packets next time.

                                                        Jim

                                                        1. I’ve been surprised in the past that nobody has mentioned Yesenia’s (I’m referring to the Clairemont Mesa location – I haven’t been to the Caramel Mtn. location).

                                                          The carne asada has just the right amount of fat:lean ratio, and just the right amount of pico de gallo and guac to meat ratio… most other places I’ve been to have too much fat in the meat or too little (Super Sergio’s leans towards too much for me). The one problem is that they sometimes skimp a little on the meat, which means too much tortilla, but it entirely depends on who’s cooking that day.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: Seiji

                                                            Well, the point of DotM isn't to "mention" a place a place with a particular dish.

                                                            Rather, it's to "try" a place with the particular dish in question.

                                                            So Yesenia's lack of appearance thus far is not a sign of inadvertent omission; rather, it's probably just a lack of actual experience(s) during the first 8 days of March.

                                                            1. re: Seiji

                                                              Never heard of Yesenia's , but tried the one in Carmel Mt Ranch on Monday.

                                                              The CAB was not good. Usual filling. CA, guac and a little pico, but the CA tasted like it was marinated in canned beef broth and that's all I could taste. No salsa or hot sauce could save it.

                                                              Was told it's owned by the brother of the Clairemont location. Maybe his bro has a better recipe.

                                                              1. re: Island

                                                                marinated in beef broth instead of citrus? Thanks for taking the hit for us. Maybe you'll have better luck with pies in April.

                                                            2. Well I used my artistic licence and had a CAT yesterday, I hope it qualifies for the beloved CAB. The CAT, a/k/a Carne Asada Torta, please note that the encapsulation device I choose did not deter from the main internal ingredients or the quality of the total package. In fact, the torta bread was delightfully light and airy. I did not take any pics as the specimen was wolfed down very quickly. The only downside for me was that the CAT was a bit to salty for my taste. I did also experience and enjoy other items which I will describe on another thread here in SD.
                                                              The place;
                                                              Tacos el Compita in Logan Heights, very friendly folks there and comfortable. I'd recommend that you give it a try, prices are very reasonable and they take plastic. I wish they served beer, it would be a nice compliment to their chow offerings. As for the CAT/CAB issue, I defer to the Fake One.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: cstr

                                                                'encapsulation device'
                                                                Someone has been reading the dictionary I see..
                                                                ; )

                                                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                  I'm proud of my H B School days! I did good huh... huh... BTW - they do have marisco's options, hint... hint....

                                                              2. At 6:15 pm on Wednesday, I called ahead to Maritza's to order dos burritos - carne asada y carnitas - Carmen was all like, "Sorry, we are out of carnitas already." I was all like, "What? I was going to have the CAB for dinner and the carnitas burrito for dessert. What do you suggest?" And then Carmen was all like, "Try calling earlier next Wednesday?" How does one argue with that?

                                                                The CAB was spot on - the meat was nicely grilled and tender, the guacamole flavorful, and the three to go portions of salsa that I spooned on lovingly w/ each bite brought the heat.

                                                                There are still three Carnitas Wednesdays left in March to get your CAB on at Maritza's. Do it. Early.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: Stiflers_Mom

                                                                  That must have been me that got your Carnitas Burritto Wednesday...sorry. It was good!!!

                                                                  1. re: Stiflers_Mom

                                                                    Maritza's sounds good.

                                                                    What is the address of Maritza's?

                                                                    Thanks in advance

                                                                    1. re: Stiflers_Mom

                                                                      One of my fav places, gota get there early on Weds, as you now know.

                                                                    2. Lunch at Rudy's last Friday. Hole in the wall in Solana Beach that's more market than restaurant. A few tables inside and concrete patio outside. $5.50 for a large burrito filled with nicely grilled very flavorful and tender carne asada with just the right amount of guac and pico. One of the few CABs I've found that actually looks like grilled steak rather than pale gray chop. First heard about this place from Cgfan, I think. Only 2nd visit and will try it again; hope it's consistent.

                                                                       
                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Island

                                                                        I really like Rudy's also, but the CA they use in the burrito is "worse" quality than the one from the CA plate. Next time, I recommend the plate and then "make your own" burrito.

                                                                      2. Had the CAB at Caliente's Mexican Food in Sorrento Valley. Quality non-gray meat with decent flavor, probably flap meat. Condements were in right proportions (pico and guac) and both the red (arbol) and green salsa were tasty but mild. My only complaint was the tortilla could have spent more time on the flat top. Horrible picture below.

                                                                        11815 Sorrento Valley Rd San Diego, CA 92121
                                                                        (858) 259-9579

                                                                         
                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: stevuchan

                                                                          Must be the sunlight 'cus the CAB looks pink on top.

                                                                          1. re: stevuchan

                                                                            Average 3 star Yelp reviews...pass. Horrible picture maybe because it is

                                                                            1. re: zoey67

                                                                              Denny's has a 4 star yelp reviews <sic>, must be good.

                                                                          2. One of the least photogenic foods ever conceived. But here it is. Thy Holy Hand Grenade of flavor, the Super Sergio Carne Asada Burrito.

                                                                            Gray meat, possibly from a can. But something about the seasoning- it has a brighter flavor than other places. Subtle and delicate in its own unique way. Like a delicate 500-pound flower, swaying in a 100mph hurricane.

                                                                             
                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Fake Name

                                                                              You'll find the shredded meat used in machaca to be quite common - usually from Argentina - but I can't imagine carne asada coming from a can and have never seen such a thing.

                                                                              1. re: deckape

                                                                                Argentinian canned beef is actually surprisingly good. Used alot in beef taquitos. Have not seen it used as carne asada, but if you're ordering a shredded beef taco, or shredded beef enchilada or burrito, chances are good the shredded beef is from a #10 can

                                                                                1. re: deckape

                                                                                  I agree. But I can't imagine the meat in any CAB I've had (and I've had more than my share) from a taco shop to have ever seen a grill.

                                                                                  In fact, I suspect it's more accurate to type Carne "Asada" Burrito.

                                                                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                    Yah, the color reminds me of my 'nam fatigues!

                                                                              2. Last night I had a CAB from El Saguaro which is on 30th south of Unviersity a couple of blocks. We live very nearby. Up to last night all I ever had there were various breakfast burrito combinations, which I enjoyed. The CAB is not as good, IMHO. The meat was half-way between gray stuff and nice juicy red grilled meat. The sals--too mild and not enough. The flour tortilla--acceptable. The guac--not good. Very thin and no taste. Thumbs down. Meixcan Fiesta is much better.

                                                                                1. I just ate the CAB at Salsa in Alpine, located at 2710 Alpine Boulevard.

                                                                                  Salsa's CAB was not greasy, oily, or a falling apart mess. It contained plenty of meat, guacamole, a tiny bit of fresh salsa, and was wrapped neatly in a flour tortilla. The meat was not too salty, though the spices were not necessarily a flavor extravaganza. The guacamole, however, was delicious and made fresh, and happily unadulterated by unwanted guests, like sour cream.

                                                                                  This was a workhorse CAB. Not completely amazing, but well put together, and the portion size was normal.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. I just tried the CAB Cali-style at Ortiz's Taco Shop in the Point Loma/OB area...loved it. Good flavored meat with some chew (the good kind), very flavorful salsas, delicious guacamole. And! The french fries retained their crunch all the way through. My favorite in San Diego so far.

                                                                                    1. I haven't eaten a CAB this month, but my husband's favorite is at La Posta de Acapulco No. 8 (Washington & 3rd Ave). 2nd is Roberto's on El Cajon Blvd.
                                                                                      I thought the carne at Lucha Libre was better than your typical taco shop.

                                                                                      1. Why share a CAB with a DH or DW when you can ride home with a different FWB every week?

                                                                                        1. Cotija's 24th and Market. Good. Meat is a tad chewy.