>> El Carrito Restaurant | Eat the World Los Angeles

Thursday 23 January 2020

El Carrito Restaurant

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EDITOR'S NOTE: An updated version of this article (05 January 2024) is available as part of the Historical section of our Substack page. Check that out here:
When you have a soft spot for chilaquiles, one that does not go as far as snobbery, you are always on the lookout for good renditions, even those that are not classic. They can be done in many ways, with different meats and salsas, topped with egg or not, but the unique satisfaction that cleaning a plate of chilaquiles for breakfast gives you is hard to replicate.

It was with this excitement that El Carrito was stumbled upon during a recent visit to San Diego's Chicano Park. Opened in June 2018 in front of a Victorian home on Logan Avenue, the restaurant uses a 1930's cable car (its namesake) with a much longer history. It is a block away from the park, and has some great picnic tables in the front that are perfect in the morning or days that are not too scorching.

Chicano Park is also at the center of Barrio Logan, the oldest Mexican American neighborhood in San Diego. More than 80 murals all made by Chicano artists are on each and every surface of the I-5 and Coronado Bridge interchange. A National Historic Landmark as of 2017, it is home to many dance, music, and culture festivals.

The park is succinctly described in its own literature as an "outdoor cathedral to community activism," and this is probably the best representation possible.

Across the street, the claim of "BEST CHILAQUILES IN SAN DIEGO" right on El Carrito's intro needed to be investigated. This dish is eaten throughout the day sometimes but is mostly considered breakfast. Rather than the normal choices of salsa verde o roja, there are five options here at El Carrito, ranging from $7.99-$8.99. Meats, seafood, egg, or soyrizo can be added for an extra $2.50.

Like the others, the namesake El Carrito chilaquiles ($8.99, above) is a somewhat modern interpretation of the dish using beloved ingredients. The star and focus is their delicious creamy salsa poblana which is then topped with fire roasted corn, poblano chiles, cheese and crema. The menu does not say anything about the tortillas being homemade, but they are great and stay crispy until the very end.

On the day of this visit, tostadas de ceviche ($10, above and below) were on special and hard to resist. They are fine, especially for $10, but it was hard not to see these as an afterthought. Future visits for breakfast and lunch will stick to the tried and true fixtures. Their eggs always seem to be very popular in the morning, and there almost always seems to be someone tucking into a burrito.

Be aware that these early meals are the focus here and on most days the closing time is 3pm sharp.

SAN DIEGO California
2154 Logan Avenue

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