las cuatro milpas / barrio logan – san diego, ca
Jake and I have heard about Las Cuatro Milpas for years. We’ve attempted to go a few times, feeling quickly daunted when we saw the very long line snaking out the door. One time we drive by when it was raining, in the dim hope that perhaps everyone decided to stay home and dodge the rain… but no such luck. A couple of weekends ago Jake and I woke up on Saturday morning a little before 9am. He looked at me and said, “Babe. We should go to Las Cuatro Milpas. Like, right now.”
Mexican food for breakfast? I’m totally down.
After getting some cash (since Las Cuatro Milpas is a cash only restaurant) we got there around 10AM and the line was still relatively short – just a few bodies coming out of the front entrance.
As soon as you get inside the door, you can see the ladies frying up the rolled tacos in a big vat of oil. Totally old school, too – preferring to pan fry instead of using a deep fryer. They just keep frying and cranking out the tacos and other shells for making the rest of the food.
I made Jake order the food, because he’s got a better accent than me. He doesn’t like it when I do that, haha.
The menu is pretty simple. Not a lot of fuss or frills here. And certainly no California burritos or carne asada nachos – just the basics – all made from scratch.
[chorizo, beans, and rice]
We got an order of the chorizo and beans with rice. I’m not a big fan of beans – and whole pinto beans like this are even less my thing. But… they weren’t terrible. I still wouldn’t order them on my own. Jake, who is the lover of all things beans, enjoyed these. He also prefers refried beans and the beans not whole but he liked these anyway. The rice was okay, simple and good but just rice.
[homemade flour tortillas]
They gave us three homemade flour tortillas with our meal – I’m guessing it comes with the meal if you order beans and rice.
These tortillas are so fresh and delicious! They’re also buttery and are cooked just right. They’re tender and fresh – and so superior to any flour tortillas you can buy in the store. You can also get a dozen of these babies to go for $3.25. I regret not getting a dozen to go.
[it looks really, really hot]
This is the fire red hot sauce. Jake grabbed a couple for himself. Sometimes I like to put on a tiny bit if it’s not super hot. Jake informed me it was, indeed, super hot so I didn’t even try it. Man, you can see all of the chili peppers just floating around at the bottom!
The pork tamale comes in a little bowl, already unwrapped for you. The maza on the outside of their tamales is so tender and soft – not a trace of being dried out. It’s also flavorful, too, and it makes you wish all tamales were made this way…
[shredded pork inside the tamale]
Inside there was a simple shredded pork filling which was just as delicious as the outside. I could easily eat a few of these and be a very happy girl. So moist and tender!
We also tried a chicken taco. The tacos all come simply dressed with shredded lettuce, cheese and crema (or sour cream). You can also get tomatoes, but since Jake is anti-tomato, we got them without. There’s a tray at the front with cilantro and onions if you so desire – so I sprinkled a few cilantro leaves onto the plate.
The outer shell of the taco is nice and crisp. You know it’s fried, but it doesn’t taste greasy at all. The chicken filling was super simple but a little too bland for me. Just shredded chicken with not a whole lot of seasoning.
The rolled tacos…
Oh my god, the rolled tacos…
These things will renew your sense of wonder at the world and fill you glee.
Or, at least, they’ll make you really happy because they taste so damn good.
[bite of rolled taco for your belly]
Filled with shredded beef, these are again topped very simply – no guacamole or anything here. But you really don’t need much for these babies. The crema and cheese is so delicious on these – they’re perfectly crunchy to boot and the inside is tender and delicious. Seriously, all rolled tacos should be made like this – homemade, pan fried and simply dressed. So good!
[sitting in the kitchen, watching the ladies make tortillas and watching pigeons walk around]
This place is also surprising large – there’s a big room to the left for seating, plus long benches in the kitchen, and another dining area in the building next door on the right.
I was fascinated watching them make the tortillas fresh. The lady would take the dough and stick it into a machine with a crank, which forms small balls of dough for the tortillas. The balls of dough would get turned into a huge pile of flour and then hand pressed out and passed on. The next lady would roll them out to size and put them on the big flat grill, and flip them. Another lady would continue to cook them and pull them off.
It was like having dinner and a show!
It’s sad it’s taken us this long to finally get down here to try this delicious food, but now we now it’s not just hype – but actually really simple and really delicious eats.
When we left, around 11AM, the line had gotten quite long and was beginning to stretch down the street. If you don’t want to wait an hour for your food, I highly suggest you get here before 11AM.
Remember, kiddies, it’s also cash only. And totally worth it.
Las Cuatro Milpas
1875 Logan Ave
San Diego, CA