Paris has The Eiffel Tower, ramen noodles are a college student’s best friend, and the hip bone’s connected to the thigh bone. What do they all have in common? Nothing really, I was just getting tired of searching for a way to start this entry. San Diego, Californ-I-A: Home of the Padres, Chargers, and the Taco Shops. The Friars may not have swung their oak into the World Series, Norv Turner might’ve thrown off the tempo of an already on-beat pigskin team, but S.D. Taco Shops never seem to have a bad season. Case in point: carne asada fries. A collaboration of America’s favorite finger food and Latin America’s party chow of choice. If only the United Nations could get along this easy.
This popular San Diego dish starts with a foundation of french fries topped with carne asada (marinated grilled steak), guacamole, cheese, and sour cream . Because I don’t bring a scale with me everywhere I go, I’d have to guesstimate that this meal clocks in at about two pounds or more. Most warriors who attempt to tame this beast tend to splash the monster in hot sauce AKA salsa. I’m a fan of the green salsa; I can’t stand that red stuff. Salsa is a must when it comes to carne asada fries. No salsa is like Tom Selleck with no mustache…it’s just not right and it’s a little disrespectful.
As you fellow San Diegans know, “The Greatest Taco Shop” argument is a very historic and heated debate amongst the San Diego locals. I’ve seen many people get pile driven into the ground for sparking up that never ending cage match. Fact: All San Diegans have a taco shop that they call home and they will defend their shop come hell or high water. My home is the Roberto’s located by the Chargers training camp (5150 Murphy Canyon Rd Ste 109 at Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92123). Not only do they have free chips, free hot carrots, and the best salsa, but they also have Street Fighter II. The only fall back to my home taco shop is that they close early compared to the other shops. They close at 10pm while many taco shops are 24 hours. YES, you heard me correct, 24 hour taco shops!
Even still, who dares put their taco shop up against mine?
Another weird fact about the San Diego Taco Shop scene is many of the shop names end with “berto’s”. For example (and I’m really not joking), there is a Roberto’s, Alberto’s, Gualberto’s, Nolberto’s, Noberto’s, Humberto’s, Rigoberto’s, Reyberto’s, Eiberto’s, Jilberto’s, Aiberto’s…just to name a few.
So if you’re ever in San Diego make sure you stop by a local taco shop and tell them RamenDays.com sent you. You won’t get any discount by telling them we sent you…we just want you to give us free promotion, haha. Also, make sure you are about 3-4 feet from a bathroom. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
If you don’t like fries you can also get the Carne Asada Chips. MmmMmMMmmm!