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Restaurants & Bars 2

El Porvenir

David Kahn | May 2, 200403:07 PM

Had a rare day off yesterday, and so me and the missus decided to take a drive down the coast from LA. I had a vague recollection of Thi waxing rhapsodic about El Porvenir (1786 National Ave., San Diego, (619) 702-2445), so looked it up on the board, plugged the address into the satnav, and hit the road.

I was a little worried driving down, because we were getting pretty hungry, and I hadn't been able to find a post on this board that wasn't at least two years old. Plus, there was no listing for El Porvenir on Yahoo Yellow Pages, and nobody answered the phone number listed on the board. As it turned out, my worries were groundless -- El Porvenir is still up and running and turning out beautiful food.

We arrived around 3 pm, and the place was pretty quiet. (They close at 4:30 on Saturdays.) It's really just a little hole in the wall, with a couple of tables, and one older gentleman working behind the counter. We ordered up a couple of burritos -- chili relleno and carnitas -- which arrived in little plastic baskets. These are not the huge burros like one gets at Ana Maria's or El Tepeyac, but boy, are they good. The chili relleno was fine, with nice home made hot sauce and creamy frijoles wrapped in a better than average flour tortilla, but the carnitas are really the thing. The carnitas burrito was mind bendingly good, with a rich, porky flavor, and little crunchy bits of toasty meat, smooth and deeply flavorful. Without question, the best I've ever had, anywhere. (Of course, I had to order a second one.)

You guys down south are lucky to have this gem of a place so close. Even though it's 120 miles distant from our home, we will certainly be back. The missus and I both thought it was well worth the drive.

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