Carmen’s Mexican Food
It’s been awhile since my last post, but this recent find is very special and I felt compelled to share it!
I’ve been craving chicken enchiladas with a good rice and beans on the side and we found it at Carmen’s, a family-owned taco shop in Clairemont. Located by the old Ba Ren Szechuan restaurant in a small lot next to a liquor store, Carmen’s is not like your usual Mexican taco shop.
The inside is no frills, but the layout was clean and well lit.
You order your food at the counter, but the food is brought out to you piping hot on real plates (not in the usual to-go styrofoam containers).
I saw someone else’s carne asada taco come out and decided last minute to order one even though I really wanted to get rolled tacos with guacamole instead. We didn’t regret it because the the carne asada was delicious with a big scoop of guacamole piled on top.
The Chicken Enchiladas plate came with freshly shredded white meat chicken, but was a touch dry. The enchiladas had a nice red sauce with lettuce and 2 types of cheese on top. The enchiladas were great, but I would have liked a bit more sauce. The real stars were the beans and rice. The beans were flavorful and creamy with cheese melted on top and the rice was nice and fluffy.
The unexpected surprise was Michael’s Chile Colorado plate. It came with tender pieces of stewed pork instead of the beef I was expecting. It also came out piping hot with their delicious rice and beans on the side. We chose flour tortillas to accompany the dish, and they were delicious too with a nice chewy texture.
Michael’s pick wins, but I’d still order their enchiladas again since you can get them a la carte with different fillings (chicken, chicken mole, beef, cheese, etc.) for about $3.25 each.
All in all it was a great find. If you’re craving home cooked Mexican food in a casual setting, you should give Carmen’s a try. Our only criticism was that we should have gone on a cooler day. The place was so hot inside with no air conditioning or fans, coupled with the heat from the kitchen. The regulars all took their orders to go. Next time we’ll be visiting on a cooler day and I’ve got my eyes set on rolled tacos with guac and the shrimp rancheros plate!
Carmen’s Authentic Mexican Food
4937 Diane Ave
San Diego CA 92117