Is it just me, or do tacos seem to be having a moment right now? Everyday I see a new taco meme, t-shirt, or greeting card. But I guess it’s for good reason. Tacos are hella delicious.
I’m typically a fish taco fan. The salty fresh fish, paired with the crunchy cabbage and spicy sauce. A seriously ballin’ combo.
But every once in a while I’ll mix it up and go for the classic carnitas. Although carnitas can be amazing, I’m usually left feeling like I just ate a pulled pork sandwich but subbed the bun for a tortilla. Don’t get me wrong, pulled pork doused in tangy sauce, topped with crunchy slaw or sour pickles is nothing I would turn my nose up at. It’s just that carnitas should be different than pulled pork. Carnitas should be fatty and tender. Carnitas should be seasoned with a fairly heavy hand. Carnitas should have that dark, crispy char on the edges.
Carnitas should look like this.
Los Pepitos Locos on 42nd Ave isn’t the best Mexican restaurant in Portland. I don’t even know that I’d put it in the top ten. But goddammit, they make killer carnitas.
Keep in mind, I ate about half the meat out of this taco before I decided to take a photo. It was served on two white corn tortillas with, what seemed like, a half pound of pork nestled inside. The toppings were simple: cilantro and raw onion. Which is really all you need when the meat is done so well.
I did add a splash of both their red and green sauces. I'd give them both a 6/10. Nothing that'll blow your mind, but still tasty.
To round out the meal I also ordered a fish taco. Similar to the carnitas, they didn't skimp on the protein. The fish was plentiful and well seasoned, but overall it was missing a little something. I think a zesty, cabbage crunch would do the trick.
And to wash it all down I enjoyed a tall, cool michelada. Perfectly spiced and super refreshing on a muggy Portland afternoon.
Los Pepitos Locos. I think I like you.