Taco Takeover: Carnitas Uruapan
Author: Andy Huff
Price: $9 per pound of pork with unlimited tortillas and pickles
Overall Rating: 9.0/10
“Are we really going 45 minutes out of our way just to eat pork?” asked my dad.
And maybe he had a point. We had a Cubs game to go to in three hours, and rather than going North to Wrigley, we were going west to Pilsen--but I just had to try this pork.
Carnitas Uruapan is one of those places that only has one dish on the menu, but boy do they know how to cook it. They barbeque an entire pig, and will serve any part of it to you by the pound with fresh tortillas, salsa, and pickled jalapeños. And if you ask nicely, they will let you try the different cuts of meat so you can see how you want your smoky, whole-hog goodness. I recommend doing two parts lean meat to one part skin fat.
The sides are minimal, but tasty. The jalapeños have good spice, crunch, and vinegary kick, and the salsas range from a sweet and smoky variety to a tangy salsa verde. The guacamole is standard fare, but fresh and plentiful.
Where Carnitas Uruapan really stands out, however, is the service. They take a ton of pride in what they do and are willing to go the extra mile to help their customers have a great experience. Need to try the skin fat and the belly fat? No problem. Want a quick geography lesson on the city of Uruapan? Sure thing. When my dad and I couldn’t agree on fatty or lean meat, they gave me an extra quarter pound of fat and a side of guacamole for free, and they wouldn’t let me leave without a dulce de leche lollipop. You could see they did this for every customer that came in. They make one thing, they do it well and they take pride in their work and their community. This is the kind of business that makes a neighborhood better, and most importantly, they serve one hell of a taco.