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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

TACO TUESDAY: Good Eats on Highway 101

The Place:  Karina's Taco Shop, 916 North Coast Highway 101 Encinitas (760) 633-3300
The Vibe:  Surfer dudes, friendly locals, low key dining room and patio, super clean (not always the case with taco shops!)
The Cost:  Downright cheap, cash only
Overall Local Wally Rating:  B+

Gotta love a taco shop that's trying to outdo the California Burrito (carne asada with fries) by adding a couple of rolled tacos to the mix....what???  And don't you love their graphics on the sign?  It sounds good but let's go with some classics to test out their food.

That's right, this is not some sort of trick - you really do get FIVE, count em, FIVE rolled tacos in their order for the same price as what most places charge for 3.  And unlike some places where the filling is tiny strings of meat, Karina's loads them up.  The tacos are nearly light with a crispy snap to them, but the filling was a little mild.  Roberto's is still the one to beat.  I give them a B.

Let's open up that bad boy Carnitas Burrito and see what that's all about.

Oh man, was this burrito good!  The carnitas still had a bit of crispiness to it, succulent and absolutely delicious.  No rice or beans filling like corporate Chipotle, this one was solid meat and one of the best carnitas burritos I've ever had.  Better than Juanita's, the venerable champ?  Hmmm, I think it's close.  We'll have to do a side by side taste test, but that's another review.  I'll give this one an A+.

The restaurant itself was nice and clean and the staff super friendly.  There's front tables, an indoor area, and a back patio. It's nothing fancy but it's nice to get away from the corporate shops and dine where the locals do, isn't it?

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