Taqueria El Sabor

tl;dr: The carnitas are the only way to fly if you’re serious about pork, but the whole menu (minus the chef salad, probably) is on the perfect end of the great spectrum.

The best way to describe the carnitas at Taqueria El Sabor is that they’re meat hashbrowns. Sheets of crunchy pork cover the exterior of either side of the pile on your plate, the inside a jumble of silky, salty strands of pork shoulder and onion. This is one of those foods you add to the list of “things I can’t go vegan because of” (which also includes chicken wings and mac and cheese). It shot to the very top of my “foods I would add to my last meal” list (which also include chicken wings and mac and cheese) the moment I first tried it. I can’t force myself to say anything other than “carnitas” when I order, but before I found the porky promised land, I had great experiences with the adobada and asada.

To truly experience the pure porkiness of the carnitas, order the combo carnitas, which gives you a pile of unadulterated pork along with rice, beans, and one of those guilty pleasure iceberg salads with cheddar cheese and shitty ranch. Eating the carnitas in any other way is really gilding the lily, but they’re fantastic in every other application they offer.

I’ve ordered everything from the nachos to the sopitos to the chilaquiles to the quesadilla, and I’ve never even come close to disappointment. The service at El Sabor is always pleasant without being overbearing, the salsa bar is always loaded with the classics you’d expect from any self-respecting taqueria, and the horchata is cold and cinnamon-y with free refills (!!). El Sabor is another favorite album of restaurants. Consistent, always nice to come back to, and you never get tired of it.