tacos el poblano / chula vista, ca

Jake and I first heard about this place last year when when we ran across some other folks while geocaching in Mission Bay. They were trying to get to this particularly difficult geocache that we weren’t able to get to (it was off of a pier and we suspected it was underneath the pier) and got to talking with the other geocachers. Somehow the conversation turned to food (which, honestly, it usually does with us) and they told us about a few places in Chula Vista. I bookmarked the places on Yelp, and then forgot about them. For whatever reason I was thinking about Tacos el Poblano and how we passed by it to drop off/pick up Jake’s kids and we finally made a stop one day for lunch.


[menu – tacos el poblano]

 This is the menu. Very simple – no side orders, either. The step up is the same as Tacos el Gordo, too. There are stations and each cook mans a different station – one for adobada, one for carne asada, and one for birria.


[adobada spit]

I was feeling self conscious that day and only managed this one inside shot – of the adobada spit. What I did notice though is that with the adobada, it was already pre-cut and sitting on the grill. This makes it easier and faster to make tacos… but I think it made it suffer a little bit in quality.


[adobada burrito – $4.75]

The other thing that’s different here is that they actually sell burritos here, something they don’t do at Tacos el Gordo. But… the burritos are really small, I don’t know if it’s really worth it to get one instead.


[tacos (l-r) adobada (spicy pork) and birria (shredded beef) – $1.85 each]

I opted to get one of each taco so I could try them all out. The adobada was on the spicy side and a little tough. I feel like maybe the meat got dried out from being pre-cut off the spit since it was not that tender or juicy. It was still hella flavorful – but a little too spicy for my sensitive taste buds.

For whatever reason, Jake and I have always thought birria was goat meat. I think it’s because we went to Super Cocina once and we thought one of the dishes was referred to as goat was called birria… so… who knows.

In any case, I didn’t really enjoy the birria at all. It was soft and tender but I didn’t find it very flavorful. Kind of just tasted like eating a mushy meat taco to me. Ew.


[quesadilla – $2.00]

The quesadilla here is much larger than the one at Tacos el Gordo (sorry for all these comparisons, I can’t help it) but the cheese wasn’t as awesome. I’m not sure what kind of cheese they use exactly, but it’s not the same and not as “mmm” inducing. It was all right. Just not drool-worthy.


[carne asada taco – $1.85]

The carne asada, on the other hand, was hands down my absolutely-oh-my-god-I-want-to-marry-this favorite thing that day. The carne asada is really super flavorful – and incredibly juicy and tender. The carne asada is made on the spot so you know you’re getting that one really fresh. It matters so much if you get it fresh or if it’s been sitting around! I don’t mind sitting and waiting for the fresh, good stuff though and this was really the only thing I felt that was “worth it”.

I’d come back and just order these little suckers and nothing else.


[carne asada tostada – $1.85]

You can also get that yummy carne asada on a tostada instead if you like crunchy things. And I usually do, but I’d say in this case I’d prefer the little street tacos.


[lunch loot]

Jake and I just weren’t too impressed with anything but the carne asada – but I would hands down come back for those juicy little tacos alone. One taco really isn’t enough to fill up your belly – two or three might do it for you though. Carne asada or nothing!

Tacos el Poblano
885 E H St, Ste C
Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 216-0155

7 thoughts on “tacos el poblano / chula vista, ca

  1. I think I need to go back to school b/c I *still* can’t figure out what geocaching means even after opening the link. I literally read it as ‘geo…ca…ching!;….

    Like what on worth is this ca-ching thing? Like cash register related?

    I love reading your blog posts b/c you never try to eat anything kookie at Mexican restaurants (tongue, brain, eyeballs, etc) 🙂

    At least you’ve tried goat though – that’s too Fear Factor for me

    1. Hahah – geocaching is sort of like scavenger hunting with your phone (or compass). You read the clues as to where the “cache” is. A cache can be anything – a container, a small bottle, etc. Something that is hidden that you have to search for. The satisfaction is just in finding the item since you don’t really “win” anything. If you’re the first person to find it there is usually a prize, otherwise there’s usually just a little notebook to add your name to. It’s fun doing it with the kids since they get a kick out of reading the clues and searching the area.

      Yeah, I am adventurous but maybe not *that* adventurous. I don’t wanna eat “parts”. 😛 The goat wasn’t bad, and besides, it kind of looked like shredded beef!

    1. I do like lamb! But I’m like the only one, Jake doesn’t really care for it. Maybe I can get him to try it sometime anyway. I bet the adobada is better when they actually slice it fresh off the spit but we got the already sliced meat and I think that made it suffer in taste since it was a little dried out. The carne asada we had that day was very fresh and just off the grill so it was really good. Looks like the prices did go up a little!

      1. i tried the goat birria at asi es jalisco. it wasn’t that gamey but i probably wouldn’t eat it again. i don’t really like the smell or flavor of gamey meats like goat and especially lamb. lamb = barf. (for me)

  2. Hi Mary – Tacos el Poblano is an extension of a couple of taco stands from TJ which started as a shack in in 1974. There are now a number of El Poblano owned by different family members. The one that used to be on 3rd avenue used to actually source the special cut for “carne asada” from a specific distributor in TJ. Don’t know if that’s true here, but it’s nice to understand the lineage.

    1. Hi Kirk – Thanks for the feedback! It’s cool to know where they come from and when they started. They’ve been around longer than me! I really enjoyed the carne asada from here, it was my favorite of the bunch. Hopefully that holds true for any future visits as well.

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