After having Mexican food in San Diego, I have not found any other place in NorCal that even compares. Thankfully, I just came back from spending a week in San Diego where I got my fix of Mexican food for the time being!
TACOS EL PAISA: 3096 National Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113. (619) 231-0622.
A year and a half ago, I would have said that Tacos El Paisa was the place to go for Mexican food in San Diego. Yelp gives this place 4.5 stars!
The place had the best adobada (spicy pork) tacos. They were so tasty that I don’t know how to describe the meat except mouth-watering.
I also ordered carne (steak) and cabeza (beef head) tacos, which were good but not great like the adobada.
Horchata was so fresh that they scooped you a cup out of these jars. Once you ordered and took a seat at a table, you were served a small cup of pinto beans, a plate of peppers and grilled onions, and a complimentary platter of condiments, including guacamole, salsa, spicy carrots, cucumbers, radishes, and lime.
When I visited the place for the first time two years ago, there was even a truck that prepared and cooked the meat right outside of the restaurant. If not for the food already, the truck added the extra feeling of authenticity to the Mexican restaurant. By the second and third time I visited, the truck was already gone, but the food was still good.
Photos above from Tacos El Paisa are courtesy of kreptonic.
TACOS EL GORDO: 689 H Street, Chula Vista, CA 91910. (619) 691-8848.
Over this summer, I visited my brother in San Diego twice, a week at the end of June and another week at the end of July. I was definitely ready for Mexican food, which is one of the things I have missed the most about SoCal in the last year! This time my brother took me to a place I had not yet tried before – Tacos El Gordo. Yelp gives this place 4.5 stars too, but there are over 700 reviews!
I have not found any other place with fresher tacos than the ones here at Tacos El Gordo! They make the tortillas, cook the meat, and prepare the tacos right in front of you! All you have to do is get in line in front of the kind of meat you want and a nice and friendly server will make you your order right away. When my brother asked what the lengua (beef tongue) was like, the server generously gave us a sample to taste. They also give you a plate of grilled peppers and green onions, if you ask.
I like how this place prepares the tacos just the way they think is best so your tacos come with different salsas or guacamole that complement the texture and flavor of each kind of meat. I tried 3 tacos – lengua, adobada, and chorizo (sausage). My brother advised me to eat them in that order, which I’m glad I did so because the flavors of the meats got increasingly spicier! Thankfully, I had horchata to clean my palette between each taco.
The lengua was so tender and delicious that I am sure I would order it again next time.
The adobada with fresh pineapples in the taco was tasty. This one is a must-have! I think my first time ever having adobada at Tacos El Paisa was more memorable though.
As a person who doesn’t eat spicy, the chorizo was way too spicy for me. I was washing down the spicyness with horchata, but I am sure that people who like spicy can enjoy the flavor of the meat much more than I did.
If you are in San Diego, Tacos El Gordo is the place to go! At $2.00 per taco, this place can be on the expensive side, so come ready to taste one of San Diego’s freshest tacos, but I advise you not to come with a growling stomach.
Check back soon for another post on the combination of Mexican seafood in San Diego :)