My morning meals on the weekend typically consist of Birria, Pozole, or Menudo, and usually on my way to Ensenada I stop in South San Diego or Tijuana for my fix. Last weekend, having skipped an early breakfast, I rolled into Ensenada around 9:30am with my crew (wife and junior masa). As we passed the corner of 2nd and Riveroll the musky scent of carnitas cutting through the air was so inviting. The scent was coming from Carnitas Hermanos Ramirez, and we decided to stop and join the local crowd.
In Mexico no portion of the pig goes to waste, you can order anything from snout to tail and some of the prized parts move fast. As we approached the counter the wife ordered a surtido taco and I ordered a buche taco. Surtido is a mix of the different parts of the pig and Buche is pig esophagus . If you are unfamiliar with ordering carnitas in this fashion just point to the body part. If you’re unsure on what to order start with Maciza which is simply lean boneless meat.
The pork here has spent hours slowly simmering in lard inside a huge cazo transforming it into mouthwatering deep golden brown carnitas.
After you have chosen your part, a friendly taquera will pull the pork from the cazo and proceed to carve with the expertise of a Master Butcher. The staff here is very friendly and knowledgeable.
Pata - Pigs Feet
Once the taquera has placed the warm carnitas inside the tortilla it’s time to dress it. Hnos Ramirez offers an assortment of fresh salsas, onions, and cilantro to choose from.
You can also take a piece of the complimentary Chicharrón (deep fried pork skin).
The Buche and Surtido we ordered were perfect, in fact it’s so hard for me to look at this without getting hungry. We ordered a few other varieties but they were consumed before I could snap a photo. :P
I had a chance to meet the friendly owner Alfonso Ramirez who stated he goes through about three cazos of pig a day. In 1998 Alfonso introduced the traditional cooking methods from his hometown of Salamanca Guanajuato Mexico to Ensenada.
Located at the corner of 2nd and Riveroll Hermanos Ramirez is open 7 days a week from 800am-4pm. Carnitas enthusiast will usually figure out when their favorite parts are available and order oreja(ears),trompa (snout), nana (uterus) or any variety of exotic combos. You can also order a kilo and make your own tacos. While I’m in Ensenada it’s usually all about eating the fresh local seafood, but now I have added some succulent carnitas into the rotation, it’s just too good to resist.