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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

TACO TUESDAY: Jorges Mexicatessen is famous for soup, but can they make tacos?

THE PLACE:  Jorge's Mexicatessen
267 N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA  (760) 942-6909
THE VIBE:  Lots of families, people lining up for soup
THE COST:  $6 bucks gets you 3 street tacos, rice and beans

Jorge's Mexicatessen is your basic hole-in-the-wall Mexican taco shop sandwiched in with the dry cleaners and barber shop.  But what sets them apart is the Mexican Chicken Soup.  Chunks of shredded chicken mixed with avocado and Mexican rice, and spicy spicy spicy!  Muy bueno!  If you ever find yourself thinking you're catching a cold, if you ever just want to warm up on a cool coastal day, get this soup.  Outstanding and worth the trip alone.  

But today was unseasonably warm on the coast for the Summer of 2010.  Yes, the June Gloom actually burned off (come on, it's already August!) by 11 and it was in the 70's so blazing hot soup was out.  I decided to give their street tacos a go.

For around $6 you can get 3 tacos, rice and beans - or cabbage salad.  For those of you unfamiliar with street tacos, these are smaller 3/4 size.  The carne asada was terrific, nice and zesty, seasoned up nice with a good sear on the meat.  Cabbage salad almost made it all look healthy and the beans were obviously homemade.  Very nice.

The carnitas was a bit of a disappointment.  You know how you're waiting for the food to arrive and you're brain is anticipating what will soon be on your tastebuds?  Ahh, crispy succulent carnitas.  Well, what arrived was closer to pork tacos than carnitas, the meat tender and tasty but not crispy on the edges.  How I wish they would have just tossed it into the deep fryer just for a second. And one more minor complaint - really, how much do the beans really cost?  The beans were nearly painted on the plate.  This isn't The French Laundry where you're only supposed to get a bite, I want more beans!!

Great service and a friendly staff, I'll overlook the soft carnitas and rationed beans because I still love this place for the soup.  But my search continues for the best taco shop and Mexican food in San Diego.

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