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Apr 6, 2014 09:26 AM

Carnitas - East Bay

Years ago I use to have a taco party with carnitas from Taqueria Durango on Foothill in Oakland. Jesus made a unique barbecued pork and his beans were fatted with the smoked drippings gathered as the pork cooked. The restaurant was flagged with smoke pouring from the parking lot from the oil drums he used as barbecues. Jesus no longer owns Taqueria Durango, so now that I want to hold the party again, my source of meat and beans is gone. Any recommendations on excellent barbecued pork/carnitas in the East Bay close to or in Oakland? I have a month to taste test various pork products.

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  1. The carnitas at Jalisco Cafe are delicious though not that style.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      When Jalisco Cafe is not open, I go to Mi Pueblo supermarket -- especially if it's towards the end of the day. I asked for "mixta" & not the big hunks of meat to get more of the tasty bits. Of course, there's a bunch of fatty pieces that I render out by toasting the carnitas in the oven while the rest of our meal is being prepped. Still worthwhile

    2. I like the carnitas at Picante in Berkeley. We went there Thursday night for the first time in a while and they were great. They are not authentic Mexican carnitas though so they will not be like the ones Jesus made. The Picante ones are not as fatty as most versions of carnitas but they are incredibly moist and flavorful. I like them because they are a lighter style of carnitas and the flavor of the pork shines.

      1. The carnitas at Casa Jimenez on International & High St is good, but I think braised/roasted vs. BBQ'd

        1. You know, I can personally verify that the current operator of Taqueria Durango (Foothill at 36th Ave) is a gentleman named Jesus who is originally from Durango, and he barbecues in the parking lot every day, smoke and all. I'm guessing from your description it's the same person you remember. (Also, his carnitas are tasty.) You might want to check back in if that's what you're hoping to find.

          Edit: I've also had the beans in question recently and they were super, too.

          One more edit: I said every day but I think he takes one or two days off per week. I don't know which ones.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jayporter

            A little internet research suggests that Jesus moved from the 3800 block of Foothill to his new location on the corner of Foothill and 36th.

            1. re: jayporter

              Thanks, I'm fascinated by this offering and will have to check it out soon at the new address.

              Taqueria Durango
              3601 Foothill Blvd
              Oakland, CA 94601
              (510) 536-6486