Wouldn’t you expect Juanitas Taco shop (not Juanita‘s Taco Shop) to be filled with Juanitas? Nope, nada one! And speaking of expectations, let’s talk about mine. First impression of this joint is that it looks like a small, Mexican jail that one would find in Tijuana, rather than on the prosperous HWY 101 in Encinitas.
I expected Juanitas Taco Shop to be exactly what it was: a “crap taco shop”. Which isn’t necessarily bad mind you! Crap Taco Shops, CTS, are part of the wonderful culinary make-up of our San Diego city! You just need to be in the mood for one. Or you need to be under 22 years old, in which case, you are always in the mood! Being a self-proclaimed food snob, I am rarely in the mood for a CTS, so please keep this in mind when reading this!
There was a huge line out the door with serious Jaunitas fans waiting for grub. The strong smell of tortillas frying in oil almost knocked us off our feet. With a line like this, they seem to be just a California Burrito sale away from being able to afford getting the rust scraped off the bars. Or maybe that’s the charm of this place.
Once you order, you can scoop out some spicy marinated vegetables from a bucket.
It was hot and stuffy inside, so we waited for a table outside and prayed we wouldn’t get hit by the teenagers parking their cars along the curb that butt right up against the outdoor tables.
My picky son ordered a plate of rice. It looked like… rice.
Our friend, Jennifer, ordered a California Burrito. It looked and tasted like every other burrito ever sold at a CTS.
Hubby and I ordered chicken tacos, thinking they were on soft corn tortillas. Nope. They were in taco shells fried to a greasy finish, just like we smelled when we arrived. See the center laden with oil? The innards were decent, though, with plenty of white meat chicken.
Bottom Line: This place is a Crap Taco Shop exactly the same as every Crap Taco Shop out there. Roberto’s, Filaberto’s, Riberto’s, Alberto’s, Humberto’s, they are synonymous. Now, I know that some people swear that one place is their favorite and is better than all of the others, but you are wrong! They are all exactly the same!
Juanitas offers a great beach goer/surfer’s meal, or is the perfect place for your after drinking munchies. The food here is cheap and Juanitas has an “A” rating, I checked. If you are a teen, you will find your people hanging out here. If you are a mid-late 40’s food snob looking for high quality dining on the coast, this ain’t the place for you! The pictures of what this place looks like from the outside are EXACTLY what you would expect to find in the food inside!