I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is this week. I feel like it’s maybe October still and I should still be planning for Halloween. But nope, time has flown right on by as usual. Damn you, time. Why are you always marching on?
No matter. Let’s discuss some things I’m thankful for this week. One of those things is that I’m thankful to live in San Diego where there is a great abundance of delicious Mexican food (tacos) to be had (tacos) at our very fingertips (tacos) whenever we please (tacos). We’re truly spoiled and that makes me thankful to know good Mexican food when I come across it (mmm, tacos).
One place I’ve tried this past year is a little taco shop called El Paisa Mexican Grill. There’s another place called Tacos El Paisa – actually more than one it seems – but this is different. I think. I’m going by the sign here, folks.
On our very first visit, Jake and I ordered their mini tacos. And now this is what we always order. It’s a buck and some change for a mini taco but they’re stuffed pretty good. I’ve read that the regular size taco is twice as big and costs a bit more. I dig the mini ones.
I tried three different kinds on my first visit. Also, the first time they didn’t give us guacamole… which made me sad. But subsequent visits have shown that they usually put it on for you.
[carne asada mini taco]
I was not impressed with the carne asada. It was pretty dry, not very flavorful and unremarkable. But I did dig the TJ street taco dress up with plenty of cilantro and chopped onions.
[pork adobada mini tacos]
Also on that first visit I got the pork adobada tacos. Again… unimpressed. I didn’t care for the flavor and the spices used on the adobada and was pretty sad at this point for striking out 2 for 2. Luckily though, the third taco saved them in my eyes for it was the tastiest of them all.
[pork carnitas mini tacos]
The pork carnitas here is my FAVORITE. Yes, FAVORITE. In all caps. I love it.
Their carnitas are super moist, some with that beautiful crisp exterior and some just juicy through and through. It’s very simple in taste and flavor but packs a punch of deliciousness right into your mouth when you take a bite. I always get three and I always eat all three. So, so tasty. I love it.
One time we went on a Saturday… and this is a horror story… because they were out of carnitas that one day. And I was so mad that I didn’t come back here for weeks until I had gotten over it. They tried to convince me to get something else but I wouldn’t have it. Instead I got really crappy carnitas from some other place and was disappointed. But, I’ve gotten over my grudge and they haven’t run out of carnitas again, so I’m happy and thankful for that.
Oh yeah, they have other things here. Lots of other things. One of those other things we usually get is beans because Jake can’t live going to a Mexican place and not eating beans. I don’t understand this great love of beans, but I will actually eat these beans as long as they A) have cheese on them and B) I have chips to eat them with.
Last but not least, when you order tacos and eat them here, they give you a little platter full of sauces to top on your tacos. That red one of the far left? It is HOT. The other ones aren’t so bad. If you want chips, too, we always ask for them. They’ll give you another bowl of chips, too, if you ask. They are nice like that.
In conclusion: I’m thankful for delicious carnitas tacos. Thank you and amen.
El Paisa Mexican Grill
2494 Imperial Ave
(between 24th St & 25th St)
San Diego, CA 92102
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- mary: Hi Kirk – Wow, you tried it 3-4 times?! I’m glad someone else can confirm that it wasn’t just me who had a bad meal!
- Kirk: Hi Mary – This place is terrible, tried it about 3-4 times when we moved a couple of miles away. Bitter orange juice, SYSCO products at...
- mary: Haha I thought so
- J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats: Sorry the food was kindof mediocre…however “barfed flowers all over the place” is the most perfect description for...