Restaurants & Bars 3

El Porvenir - Fantastic!

David Kahn | Nov 6, 200501:53 PM

Was down in San Diego yesterday and took the opportunity to stop for a late lunch at El Porvenir over in Barrio Logan (1786 National Ave., San Diego, CA 92113, (619) 702-2445). Bafflingly, we were the only customers there at 2 p.m. on a Saturday. Frankly, I'm astonished that this place isn't full from the moment they open their doors to the time they close them.

Anyway, ordered up a couple of carnitas burritos, which are just stunningly good. Handmade, slightly irregular, tortillas (which are excellent in their own right, btw), topped with a big spoon of the best carnitas I've ever tasted, creamy refried beans, and a really nice, not too mild red salsa. These things are culinary gems; perfectly balanced, deep, satisfying flavors, and, unbelievably, they cost like $2.75 or something. This place ought to be declared a California state treasure, and if it were in LA, I'd eat there three times a week. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

Also, as an aside, a couple of months back I was looking for a Mexican restaurant I used to visit with my father, and several San Diego hounds suggested that Tony's Jacal might have been the place. Drove by on my way back (didn't eat because, well, all available space was occupied by carnitas burritos), but this is indeed the place. Thanks guys. (Every once in a while, nostalgia trumps other considerations.)

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